HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate: A Utah Grandfather’s Journey Back From The Brink

Jul 27, 2018, 8:06 PM

LAYTON, Utah Life-threatening drug addiction often begins innocently. For one man, prescription pain pills took him on a dangerous path.

“As an addict, we think that we’re unstoppable, that there’s no pill we can’t take,” said Dale Covington, who lives in Layton.

It started 20 years ago after a serious car accident. A doctor prescribed him pain pills.

“The euphoria was instant, probably as fast as 10 to 15 minutes from taking the pill,” he said.

From there, Covington was hooked.

“I started to use it to mask things in the past and to camouflage things in the past and then it became something I took just to cope with life,” he said.

The normally doting husband and father began neglecting his wife and kids.

“Getting my next pill became number one for me,” he said.

The Covingtons felt ashamed and unsure of where to turn for help, and who to trust.

“I was completely embarrassed because you have this idea that what your spouse does is a direct reflection of you,” said Amy Covington, his wife.

As his addiction worsened, Covington said getting the pills from a doctor was easy.

“He would ask every once in a while, ‘I’m noticing that you’re going through these a bit too fast, and I would just, ‘Yah, maybe I am.’ And I would leave with a prescription,” he said.

In 2006, stress and loss of family members pushed Covington over the edge.

“I turned him over and he was blue, so mayhem broke out,” Amy Covington said. “The kids are freaking out and I’m trying to get the phone so I can call 9-1-1.”

Dale Covington had stopped breathing in their family room.

He had overdosed, but still his brush with death wasn’t enough to make him stop taking pain pills.

“That’s when I gave him the ultimatum because I thought, ‘You’ve destroyed our relationship,’” Amy Covington said.

He decided to change.

Rehab, the LDS 12-step program, and his faith helped Covington recover. He’s been sober for 12 years now and helps others struggling with addiction at Hill Air Force Base.

“I work as a wingman advocate and it’s special,” he said. “I’ve been able to help them get the resources they need to have a better life, a happier life.”

Amy Covington said, “He amazes me. I’m amazed. I’m so proud and I’m so glad that he did what he needed to do.”

Now, he’s grateful for the life he has, and the chance to give back.

“I’ve been to the depths of some places that people don’t get up out of,” he said.

Covington is now a co-chair of the Addiction Policy Forum Utah state chapter and is helping spread the word about a new free database in Utah to help those struggling with addiction find healthcare providers and treatment centers in their county. Visit addictionresourcecenter.org or call 1-833-301-HELP to learn more or get help.

He will be speaking at an outreach presentation at the Layton City Amphitheater on Aug. 7 in an event that goes from 6 – 9 p.m. Other speakers include Attorney General Sean Reyes and DEA Utah Agent in Charge, Brian Besser. For more information, email him at addictionrecoveryspeaker@gmail.com.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

Valentina, 12, and her mom Monica Lopez talk about the wait for a therapist....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Bridging the treatment gap: Solutions for families waiting to connect a teen with a therapist

The average wait for a mental health care provider for a new patient referral in Utah is between two to six months. But experts say there are tools available to help bridge the treatment gap.
4 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Teens need to learn early about the signs of abusive relationships

Advocates said it's important for young people to start learning about good and bad relationships early.
4 days ago
Lauryn Batista uses scribbles to help illustrate how she feels sometimes. (KSL TV)...
Peter Rosen, KSL TV

Visualizing the Conversation about Mental Health

Southern Utah University art student Lauryn Batista wants to talk about scribbles. That’s how she visualizes the anxiety and depression she’s dealt with for the past few years.
4 days ago
...
Shara Park, KSL TV

Weber School District creates Happiness Hotline

Need a pick me up, life advice, or words of encouragement? Try calling the Happiness Hotline (833-88-HAPPY), a free resource created by students and faculty in the Weber School District.
4 days ago
...
KSL TV

Kids In Crisis: Supporting your children with the right conversations

If you're the parent to teenage kids, you know getting them to talk isn't always easy -- and yet they need your help now more than ever.
4 days ago
This summer, every state will be rolling out 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline nu...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

States prepare for summer launch of new 988 suicide prevention number

This summer, every state will be rolling out 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to call for mental health crises — similar to how people can call 911 for medical emergencies.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate: A Utah Grandfather’s Journey Back From The Brink