Good Brew
Reader's Digest Canada|May 2021
How an Ottawa kombucha maker helps people recovering from addiction
Karen Stiller

WHEN HE WAS 16 years old, Jon Ruby tried alcohol for the first time. “All the voices in my head that said I wasn’t good enough went away,” says Ruby, who is now 47.

Soon he was drinking regularly and experimenting with drugs. At 22, he began to abuse cocaine and eventually spent time in jail. Within a decade he was homeless, and estranged from his family and friends. “I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt,” he says.

While living in a shelter, things started to go right: he found Alcoholics Anonymous and, eventually, his faith. By 2006, Ruby was sober. He began working in a rehabilitation centre, feeling that it was his turn to help other people struggling with addiction. through his eight years at the centre, he learned that, even after treatment, people need continued help integrating back into society. “there are a lot of pressures involved with getting back to normal life,” he says.

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