ELK CREEK, NEB. - A Southeast Nebraska woman is using a difficult part of her past, to help those in the future.

Lori Gottula lives in Elk Creek, NE. and just released her book “Broken and Chained: My First 30 Days In The Hell Called Detox”. Gottula once suffered a chronic back injury and found herself addicted to her doctor prescribed painkillers. She’s using her story, as a force for good.

“It was so harrowing, I thought people really need to know what’s happening to their minds and bodies when they’re taking this medication, because all the medicine I was taking was all doctor prescribed,” Gottula said.

During her transformation after her injury, everyday activities became a struggle for Gottula. Walking to the end of the driveway would leave her gasping for air.

But Gottula’s struggles stretched beyond physical limitations. Something she details heavily in the book.

“People needed to know it completely changed my personality,” Gottula said. “I became somewhat of a recluse, you get stuck not wanting to do anything, you care less about things you used to really care about… But getting off that medicine is torture. I wanted people to know about that and also the loved ones of people who are addicted and to get them to know what keeps them addicted.”

Now, Gottula has made a full transformation and recovery. After not being able to walk down her street, she now walks four miles a day without stopping, and won her age group in the Brownville Fourth of July Freedom Run in 2023. On top of that, she’s lost nearly 100 pounds.

Gottula now spends her days doing the things she loves, often hearing good things from other southeast Nebraska residents about her book.

“I’ve had several quotes from people saying this book will save lives,” Gottula said. “Some of them have been from moms who have lost their kids to addiction, some have been from kids who lost their parents to addiction.”

Lori says none of it would be possible without the support of her husband Randy and their loving family.

“The support has been phenomenal,” Gottula said. “They’re very proud of me and proud of the outreach and the things I’m trying to do to help other people.”

Broken and Chained can be found at any online book seller and in person in southeast Nebraska. Book presentations can be scheduled by emailing Lori at [email protected]