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Graduates wear a black dress, black hat at the university level.

Graduation Season Highlights Recovery Success Stories

Finishing your studies and gaining a diploma is an accomplishment all in itself. But being able to do that after having beaten an addiction is something even more notable. Seeing how we are in the middle of graduation season, now seems like a great time to highlight one such success story; specifically the journey of Ginny Burton.


Burton’s story recently went viral and for good reason. A former crack and cocaine addict, she had been near death just a few short years ago. Now, though, the Ohio native is proudly posing in a cap and gown from the University of Washington.


The notoriety arose from a Facebook post that Burton published, showing her at her lowest and now her highest. Standing proudly as a graduate alongside an inebriated mug shot of herself is truly a sight to see. And it’s no wonder that her post has garnered thousands of “Likes” with no signs of slowing down. You can Ginny’s statement in its entirety below.



Because of the post’s huge success on social media, Burton was contacted by several outlets in her hometown; including local Ohio CBS affiliate, 10 WBNS. In an exclusive interview, she spoke about her incredible journey and how she hopes to be an inspiration for others.


“If you would have told me that my life would look like it does today eight and a half years ago, I would have called you a liar,” Burton told the outlet. “There was a point in my life when I didn’t care whether I was killed, whether I successfully committed suicide or whether I went to prison. Any one of those options was just fine for me because I just wanted to stop and I couldn’t stop on my own. It was a vicious cycle that finally ended eight years, five months and 27 days ago. It’s the longest I have ever been clean in my entire life.”


Burton told the site how her habit began at the age of 12, following in the footsteps of her addicted parents. There were jail stints, failed rehab attempts and several near death experiences. But ultimately, she found a recovery program that fit and Burton never looked back.


Now, according WBNS, Burton has gotten dozens of offers to start a new career with her political science degree; setting her on a further path toward success. Our sincerest congratulations go out to Ginny and all of the new grads who have overcome some incredible obstacles this year!