Giving Back After Addiction

man shares his story about how addiction destroyed his life

As a child, Dave made friends easily but was going through a lot of abuse at home. His family struggled financially because his father suffered from drug addiction. At seven years old, Dave started drinking beer and smoking marijuana for the first time. At nine, his dad’s girlfriend’s sister gave him Xanax to make him fall asleep. This allowed the adults to enjoy partying because he was out cold.

By the age of 11, Dave overdosed for the first time from Somas. He had been in an accident a few months earlier and have been given pain medication for the headaches that he had been having. He lied to his dad and thought that he had taken the same medication he had been giving him. CPS investigated the case and he was able to go live with his good friend Justin. The family gave him the life that he always wanted.

Even though he was having a great life with the new family, something was still missing. He saw his friend’s dad drinking a beer one night and decided that he thought that was what was missing. He stole a beer and drank it. Everything seemed to go away instantly. He blamed the beer being missing on his friend’s brother and he broke Dave’s jaw two days later. If someone would have stepped in and let Dave know what the signs of addiction were, he felt as though he could have gotten the help for drug addiction that he needed and recovered from it much sooner.

An Addiction Spiral

Dave started drinking more heavily and woke up one day laying behind the family’s garage. His friend’s dad caught him and said that he had to leave the house. He had to go back to living with his dad. Drinking on a regular basis led to him being brought to his dad’s job by the police. His dad’s boss eventually fired his dad and there was no longer steady money coming into the house. Dave felt an obligation to help make ends meet and started robbing people.

Dave met a friend at school that was able to make the process easier. His friend would sleep with girls and he would rob the houses at the same time. Dave left and moved to Arizona. He found pot right away and was offered meth by one of the local kids. He then got hooked on that, as well.

He was arrested for the many crimes that he had committed eventually. Dave’s father was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C while he was being sentenced to jail for nearly eight years. Altogether, Dave had to spend 13 years of his life in jail. While he was incarcerated, Dave’s father passed away from his illnesses.

While he was in prison, Dave ran into people from his past. He was introduced to heroin while he was incarcerated and ended up becoming addicted to it. In the past, Dave had only loved alcohol and meth, but this new drug quickly took hold of his life.

Drug Use in Prison

While incarcerated, Dave starts doing more and more drugs. He was doing meth, heroin, and pills. After four years of being incarcerated, he was being sent to a lower yard. Inmates were telling him that he was probably going to be incarcerated with sexual predators. He was told that he needed to take care of them when he arrived. Unfortunately, Dave had just gotten a bag of meth and wasn’t willing to let it go. He did a lot of it before getting on the bus to go to his new prison.

When he arrives, he sees a friendly face from his past. He is spinning out and tried to fight everyone that he could. He thought that everyone was a sex offender, but his friend helped him to realize that wasn’t the case.

You may be interested in reading about Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment.

He worked hard throughout his stay in prison and once he became addicted to heroin, he lost a lot of the respect that he had earned. He told his friend Doug about what he was doing, and Doug offered for him to be able to go to a meeting with him.

The man that was running the treatment meeting looked identical to his father which made it easier for him to connect. He kept going to the meetings and was able to finally get sober. Dave never thought that he was worth much until his friend Doug gave him valuable words to live by. His friend told him that he was going to be able to believe in him until he could believe in himself.

How Dave Made it out Alive and Found Recovery

Dave started working through the steps when he got sent back to Arizona. He then went to a different yard that had a therapist offer his services to 21 inmates. They had to be pre-screened to see if they were chosen for the services offered. The therapist told him that Dave qualifies for the program, but he wasn’t sure that Dave was going to be able to put in the necessary effort to get the most out of it. Hearing that made Dave even more eager to show the doctor that he was wrong.

He went to individual and group therapies. Only five out of 21 convicts were able to finish the program. Throughout the program, Dave was able to leave that he had a lot of trauma from his abuse as a child. He had a poor attachment to women that hampered his quality of life. He was able to make long term plans for him to be able to have goals to look forward to.

Doug and his family eventually helped Dave be able to get into a sober living home. The family paid for his first week at the facility, got him some clothes and some food. They had hoped that he could make the most out of the chance that he was given.

He was able to build a life for himself that he could be proud of. He was able to finish his sentence, got married and was able to have two children. He was able to become a support counselor for other inmates who are battling an addiction. Eventually, he became the director at Decision Points Center and has been able to have a fulfilling career that he loves.


    1. Dave is a definition of a Strong and Determined Person.
      I’m Happy he got a life he was proud of despite all the challenges.

  1. only some people have the nerves to fight with such kind of evils. Dave is a real life hero and inspiration for those who wants to get back to life from such addictions.

  2. I never in my life thought to get into any kind of drug and this heart wrenching story of Dave strengthen my belief that its better to stay away from such evils.

  3. It completely BLOWS my mind how easy it is to get drugs in prison!! Like what the heck?!
    I’m really glad he made it though!

  4. It says a lot about Dave that he tried harder when the therapist told him he didn’t know if he was going to be able to do well in the program. Our minds are powerful!

  5. Happy for Dave. Thanks to his friend Doug and his family Who stood by him. It is very good to have close associate around those in such condition. The truth is “stay away from drugs and drug users.

    1. It is very good to love close associate around those in such conditions. This heart wrenching story of Dave strengthen. I am really glad you. Thanks.

  6. The way he got influence is crazy and annoying, his future was put at risk by his own family.but thank God he could overcome the challenges.

  7. I really.liek the fact the he is there for those people that is suffering. He is giving it back to the community.

  8. He is a great person. Very few people have the ability to fight evils. it’s good enough. Thanks for sharing this information.

  9. Dave had a tough time facing addiction. Glad he is able to recover after addiction and now giving back what he lost with a purpose.

  10. This is a sad and emotional story. Am glad it ended with happiness. Nice way to give back dave. It’s really awesome. Thanks Detox for making it possible

  11. Evil friends can lead us astray for sure. That’s what Dave encountered when he was growing up, that led him being addicted to drug abuse at a tender age.

  12. This is a very touching story about Dave. He went through a lot of challenges coupled with going into drug while in prison. I am so happy for him for taking the step to recovery.

  13. What a hear wrenching story with a happy ending. I’m sorry you had to go through it, Dave. Way to give back! It says a lot about Dave that he tried harder when the therapist told him he didn’t know if he was going to be able to do well in the program. Our minds are powerful!

  14. It can be so self wrenching surviving addictions let alone thinking about giving back. But giving out too. You are highly appreciated

  15. His addiction I feel from the family background itself. That is why, parents needs to be well-mannered so that children also gets a decent life.

  16. Hmm Dave’s case was honestly a pathetic one from the start, I’m just happy it didn’t consume him entirely. I’m glad he could eventually make the right choice to pull through. Thanks Detoxtorehab.

  17. Dave a lot of people needs to learn from your story. but getting more drugs in prison shows the indiscipline that goes on there. the authorities need to fight that.

  18. This is an inspirational story. Going through addiction have so many consequences on people. I am very happy for Dave for taking the right step to get his life back in order to give back his time while in prison.

  19. So unfortunate on how substances make someone a slave and can not do things soberly. There is also a point when family causes someone to use substances.

  20. This way of your struggle so hard,but if you don’t follow this right path I don’t know how life become,by knowing and understanding about drug abusing,you Will never back to your past

  21. Save showed a special privilege, it’s really a blessing to have gone through alot and still thinks of giving back to his community. That’s the right spirit of a true turn around. Now he is living a purposeful life

  22. After going sober, we need to get people that can monitor and help us keep been sober. Seriously it not easy out there but with the right family Dave had it was easy for him

  23. I am happy for Dave because God actually blessed him with good people who were ready to lead him to sobriety. Thanks to Detox Rehab community for their assistance in bringing him back to the society.

  24. Here is another lesson, having a loving family that can help you keep been sober is needed in this recovery game. If not that , dave would have found himself go back to doing drugs again. It’s important to note this

  25. if your parent suffer from addiction, their is a high probability that you will suffer addiction. I’m sorry Dave had to go through this..I can’t imagine a kid being overdosed at the age of 11..I’m happy Dave took the steps to recover from drugs as an adult…being sober is the best ..thanks for sharing

  26. I’m always fascinated to people like Dave. He beats his own addiction. I mean even the whole world are with you, but it is you who can help yourself at the end.

  27. This is a very good development. Giving back to the society after addiction is an form of appreciation.

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