My story begins in a small-ish suburban town in North NJ. I was 13 when I got drunk for the first time, at least that is the first time i have ever had enough alcohol to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was drunk. At first, me and a couple of friends would just drink on weekends. Then we started smoking weed. By the time I was in the 9th grade I knew several drug dealers, many of them who were connected to gangs throughout New York and New Jersey. One of my dealers started pushing pills and crack. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I bought the drugs he sold. Before that summer's end, I had a full blown vicodin and oxycodone habit. Then I got a job at an animal hospital where ketemine, hydromorphone and tramadol were readily available, as were clean hypodermic needles. I was shooting ketamine and hydromorphone every day, until I got fired from my job and couldn't get the drugs anymore. Not knowing what else I could do to provide myself with an escape from the hell i built for myself, I started going into the cities where the gangs my dealers were connected with were to buy drugs, heroin mostly. Then one day, I had stolen money from my brother to buy drugs. He confronted me about it, to which in my dope induced stupor, I responded by trying to hit him with a glass bottle. It was at that moment that I, but for the grace of god, came to my senses. I realized what the drugs were doing to me. They had destroyed my moral fiber as a person. I guess you can call that my bottom. No matter how broke I got, or how much shit I had to pull to get high, no memory, to this day, makes me more ashamed then the one of me assaulting my own brother. It was by god's grace that I came to realize the wrongs of my addiction and the pain that it had caused everyone in my life. It took a lot of faith and building a relationship with a higher power to get to where I am today. Though now I can honestly say, I have a strong foundation based on my faith.
This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.