I would say that by age 12 I was an alcoholic. The stealing for booze had already started at that tender age. Marijuana was next, then acid and next meth. That did the trick for me and got me running with the older/rougher crowd. Quit sports, quit school, pretty much quit everything worthwhile and devoted my life to the downward spiral.
As if things weren't bad enough with the IV speed I got introduced to Heroin by a "good" friend at about age 17. You can imagine how it went from there. In prison, out of prison, back in prison, homeless, jobless, dirty and helpless.
One of my children died in her crib while me and her mom were nodded out on heroin. My other children were rescued from me by CPS. Typical story of a dope fiend. Lose, lose and lose some more.
Well 1996 saw me back in court again with another charge for theft. Except this time the judge throws me a curve ball and sentences me to treatment instead of jail. When I got to the facility I decided to work on my push-ups so my veins would come back and make some amends through letters to my parents. In a effort to be allowed back into their home so I could steal more of their stuff when I got out of treatment.
What I didn't count on was "changing". I decided to give this recovery thing a test drive just so I could tell everyone how it didn't work. Well guess what, it did work. That was 18 years ago and I have not been back to jail.
I am now a chemical dependency counselor and sharing my experience, strength and hope with others.
I can honesty say that if I can change anyone can change. Treatment does work. Prison didn't work and it never would have.
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