Stories of Addiction and Recovery for La Familia Medical Center


3 women in the MEdication assisted treatment (MAT) program for Substance use disorders at La Familia Medical Center are telling their stories over the course of 2 years.

The artists attend lessons on media-making, media literacy and storytelling. They share their work with other program participants, other service providers in the community, young people, the general public and current and potential program funders.

If you think you’re close, get even closer. 

We started by looking at self-representation and personal storytelling. Those stories are viewable below.

In April and May 2018, the artists were Artists in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, using the space to host classes, an exhibition and make video and audio stories. We looked at causes of addiction in Northern New Mexico and produced a multi-media piece about homelessness. We also produced a promotional video for the program. Both of those pieces are viewable at, a website that the group designed together.

The narratives that surround us shape how we see ourselves and others, and are so often formed and told by those in positions of power. Everything you see was produced by the artists (patients) themselves.

Addiction has many root causes that cannot be addressed within the clinic walls. We hope that this narratives can help educate our community and make it a more supportive space for those recovering from addiction.

The artists present their work to support groups, service providers, young people, funders and other interested parties. Please be in touch if you would like to learn more!


learn more about the project in the press:

Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo


The Richard Eeds Show


Santa Fe Art Institute,  From Numbness to Awakening  opening reception, May 2018  Photograph by Adria Malcolm

Santa Fe Art Institute, From Numbness to Awakening opening reception, May 2018

Photograph by Adria Malcolm

Lensic Performing Arts Center,  The Art of Change , June 2018  Project participants presented their work alongside Ira Glass (NPR, This American Life)

Lensic Performing Arts Center, The Art of Change, June 2018

Project participants presented their work alongside Ira Glass (NPR, This American Life)


participants present their work at the Santa Fe art institute 140 event


Jolene Martinez is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in God, that things happen for a reason and that individuals can recover from addiction if they are committed to making it happen.

Jolene has struggled with domestic violence and not having a stable home. She used heroin for a year and a half and entered treatment after getting out of jail for the last time. She credits her time in jail for helping her get her head clear through bible study. “But when you get out, it’s hard,” she says, “Everything you planned, you have to make it happen.” When Jolene learned she was pregnant with her third child, she committed to staying off heroin.

Jolene loves photographing her kids. Her two older children are being put up for adoption through the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), and she visits them every opportunity she gets. She likes taking pictures of moments with them and their fleeting expressions. She hopes that her story can expose the injustice of CYFD and how it is separating her family and making her recovery more challenging.

Jolene likes to draw, chat with her family, make art, play games and joke with her kids and see how much her baby changes and learns every day. “I didn’t know what love was until my son was born, and I held him in my arms,” she says, “All I want to do is be a good mom to them.”


Candice McKim was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. She was addicted to heroin and crack for 7 years and decided to change her life when she learned that she was pregnant. She has not used for 5 years.

Candice was sexually assaulted at a young age and then repeatedly assaulted when she lived on the streets. She suffers from PTSD from these assaults. She believes that women have the right to be in control of their own bodies and that there is never an excuse for sexual assault. She hopes that by telling her story through photography, she can draw women together to engage in conversation about these issues and ultimately move toward justice for victims. “Being raped takes everything from you,” she says, “but getting help and having your story listened to helps you reclaim yourself.”

Candice enjoys spending time with her family, taking her daughter to the park, the movies and swimming. She couldn’t be so successful without the support of her boyfriend and her family. She also appreciates ongoing counseling and the friendly staff of La Familia Medical Center.

Candice hopes to complete her GED and advance her career to build a better life for her daughter. She is also happy to report that she is Hepatitis C-free. Candice likes taking pictures because it’s soothing and fun, and she has learned a great deal about herself by doing so. She enjoys being able to see clearly and live a sober life.


Nikki Romero is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in women’s rights and supporting women who have been victims of domestic violence. She has felt the effect of the stigma of addiction in her life, as someone who was formerly addicted to heroin, and hopes that by sharing her story she can open peoples’ minds.

Nikki attends many domestic violence and parenting support groups and strives to be the best mom she can be by teaching her daughters the difference between right and wrong, how to take care of themselves and how to be emotionally stable. She hopes to soon complete her Community Health Worker certificate at Santa Fe Community College so that she can help others in her situation. Her message to those suffering from addiction is to not give up on their health, which is the source of life.

Nikki likes to take afternoon walks with her family, make photographs and appreciate her daughters’ laughs. According to her daughter, “my mom should believe that she can do anything.”


Learn about past collaborative projects