Looking to Drugs and Gangs for Love

a recovering addict shares his story of being lost and trying to find love and meaning within the circles of gang culture

Looking to drugs and gangs for love led Ricky down the wrong path. Born to a mother who suffered from drug addiction and alcoholism and a father who was incarcerated, Ricky P spent his childhood being raised by his grandparents. His mother eventually ended up in jail and he would spend his weekends going to church and then visiting his mother behind bars.

The lack of family stability led to Ricky taking the wrong path in an attempt to seek approval. He began associating himself with the wrong crowd to try to fill the void that he had inside. His lack of confidence and desire to be a part of something led to marijuana use at a very young age with his new friends.

Ricky figured out early on that something was different about him. He wasn’t able to focus when he was in school and ended up in special education classes. He acted out by starting fires, breaking into places and surrounding himself with people with similar life as him.

During his mid-teens, Ricky started acting out even more. He would run away from his grandparent’s house for long periods of time and do things to try to seek approval from his mother. Ricky didn’t know how to handle his emotions in a healthy way. When kids would start to tease him about his home life, he threw chairs and fought to try to defend his way of life. This led to him being incarcerated in juvenile hall eventually.

man shares his story of recovery from the gang life style and drugs

Getting High With Mom 

When Ricky finally gets out of juvenile hall, his mother gets released from jail and he moves in with her. Within a very short period of time his mother offers to get high with him. Wanting nothing more than to get approval from his mother, Ricky accepts the offer and starts getting high with his mother.

After a deep conversation where Ricky’s mother told him that she didn’t love herself and didn’t have the ability to love him he took off and went to live with his dad. He was surrounded by drugs and gang violence. It seemed intimated but he thought that it was cool at the same time. He felt accepted for the first time and he ended up finding himself in a gang within a short period of time. He felt like he finally had the family he had always been searching for.

He thought that he was just going to smoke weed and relax. Eventually, he started smoking meth and that’s when this addiction started. He then started breaking into houses and cars to get the money for the drugs that he wanted so badly. He started with snorting meth and smoking weed on a regular basis. Eventually, he was no longer able to control the addiction that he had and looked at his friends as the source of everything that kept him stable in the world. He eventually felt like he was trapped in a box. Filled with resentment and regret, he ended up robbing someone and using the money to buy more drugs and full his addiction.

true stories of meth and drug addiction

Hallucinating on a Regular Basis

Eventually, Ricky’s drug and alcohol addiction got so bad that he started hallucinating on a regular basis. He thought that the friends that he was so close to had planted listening devices in his room and that the FBI was out to get him. This caused him to act with paranoia and caused strains in many of the relationships that he held so close.

During the throes of his addiction, friends and family would beg Ricky to stop his gang-banging lifestyle out of fear that something bad was going to happen to him. But he was looking to gangs and drugs for love and purpose. He was so deep in his addiction that stopping didn’t seem like an option for him. He started robbing other drug addicts to get the money or the drugs that he needed because he thought that they would never call the police for the robbery. He was doing so many things wrong in life that he did eventually get incarnated for it.

While he was incarnated, Ricky’s mom came to visit him. She told him that she had contracted HIV during her times of taking drugs on the street. He was relieved that his mother was going to get the help that she needs. Ricky thought that it could be the best option for her to be able to finally get clean. He was also angry that it took so much for her to get the help finally. It did spark him to realize that he was in a similar situation with his drug addiction. This is the first time he considered that he needed to consider rehab for himself too.

true stories of gangs and meth addiction

The Path to Freedom

After being relieved from jail, Ricky violated the guidelines of his probation and ended up going to court high. He was hallucinating while he was in the courtroom which led to him going to a competency hearing. The court determined that he needed professional help and he was sent to Paton State Hospital which is a mental hospital. After two years in the hospital, Ricky was deemed to be competent and he ended up going back to jail for a short period of time.

Once he gets out of jail, he goes to rehab and ends up meeting a girl in treatment. They ended up getting high together and when the relationship ended, he turned to drugs to self-medicate. Eventually, he moved to his grandparent’s house to try to get away from the drugs. After being at his grandparent’s house for a short period of time, Ricky found a new woman to be with, got her pregnant and started using meth again. He eventually started selling heroin and becoming addicted to it too.

Ricky got busted by his probation officer drinking a beer because he wasn’t drinking responsibly. His probation officer tells him he has to go to Crossroads to get the help that he needs. He got busted with drugs at Crossroads, but they don’t give up on him. Ricky felt like God told him to get the help that he needed, and he could have recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. He listened and went to Maverick House Sober Living where he started listening and learning about how he could rebuild his life. He worked the steps, graduated from the program and went to the sober house where he was able to better his life. He eventually became a sponsor for others who were battling an addiction like he once was. He has his family and life back and is now living the life he was always supposed to live. Finally the seeds that had been planted in Ricky’s life began to produce fruit.


  1. Life gives chance to everyone to get back on track. Ricky got the chance and availed it on right time to get freedom of his addictions.

  2. I’m glad to see a happy ending for someone who was not only addicted to drugs, but in a gang. I hope Ricky stays sober and keeps living his best life.

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