JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local television personality who sheds a light on the positive events in Jacksonville is changing her tone to bring awareness to the dangers of alcoholism.
Tracy Collins, also known as Tracy Dot Com, was on Action News Jax several years ago to get viewers “Ready for the Weekend” by featuring fun events around town. She’s back to share her story as an alcoholic and her new project to help others facing addiction.
Collins described herself as a “professional alcoholic” by her ability to work around her personal and work life while she battled alcoholism.
“Presenting a face every single morning on Action News, on the morning show happy as can be in front of the camera, just dying,” Collins said. “I couldn’t wait to get home after the noon show and have that first drink.”
The turning moment for Collins came after a phone call with her father who lived across the country.
“He said, ‘Hey I just wanted to talk to you about your drinking,’ and I thought, 'Man, if he knows there’s an issue then maybe I should start thinking about this;' and 11 days later he passed away,” Collins said.
Collins said she had the support of her family and friends to get her into an intensive outpatient rehabilitation center in Jacksonville -- Greenfield Center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Riverside.
A CDC report states about 88,000 adults die from alcohol-related causes each year. Dr. Brian Jackson, with the Greenfield Center, said many of those are young adults between the ages of 20 and 30.
“This is an illness the way the person who suffers from the disease of addiction metabolizes different than a person that doesn’t and there’s a big genetic predisposition to this illness,” Jackson said.
During the 12-week course, Collins wrote journals about her progress to document her recovery, which led to her new book, “Stumbling into Sobriety.”
“When people see somebody, especially on television, it’s a powerful tool,” Collins said. “When people see somebody they relate to and they trust and they realize they also have these same flaws that they’re struggling with behind closed doors, that’s when people come forward.”
Collins also started an alcohol awareness campaign called, "The Crushed Velvet Project." Find more on her book, upcoming tour and campaign by clicking here.
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