A drink here. A beer there.

Alcohol can destroy lives and tear apart families.

And nobody knows that better than Jim Allen, a recovering alcoholic, who decided 15 months ago it was time to stop.

"I started to realize that I was drinking from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, and I didn't enjoy it anymore," said Allen.

With the help of his wife, the retired steelworker entered an alcohol rehab facility in the East Valley and it saved his life.

But it wasn't easy.

Along the way, Allen spent a lot of time with Andrew Donlevy, a recovering alcoholic himself, who recently lost his 21-year-old daughter to drug addiction.

But instead of spiraling into despair, Donlevy has devoted his life to speaking to other addicts hoping his story will have an impact.

"I can speak from experience, I lost everything in my last relapse," said Donlevy. "I was in a homeless shelter and I had to rebuild my life. I'm a very lucky person to have been able to do that. It makes me feel good that I'm making a difference."

Allen said he never would have made it if it weren't for the encouraging words of Donlevy and his countless hours of support and understanding.

Allen reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the recovering alcoholic who's using his pain to change lives.

"I want to thank you for being such a big part of my sobriety and a lot of other people's sobriety," Allen told Donlevy. "You help other people cope with their losses and you are truly an amazing influence on myself and so many people. We just want to show our appreciation, and on behalf of Channel 5 News here's $500."

"This is what I should be doing, so I'm doing it," said Donlevy.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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(1) comment


man that guy's wearing a nice coat

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