Born With The Disease of Addiction

Chasing Escape with Drugs

From a young age, Tanner dealt with intense obsession—one of the wholesale signs of addiction. The first moment he remembers feeling outside himself was when he kissed a girl he liked in the first grade under the slide.

There was a latent melancholy present at a young age but this moment made him feel good, and he chased after the things that gave him a similar feeling. As his mom put it, even a three ring circus couldn’t make him happy.

This pervasive sadness and obsessive personality paved the road for addiction. Around age 9, he had a friend named Heath who spent the night. Heath was known for smoking cigarettes and doing unsavory things for a kid that age. They were walking around the house and Heath pointed out the armoire of alcohol.

“Oh my god, you don’t drink any of this?” Heath said.

“No, it’s for grownups, that could make me sick,” Tanner said.

“No, my dad lets me drink some of this,” Heath said.

The First Drink, the Last Page of Innocence

Eventually, Heath persuaded him to drink. He drank to the point of vomiting and it made him not want to drink for a couple years. A bit later, he was prescribed Vyvance (an ADHD medication). It made him feel terrible and kept him up for nights on end. Eventually, Tanner ended up crushing Opiates and snorting them. Instantly he was hooked.

“I felt better than any other time I had felt in my life … I needed something at all times to mess me up, to take me out of reality,” Tanner said.

From 14 to 15 he experimented with several different types of drugs.

“I had no moral compass as a child. I loved the feeling of doing something wrong. I would break 50 to 100 windows a night of cars, houses, churches, businesses,” said Tanner.

His mom found his phone one night and saw that he was up to no good. She attempted to ground him, but instead he packed his stuff and ran away. After running away with his friend, he was caught selling Marijuana and was arrested.

Capturing Freedom Through Hope and Determination

After leaving juvenile hall, he moved to Kansas City to live with his dad. He was doing Heroin heavily, and his dad tried to get him in treatment but he got kicked out for fraternizing with a woman after 13 days. He went back out and started doing drugs again.

One of his good friends died in a car accident and this was a turning point in his life. He felt guilty that such a good person died and it wasn’t him. He decided to go to treatment and take it seriously. He finally convinced himself that he couldn’t do drugs recreationally. It would hurt him in the long run.

He believes that it takes real work to overcome addiction.

“This is not the common cold that we are dealing with,” Tanner said. “You can’t use the program as a Band-Aid. You can’t just stay clean and live dirty. Once you get miserable enough that you want to get high then come back in the room. That’s not how this works. I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work.”

Working the steps has undeniably helped Tanner stay sober.

“If you don’t work the steps every day you might as well start drinking now…The number one thing that happens when I stop living the program I drink,” Tanner said.

Overall, Tanner realizes that his life in sobriety now is worth too much for him. His life is infinitely better than when he was in active addiction. He is truly living.

“I’m at a place today where things are too good for me to give up. Even if days are not good, it’s better than being loaded or being in a casket,” Tanner said.

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11 comments
  1. This is good to know “I’m at a place today where things are too good for me to give up. Even if days are not good, it’s better than being loaded or being in a casket,” ,same here with me

  2. The sad thing with any addiction is the fact that 9 out of 10 tines getting in is easy. It is when time to get out that it becomes so hard. As if it goes from being a pebble to a huge boulder on your back later on. Most types may even kill you. That said determination and heart are key. After all at the end of the day healing starts with you alone.

  3. This is a thing that a lot of people are going through already. Drug addiction. I think more education should be given on this to help the future generations.

  4. I do not believe that there is such thing that born with an addiction to drugs. People develop such addiction in their lifetime from abuse. We can also say that drug addiction is a disease, a man made disease that kills millions of people.

  5. It saddens me a lot to see people immersed in drugs, I lost my brother and a nephew to drugs and believe me that is not good, while some make money selling drugs, others destroy their lives.

  6. Tanner really isnt lucky, I feel sorry for him. Addicted from early age isn’t good, I just wish this does not occur again.

  7. I never believe there is anything like addiction from birth, I think its someone decisions to be addicted to drugs. Though improper upbringing can be a reason to the wrong decision making by kids.

  8. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I’m proud that Tanner got out his addiction and I’m hoping for his best. Keep up the good work!

  9. I have a very weak will that is why I do not dare to try any type of drug because I think that if I do it just to play or test I will stay in that world and that is not good for me. Have strong judgment in terms of thinking and don’t let bad things break you because you are the main loser.

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