Andrew’s Addiction is a Disease
Drug Addiction Disease
Andrew was raised in a stable home; his external circumstances weren’t the cause of his drug addiction disease. His parents had a healthy relationship, he was loved and well cared for. Moreover, his home was free from any childhood trauma or neglect.
As a young man, Andrew participated in band and all kinds of extra-curricular activities, and maintained good grades throughout his time in school. Andrew states that there was nothing in his upbringing that would point to him developing drug and alcohol addiction.
While his childhood didn’t put him at risk for addiction, something inside him stirred, leading Andrew to seek out mind and mood-altering substances. At an early age, Andrew was taught that drugs were bad, not to smoke cigarettes and to stay in school. Drugs were never around, and his first exposure to the world of drugs came through the D.A.R.E. program in 5th grade.
He recalls the police officer teaching the class about how a person might make meth, having never tried a drug or a drink. Andrew found himself curiously taking notes from his seat in the back of the class and thinking that he’d probably smoke Marijuana later in life.
Drug Use and Abuse
He tells us that Marijuana was never offered to him, so at age 14, he sought the drug out himself. “I did like it,” Andrew said about his experience, “I liked it a lot. I didn’t know why I just knew it made me feel good.” He continued to smoke pot day after day until he ran out; this didn’t stop him though, and he went out and got more. It was here that his addiction was born.
Within the same year, Andrew began to binge drink. His first experience with Alcohol left him blacked out and soiled in his own vomit. He tells us that he barely remembers the night, only that it was fun. Soon after, Alcohol became a regular substance in his high school experience.
Quickly he progressed into prescription pills, and soon after that, Cocaine. Looking back Andrew admits that he didn’t draw a single sober breath the entire four years of high school.
It became easy to maintain his perfect image; on the outside, he appeared as a happy, successful student and despite his problems of substance abuse. Andrew still managed to graduate with college credits and a partial scholarship to Yavapai college.
He admits that when he arrived at college, out of the nest and away from his parents, his perfect image began to slip away. He didn’t care to hide it and he was unable to comprehend that other students didn’t use drugs and Alcohol to the extremes that he did.
His life was completely shaped by addiction, his job at the dog spa kept him isolated from people and his circle of friends became limited to those he used with and bought drugs from.
Opioid Addictions and Seeking Treatment
A couch surfing friend changed the course of Andrew’s addiction drastically by introducing him to OxyContin. “I acquired a taste for the OxyContin’s and got insanely hooked on those.”
An injury and a prescription kept his habit for a bit, but eventually, the prescription ran out, and the cost of buying pills became too much. As with many people addicted to prescription Painkillers, Andrew switched over to using Heroin.
Using Heroin began a downward spiral for Andrew. “Smoking it for the first three or four months and then discovering the needle, and that’s where it was done after that, and it just got worse and worse from there.”
After a long and exhausting night on a Hallucinogen, LSD, Andrew describes a moment of realization. Looking around his apartment and seeing the filth his life had become, he curled up into the fetal position and began to question everything.
This was a moment that woke Andrew up to the fact that he needed help. After that night, he reached out and got help at a drug addiction treatment center.
Addiction Relapse and Drug Overdose
There were multiple attempts at getting clean. After entering treatment his second time, Andrew relapsed in the treatment center after 60 days. He felt defeated and yet he still managed to talk his way home and back into the loving arms of his family with only 6 days sober.
He had them convinced that he was better and that the doctors and therapists were wrong. However, the power of his addiction didn’t spare him for long.
Soon, Andrew had a job at a brewery and a healthier girlfriend; yet, it didn’t last long, and his addiction progressed back to using Heroin.
After overdosing on Heroin several times, Andrew found himself back in a rehab facility. This time, though, was different: he was listening, eager to shed the habits of his addiction. After completing 90 days in rehab receiving treatment for his disease, Andrew went straight into a sober living home.
Sober Living Recovery
Like Andrew, many people in recovery from addiction speak to the radical changes and opportunities in their lives. He was offered a job as a house manager at the sober living house he was residing at.
Additionally, Andrew earned the respect and support of his family again. While managing the sober living home, Andrew met his wife-to-be. Shortly thereafter, he was offered a job at an intervention company located in Illinois.
Due to many opportunities resulting from his recovery, he is financially stable and has paid off all his debts from addiction. Today, Andrew is happy spreading a message of hope to anyone struggling with addiction.
He continues to inspire other people suffering from addiction to go to treatment and helps their families navigate the difficult waters of addiction intervention and recovery. If you want to stop substance abuse and addiction we are here to help, contact us today at (866) 578-7471.