To address substance abuse in young adults, parents should have a clear understanding of the factors that contribute to drug use. Understanding the extent of this issue and exploring the steps to take if your child has a problem can help you navigate this challenging...
I started drinking and partying around 16, which eventually led to joining a gang. I had been struggling with my identity, and I think I put this mask on of this hardcore gangster kid. Thinking my happiness was in the crime that I was committing; I didn’t know any other way to be happy.
I just decided that I was going to die an addict. I made the decision that I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps. I was miserable. I honestly didn’t care if I lived or died. At one point I remember in 2014, I was sitting in the driver seat of my car with a bag of meth in my lap, and a twenty-two pistol. I put it up to my head, but I couldn’t pull the trigger.
I used 30 years, for the longest time I tried to take control of my addiction, and would rationalize to myself. I would discipline myself with how much money I spent or the quantity I took… but I kept getting stuck in this cycle of messing up, and trying, and messing up and trying. I wanted to erase my family, and even more so, I wanted to erase the things I saw in myself that reminded me of them.
It was Christmas, two years into my addiction when I knew that things needed to change. I remember my Mom called. My daughters were with her, and she said they didn’t have any presents. I had their gifts right in front of me, but I couldn’t bring them over. Instead I got high. Looking back, in that moment I so desperately needed hope. I truly thought that I was destined to be my addiction for the rest of my life.
I started with a couple of beers in the evening. Pretty soon I was having a glass of whiskey or Scotch at night, and eventually those glasses were becoming bottles. I rationalized that because it wasn’t a pill this time… it was okay.
I was convinced that my life was empty. While I was using heroin, I only thought the future I had would lead to death. I had no hope for the future. I thought I’m just going to keep doing drugs until I died. After coming to MnTC, I’m no longer convinced that there’s nothing out there in the world. I see that there’s hope and that there’s life.
I felt so sad and depressed. I called out to God and begged him for a way out because the drugs weren’t even making me feel good anymore. For me, hope entered in when I was in prison. I finally realized that I was really tired of coming back to jail and treatment. I just really wanted to figure this out, and I wanted to get my family and other relationships back.
Meth has taken my son away, my kid’s mother, my parents, my family, my freedom and everything I love. Hope shows me that anything is possible with restoring my family. We were at a point where they wanted to disown me, and now they’re coming to visit me on the weekends.
I felt like no one wanted me, even God. I know that’s all the enemy, and the only hope I thought of was to take my life, to just not be here. God showed me through my friends and family that He does care, and that gave me hope. I know that I’m becoming a better person and becoming closer to God.
Twenty-six years of addiction left me in a very dark, lonely place all by myself. After coming to Mn Adult & Teen Challenge, my girls said, “Dad, you look happy now.” It was like they can see the work of God, and that broke me and made me realize that something is really working in the program.
I was doing whatever I needed to do to stay high. If I wasn’t high, I was miserable, hopeless. I came to (MnTC) hungry, and I came in ready. Hope is knowing that hard things are going to happen, rough spots are going to hit. But I know, I hope, and I have faith that everything is going to be okay.
Before I came to Lakeside Academy, I was still in school. I’d wake up in the morning and get high. I felt like I was existing instead of living. At Lakeside, I’ve started to think about my goals in life and what I actually wanted. I want to be happy, I want to help other kids in the situation that I was in.
The last time I used was really dark, and I knew the only place I could go from there was up. I wasn’t called to live a life like that. When I came to MN Adult & Teen Challenge, I remember just sobbing in my room because I was finally safe. I knew it was the beginning of my future.
NOVEMBER 14 @ 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM Please join us at one of these free events for community leaders, parents, and other concerned adults. CEUs available for law enforcement, educators, nurses, social workers and other professionals. November 14, 2017 | 6pm –...