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Aaron Share Story

Living Recklessly

I was high for half of my life . . . until a cold-turkey detox in jail convinced me to turn things around. But I couldn’t have done it without DLC.

By Aaron

How many times can a person hit rock bottom before they finally realize they’ve got to do something about it?

For me, I’ve almost lost count. I’ve overdosed five times. I’ve been in detox nine times, including about five times this year. I’ve been in and out of halfway houses and rehab centers and the courts. I’ve tried everything from alcohol to opiates to heroin.

I’ve basically been high for half my life. I started when I was 13, when my parents, who had both been sober for decades, both relapsed into drugs and alcohol. Things got crazy, and before long, I was doing drugs with my parents. But it turned nasty pretty quick, even violent at times. But I just kept numbing myself with drugs.

I pretty much kept it up through my teen years—I barely finished high school due to multiple suspensions and expulsions—and into my early twenties. I was living recklessly for years, on a constantly downward spiral. I’m 25 now.

Back in January, I started googling ways to kill myself that would be painless. I bought some heroin off the streets that I knew had fentanyl in it. I knew that combination could kill me, and I just didn’t care. I shot up in the bathroom at a convenience store, and barely made it out.

They called the cops on me, and I ended up going to jail, where I had to detox cold turkey. It was brutal, but honestly, I think it was a blessing from God. Because that was the rock bottom I needed to finally turn things around.

I had been to David Lawrence Center a number of times since I was 15, but I never wanted to do the hard work of turning my life around. It was a pattern of recovery-relapse-recovery-relapse for years.

But something dramatic had happened to me while I was going through that difficult detox in jail. I thought about all the people I had hurt, all the relationships I had destroyed, and how I was totally ruining my life. And I decided to take rehab seriously this time.

So I went back to DLC, knowing they could help me. And I was right.

In the Crossroads Program, they got me started on a 12-step recovery. I got the therapy I needed. I was assigned a case manager to coordinate my care.

Just as importantly, they introduced me to naltrexone (brand name Vivitrol) to help me beat my drug addiction. Naltrexone is a huge help when you’re trying to get straight. It was given to me as a shot that lasts about a month. The chemical works by stopping the euphoria and sedation that you get from alcohol and opioids.

It’s almost like a miracle drug. Before I was on it, I could never stay sober for more than a few days. Now I’ve been clean for six months.

Bottom line: David Lawrence Center has been literally saving my life since I was about 15, and this time, I’m pretty sure I’ve turned the corner for good.

So what’s next for me? I need to finish the 12-step program. I want to go back to school and become a certified addiction counselor and help people who are going through what I’ve been through. I want to be involved in the recovery community, and hopefully intervene with people at a young age so they don’t waste so much of their lives.

I wouldn’t be here without David Lawrence Center. They’ve helped me get back on my feet, and steered me in the right direction. I’m now the happiest I’ve ever been.

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