When Escaping Reality Turns To Drug And Alcohol Abuse

How Did the Addiction Start?

Andrew’s story began at the tender age of eight at his parents’ wedding. There was no horrific trauma that started the event, just the immediate availability of alcohol.

He was only eight years old so Andrew was not given alcohol, but even at such a young age, the need to belong and feel accepted is a powerful one. That feeling came, at first, from his sparkling apple cider, a common staple for underage guests at such functions.

Andrew wanted to keep that feeling of belonging, but he had no understanding of the consequences.

He went around to other tables and drank what was left of other peoples’ champagne and reveled in the feeling it gave him, such as the ability to sing in front of people, dance on the dance floor, and be the life of the party.

These were things that he had always wanted to do, but never felt he had the ability to do so until that moment, drinking provided him with “freedom of self.”

When Andrew was 13, he had just moved to a new town and was invited by a friend to a small party out in the woods. Andrew stole some alcohol from his parents’ liquor cabinet and brought it along with him.

This was his first time drinking since the wedding and it allowed him to experience a social life that he’d never been able to before.

Andrew grew up kind of sheltered and he was shy, this was the first time he’d gotten to hang out with girls and was also the night of his first kiss.

What Happened Next?

As is often the case in high school, the desire to be popular, have friends, and get girls is powerful.

“You see these kids in high school, they have all the girls, they’re hanging out with everybody, they’re (the) life of the party, so I put that drink into my body and immediately I was that person”

When Andrew drank, he became the person he always aspired to be. He became confident, cool, he could talk to girls, and most importantly he felt like he belonged. Shortly after, Andrew was introduced to Marijuana and from that day forward not a day went by until he was 26 that he didn’t smoke pot.

Andrew started having problems at school and in his family life. Anger, self-resentment, and fighting all played major roles in his life.

Despite being granted an amazing education opportunity and being sent to some of the best boarding schools, he felt like he was being pushed away from his family, his home, and his one true safe zone.

It was at boarding school that he first got access to prescription drugs, namely Ritalin, which was new and gaining popularity among students.

It was around this time that he realized other kids felt the same way he did. He began stealing more liquor from his parents and brought that, as well as cigars and cigarettes to school to sell them.

Not only did this prove lucrative, but more importantly it gave him a feeling of power, respect, and acceptance among his peers.

Andrew hated the feeling of sitting “at the back of the class” and watching, feeling left out, so he resolved to do whatever it took to be accepted and to make people like him, regardless of what that meant.

Even though his grades were good, Andrew got into a lot of fights because of his anger. Within 3 years, Andrew had gotten himself kicked out of five different high schools. None of these were a direct result of drinking or drugs, but rather the belief system and mentality that went along with the abuse.

Alcoholism, as he says, is much like patriotism or communism; it’s a belief system by which he ran his life.

You Must Commit to Quit

Andrew’s first treatment experience was an Outward Bound program, where he spent roughly 30 days out in the wilderness finding himself and it was a positive experience for him.

Unfortunately, he was transferred to a long-term facility after this where he didn’t really take the steps seriously, denying that he had a problem.

“I remember looking at the writing on the wall, and by the writing I mean the steps and traditions, and kind of walking myself through them, saying ‘I don’t really need to do any of this, I’m 18-years-old. I don’t really have a problem, I just like to party and get (messed) up'”

Afterward, he moved around quite a bit. He was living on the streets in California, then he went back east and eventually found himself in downtown Boston.

That’s where he found Cocaine.

Cocaine allowed Andrew to party for as long as he liked “without being sloppy” and it was something he wanted to do every day thereafter.

He went into college and was still partying, drinking, getting high, and selling drugs. Andrew got into a fraternity, where his behavior was not only socially acceptable, but actually glorified.

Some time later, Andrew moved into a house with a woman he’d been dating. After a knee injury, Andrew had started taking Oxycontin and Oxycodone, which was very expensive. His girlfriend told him that he needed to stop spending so much money on drugs.

Because of this Andrew started looking to spend less money but get the same high. That’s when he turned to Heroin.
This continued until one night when he found himself in a parking lot with no memory of how he got there or what he was doing, then he heard a knock at his driver’s side window.

With his forehead against the steering wheel, he looked around to see a tray of heroin in his right hand, a tooter for smoking it in his left, and a sheriff standing right outside his window.

This is the story of Andrew’s decent, but the story doesn’t end on this note. See his rise to recovery in the next part of Andrew’s True Story of Addiction.

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57 comments
  1. I have always been told that Alcohol can be people’s liquid courage. I am also shy so I can understand how you just wanted to fit in. Addiction leads to more addictions in life. I’m so glad you are sharing your story l, maybe your story will help others out there!

  2. Those in addiction must admit that they’re wrong and must also committed to quite. There’s a lesson from reading your story, it worth sharing this to others

  3. If one is not careful, his or her addiction will leads to more addiction in life. It’s good for one to just have the determination to quit. The earliest the better!

  4. The earliest the better! It’s good for one to just have the determination to quit. Addiction, if not quickly managed, can destroy once life easily.

  5. Andrew’s story is really pathetic and emotional. Graduating from one abuse to another is bad. But in all, I’m so happy for his recovery.

  6. Andrew’s is one out of the thousands of high school students with almost the same. The urge to be accepted by one’s peer is just pretty high and this pushes one to either drugs or other criminal activities

  7. Alcohol addicts should know that addiction is not the ultimate solution to escaping reality. Thank you for this guys.

  8. The urge to belong can be so strong that until you do some bad vices like drinking to stupor it wouldn’t change. Andrew was one of such people. Will love to read the part 2 of this

  9. Andrew’s case is just like what is happening in our world today. People want to escape reality with alcoholism, because they believe it will take away their pain.

  10. Everyone says to a point ” I will QUIT” but the thing about that is it is easier said than done. Something used to escape reality at times only to wake up as an addict. Remember the word escape is only temporary and when you sober up you will find yourself in a worst shape.

  11. One thing I’ve discovered is that there is no shortcut to success. If you try any shortcut, it will definitely cut you short. Escaping reality and landing in an abuse is not good but at the end, I’m so happy he was able to recover.

  12. Many people do think that addiction gives a lasting solution to their problems. It doesn’t, it only cover their mind from it for a while. No solution in addiction.

  13. Drugs and alcohol are not substances to be toyed with. Let everyone be weary of them so as not to be a victim.

  14. Thank God Andrew was able to find himself back. Addiction can ruin one’s life permanently without any solution.

  15. I definitely feel for you Andrew. At such a tender age, getting engaged with alcohol. Parent must be careful of whatever is in their bar. Keep it away from reach of children.

  16. Ensuring recovery from addiction isn’t an easy task. It requires many procedure. Thanks for this piece of information.

  17. Andrews story is chocking. People need to be guided in order not to be lured into drinking of alcohol and drug abuse. This is a serious lesson for everyone.

  18. This happens as a result of the care free attitude of the people involved. Thank you so much for these information.

  19. The only way out is not to loose hope of the escape. If you can consult the right personnel, it is achievable.

  20. Andrew’s story is both emotional and inspirational, drinking at a very young age can lead to a very difficult situation later in life. Thank God he later recovered. Detox to rehab thank you for sharing this wonderful story of recovery.

  21. For one to escape from challenges, resorting to drugs is not the best solution. Glad and happy that Andrew got recovery in the next part of the story.

  22. It takes Courage and Determination to Get over Addiction.
    One thing to always understand is drug abuse doesn’t help you escape reality.
    You still have to face it .

  23. When addicted to different kinds of substances and you also addicted all manners of behavior. People should be careful.

  24. Andrew wanted to keep that feeling of belonging, but he had no understanding of the consequences. Let try and tell those around us some of the consequences of addiction.

  25. Having to face reality can be tough but y’all out there need to understand that excessive intake of Drugs doesn’t make the Toughness Less.
    Be well informed so as not to find yourself in this shoe and if there,Recovery is 100% possible

  26. This is an inspirational story. Turning to addiction isn’t always the solution to challenges in life. Its better to find a way to quit such addiction before it gets out of hand.

  27. Once addicted it really hard to overcome it but you have to try and make a determination. Because life can be at risk.

  28. Just like Andrew, a lot of people start drinking because they want to feel among. And then they get addicted and can’t seem to get out of it. Andrew’s story of how he got into college, got high, sell drugs and even joined a cult really touched me. I hope he gets out of this…thanks for sharing

  29. What have you been introduced to that you can not do without? Andrew was introduced to Marijuana and from that day forward not a day went by until he was 26 that he didn’t smoke pot. Let try to get out of addiction. Do not remain in darkness.

  30. Under the influence of drug abuse and alcohol it causes lots of havoc to the body. Thanks for sharing this post.

  31. I think seeking belonging is something we all can relate to. I’m very sorry to hear Andrew’s troubles with violence and lethal drug use, but am hopeful that he was able to turn it around. Looking forward to reading more about his journey.

  32. Andrew’s storyline is a breath taking one. Reading articles like this from time to time reminds me of how to live my life. Thank you for this information

  33. This is a sad story. But I am glad that he still find a way to correct his addiction and have a better life moving forward.

  34. When faced with challenges in reality, turning to drug and alcohol abuse isn’t the solution. Addicts facing challenges must find other ways out to solve their problems rather than going into drug abuse which may worsen their case.

  35. Andrew took the wrong turn on life through alcohols. I’m glad he was able to make that substantial decision before it got too late. Thanks for this revealing experience.

  36. The urge had been in him and the need to be socially accepted made him to wonder into substance abuse. Happy he is better now though.

  37. Alcohol addicts should know that addiction is not the ultimate solution to escaping reality.Alcohol addicts should know that addiction is not the ultimate solution to escaping reality.

  38. It is appalling that many people erroneously believe that addiction will provide solutions to their problem but addiction complicates it the more. However, people should desist from any form of addiction for a healthy lifestyle.

  39. Care must be taken about addiction one keeps otherwise it may degerate into another problem. Addiction is indeed terrible and unwholesome. People should avoid it.

  40. Addiction is so crazy, it can easily turn someone into something unimaginable. I think people should be well educated on topics like this. It should talked about in school, It all should start from the grassroot.

  41. Amazingly, the “Freedom of Self” experienced at the moment by alcohol users has always proved to be short-lived. It’s best to developed self esteem without the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  42. Some of the things that lead someone to addiction are the most insane. I can totally relate as i went through the same thing as Andrew i was just lucky i never got hooked. Thanks for the informative and eye opening article.

  43. After read this story,I think everyone needs parental assistance,from kids till mature and direct them every single day for good behave,and give them knowledge cause and affect anything we did

  44. it is hard to imagine that at a young age he experienced this kind of things. I just hope he will push through everything.

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