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Sandillo founds narcotic anonymous chapter

Stephen “Boots” Sandillo of Lancaster has recently turned his life around and now wants to help others do the same with the founding of a local Narcotics Anonymous. Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
May 04, 2011
LANCASTER — For those that are willing, getting a second chance at life isn't that far out of reach and a person that now has a good grasp on his fate is Stephen "Boots" Sandillo who through Narcotic's Anonymous (NA) wants other people to get a a grip too.

"The reason I started a local NA meeting is because I have been an addict my whole life," said Sandillo. "I've been mixed up in drugs in one form or another for 35-40 years."

Now 52 years old Sandillo is ready to stay clean and has done so for the past two years. When he was a kid in high school he started using social drugs like Marijuana and alcohol, but it got to the point where those weren't enough.

The turning point for Sandillo was during his latest time in jail for driving on a suspended license and being an habitual offender.

"The last time I spent in jail was an eye opener, all the times I have been in and out of jail I didn't really have anybody on the outside, besides my family, but now I'm married with an eight year old step daughter," said Sandillo.

He went on to mention that all the other jail times he served were cake walks compared to the present where he is expected to be responsible and take care of the household.

"I had been in the prison system for five years at one time, but that one year hurt more then five and what got me a habitual offender was chasing drugs," said Sandillo.

Deciding to do something with his life Sandillo came up with a couple goals for when he regained his freedom. The forefront being to establish a local NA chapter in Lancaster and also to start his own business.

"My goal is to provide NA meetings for the local area so I can share my experience strength and hope with addicts that are still sick and suffering," said Sandillo.

Prior to founding a local chapter the closest NA meeting from Lancaster was in St. Johnsbury, Vt. and the next closest in the state was in North Woodstock. The Lancaster meetings are held every Tuesday night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the back entrance/basement of the All Saint's Church.

The first meeting that Sandillo held on April 12 only four people showed up, but the following week there was six and as word gets out the numbers have been growing. The NA meetings are run in an open discussion format, but the focus of the program is anonymity

"What's said here stays here, that's something we really want to stress," said Sandillo. "We're not affiliated with law enforcement or religious groups we're just addicts helping addicts."

Living in the North Country since 1987 Sandillo has picked a number of skilled trades along the way and recently started his own business: "Do it all repair service". A handy man that makes house calls Sandillo boasts services such as small engine repair, home repairs, pressure washing, painting, mobile home repairs and more. So far things are picking up for Sandillo who currently working on an engine for a customer. For more information about the Lancaster NA or need something repaired Sandillo can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 504-2402.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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