I Didn't Grow Up, I Just Grew More Addicted

When you're young, you can afford to make bad decisions. Screwing up and getting into trouble is a rite of passage for every adolescent, right? Otherwise how else are they going learn what's good and what's bad for them? Yeah, I had all the lines: in my teens, twenties and eventually my thirty years. Unfortunately, as I got older, I never learned what was bad for me, and remained the same person-with the same habits-that I'd been since I started abusing drugs and alcohol. I never met a substance that I didn't like—or one that liked me back.

It started off, like pretty much every other cautionary tale, with weed and drinking. I'd learned to integrate drug and alcohol abuse into my regular routine without ever really having it affect my grades or my attitude. Most importantly, I was able to keep it from my parents. Shortly after graduating from high school, I graduated from weed to speed. I was looking for something new in my life, and speed seemed to fill that void. I had a regular supply of Adderall and continued to drink more than ever. Life was a party, and I was the guest of honor.

I left college early to start working with my friend's father, at which point I hurt my back and started abusing OxyContin. This is where the nightmare started. I'd always managed to have some perspective about drugs and alcohol, but painkillers were a whole different animal. They quickly took control of me. THEY decided when I was going to use, THEY decided how much pain I was going to be in and THEY decided when I'd be able to sleep and attempt to live a normal life. I was hooked inside of three months and it was three years before anything changed. I worked just to buy more Oxy, while bouncing around on friends' and dealers' couches—it was without a doubt the lowest point of my life.

My parents eventually had an intervention for me and I agreed to to go a local rehab that turned out to be a big waste of time and money (my time and my parents money). I never realized at the time that the local rehab didn't work for me because it was too close to all the bad influences from my neighborhood and friends. I was back to using almost the second I left the rehab and felt that rehab is a big joke. Lucky for me my parents never gave up on me. They kept after me to try again but this time at an out of state rehab. My parents convinced to try an alcohol and drug rehab in Florida that they had researched after seeing a TV commercial for the place.

They turned out to be right and being out of state did make all the difference between success and failure for me. I've been clean and sober for almost a year. I still live every day with the temptation to use again. But the tools and resources I gained in the behavioral health treatment during my therapy sessions at my rehab help me to resist these urges so I can stay on the straight and narrow path for a lasting recovery.

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.