My life of addiction brought me to a lot of places where I saw a lot of pain. That's why I do my best today to give back.
My name is Adam and I’m a person in recovery. I come from what I believe to be a normal family. My mother divorced my biological father when I was 5, due to his drug use. She remarried not too long after. I firmly believe my addictive traits were passed to me by my father.
When I was 10, my father moved to Colorado from Connecticut with his new family. I was devastated. At 12, I took my first drink and smoked my first cigarette and at 13, I tried marijuana. I loved it. At 15, I tried crack for the first time. I never looked back. I smoked crack all through high school. Amazingly, I graduated.
I was a heavy drug user all through my twenties. I had two failed attempts at rehab. When I was 30, I tried heroin for the first time and I was in love. At 33, I became an IV heroin user. This is when everything changed. For the next three years, heroin was all I cared about. I ruined every relationship and every job. I had no friends and my mother was the only family member speaking to me. I stole from almost everyone I came in contact with and ended up living in my truck for the last year of my drug use.
On June 4, 2017, I decided it was enough. With one bag of heroin left, no home, no gas, no friends, and no money I asked for help. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I entered a detox, then an inpatient program, and finally a sober house. Instantly, my life got better. I finally wanted to be in recovery. No one was forcing me to do it. I surrendered.
Almost 15 months, later here I am. I have a beautiful girlfriend, apartment, and cars. I’m a father figure. My family relationships are stronger than ever, and most importantly I work a program of recovery. It’s a 12 Step program that I am very honest and open about. The one thing I have learned since getting into recovery is that I do not have to use. No matter what. I realize that life happens. Every day isn’t going to be rainbows and butterflies. And that’s okay.
I’m able to weigh the pros and cons of my actions. When it comes to drug use, there are no pros. Only cons. Knowing that I’m not unique and there are others going through the same things as me allows me to make it through tough situations. Most of the time, it only takes a phone call to deal with what I’m going through.
My drug use caused a lot of harm and hurt a lot of people, but it also made me very strong. I believe that if you can beat heroin, you can do anything.
My life of addiction brought me to a lot of places where I saw a lot of pain. That’s why I do my best today to give back. I volunteer very often. I’m a member of my program’s subcommittee for hospitals and institutions. We go into rehabs, detoxes, and prisons to speak with people with substance use disorder. I try to get involved with every organization I can to promote substance use prevention and recovery.
I simply try to give back what was freely given to me. Hope. I dedicate a lot of my time trying to convince addicted people to not give up. To ask for help. To know that recovery is possible. I’m living proof. It is my goal and dream to have a career working with others that suffer from addiction and with at-risk youth. When it comes to addiction, recovery is literally a matter of life and death.
If I could change anything, it would be the way that people with substance use disorder are viewed. We are not monsters.
I will never give up hope. I will continue to help the still sick, suffering person as long as I live. I feel it is my calling.