Alcohol Was My Gateway to Illegal Drugs

true stories of polysubstance abuse and alcohol as a gateway

Brady grew up in a family that was very disconnected. Everyone seemed to do their own thing every day. Both of his parents had an addiction to drugs, but his parents tried to hide it from him. After getting his girlfriend pregnant, he decided to get married to try to do the honorable thing. At 25, he started working at a liquor store and began drinking very heavily.

While drinking at work one day, a man came through the drive-thru and had cocaine. Brady decided to try it and at 26 he developed a cocaine addiction within a very short period of time. He started using cocaine to wake him up and alcohol to help him when he needed to sleep.

Eventually, he got a job working for a phone bank where he maintained a job for two years. During those two years, he was not only drinking and doing cocaine but also started using pain pills. After injuring his back, Brady’s mother gave him a pain pill to try to ease the pain. He liked the way that it made him feel and began using them frequently. Within a year of working at the bank, he realized that he needed the drugs and alcohol to feel the way that he wanted to feel. He tried to stop using at one point because he was spending so much money so quickly. He wasn’t worried about health risks or legal risks. He just cared about decreasing the amount of money he was spending on drugs and alcohol.

true stories of addiction to alcohol

Things Fall Apart

After working at the bank for about a year and a half, Brady’s mom overdosed on Xanax and Oxycodone. This caused his addiction to spiral because of the loss of his mother put him in a bad place emotionally. He started drinking all day and night, while still doing drugs to try to numb his feelings.

Eventually, the drinking led to Brady developing pancreatitis. He was hospitalized and then lost his job because he had missed so many days. He missed ample days before he was hospitalized and the days that he missed during his hospitalization was the last straw for his employer. He didn’t fight the firing because all he cared about was drinking more and more alcohol. He ended up getting pancreatitis three times over the next year. The alcohol was doing so much damage to his body that it was slowly falling apart.

In 2009, a doctor told Brady that everyone only has so much that they can drink. He was told that he had already drunk all that his body could handle. All that he heard was that he needed to stop drinking. He assumed that it meant he could still do all of the other bad habits that he had been doing. Brady detoxed from alcohol but didn’t stop taking drugs. He gave up drinking alcohol and switched to using drugs on a regular basis. He was so addicted to the drugs that he showed up to his mother’s funeral strung out. He didn’t know how to handle the situation in any other way.

Deeper into Addiction

For the next eight years, Brady ended up getting arrested many times for theft and for writing fake prescriptions. At 32, he started using heroin because it was more affordable and became even more addicted. He became very depressed after his father died.

Brady started to feel as though everyone would be better off if he wasn’t around. He thought that his life was meaningless. He went back and forth into rehab and eventually his wife had enough and left him. After she left, he considered suicide because he was so depressed. He went to the pawnshop to pawn his daughter’s flute. On the way, someone said to him that he needed to take care of himself. He didn’t know who the person was. He pawned the flute, but then couldn’t find any dope for a few days.

He decided that he was going to kill himself and went to cut himself but couldn’t do it. He started to pray and told God that if he hated them to just kill him. He knew he couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to be able to live a better life.

At this point, he calls a company to come and pick him up to take him to rehab. He shows up to the detox facility and the guy that talked to him when he was going to pawn his daughter’s flute was there. He asked if Brady had heard what he said, and the man said that he used to work with him. Brady asked why he told him to take care of himself and he said that Brady looked like he was going to do something bad.

Brady Finds Hope

The man at the counter suggested that Brady went to rehabilitation for getting help for drug addiction. He thought that he couldn’t afford it but found out that the state would pay for it. During detox, he went to group meetings and started reading an Alcoholics Anonymous book. He thought that if he got all the help, he could get his life back, but that wasn’t the case.

He ended up relapsing and started drinking and using drugs again. He thought that it would make things better, but they made things much worse. He moved to Phoenix and ended up homeless. He met another homeless person and ended up doing heroin intravenously for the first time. He overdosed. A week later he realized that he needed to get professional help. He was able to get sober again and got a job as a busboy. He eventually moved his way up in the business and started running three restaurants. This is when his recovery took a backseat to his work. This led to him drinking and it made him realize what the disease really is. He started using drugs again and overdosed twice within five days. He lost his job, his apartment and even his son living with him.

He went to recovery again and was able to recover again. He worked with his sponsor and decided to start volunteering at the facility rather than working at the restaurants again. He went to meetings three to four times a day. He figured out that he needed to take steps to feel more comfortable. He created a strong circle of friends and is able to have a more fulfilling life. He puts his recovery first and Brady realizes that he has a life that is even better than before he started using. He has great relationships with his family and tries to give back whenever he can.

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2 comments
  1. God is too kind to his creatures. Whenever you pray to get out of any trouble, God makes a way better for you. Secondly its self confidence of a person which makes him successful to achieve his goal in life.

  2. I hope Brady will be okay and doesn’t relapse again. Wow, what a toll alcohol must have taken on him if the dr told him his body couldn’t handle it anymore… and to have pancreatitis three times in one year…I’m amazed at how his organs are even still functioning. The human body is touch and resilient! I’m sure he probably has life long liver damage to some extent though. I’m surprised his body was even able to handle any drugs after that at all.

    He must be smart though if he was able to start out as a busboy and then move his way up to running 3 restaurants. I’m glad he is volunteering at the rehab facility, but I wonder, how is he paying the bills? I worry he might need money and slip back into his old habits eventually if he takes another job somewhere. I think he may be one of those types that when everything seems in place, they think it’s okay to start using again, even if they think they are only going to do it once. They look at it as sort of an award of sorts for their “good” behavior.

    The mind does mysterious things, that’s for sure. I had a good friend who was sober for 10 and a half years! He had opened his own used car lot, had a wife and two kids, and was even a soccer coach for his son’s team. Something one weekend triggered him to use cocaine again. And, in a matter of two weeks, he blew through his family’s savings. He started selling some of the cars off at a very low price, just to have cash in hand for coke. His story didn’t end so well, his wife left with the kids and moved 4 states away. He still has the car lot but it isn’t as successful as it was, and now he lives in a camper on the car lot property (he lost his house). I imagine he still uses, but maybe not quite as much as he did when he relapsed that weekend. I pray for him and all those affected by drugs. It’s a serious epidemic in this country.

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