Downward Spiral

For 20 years, my addictions had me spinning out of control. But when I checked into David Lawrence Centers, I began to feel hope again.

By Zach

When I first started experimenting with drugs as a young teenager, I had no clue that I was beginning a downward spiral of addiction that would last the next 20 years.

But that’s exactly what happened.

Though my parents were addicts and I pretty much grew up with my grandparents, I don’t remember any kind of a traumatic childhood. I got into drugs for pretty much the same reasons other kids did—just socially, recreationally, to fit in.

But beer and marijuana eventually gave way to harder and harder drugs, and by the time I was in my late teens, I was using drugs intravenously. In time, I would come to use heroin, and that was ultimately my downfall.

I know there’s really no such thing as a “functioning addict,” but I did manage to hold steady jobs—I’m a builder—and even owned a couple of businesses. I went to work, paid my bills, and got married and started a family.

My children—both girls—were 3 and 2 years old when tragedy struck in 2015: My wife was killed in an automobile accident. And that sent me over the edge. I tried hard to stay strong for my kids, but I didn’t stay sober for long. I just didn’t have the coping mechanisms to deal with my grief . . . or to say no to the temptation of the drugs. And then my addiction got worse than ever.

I ended up meeting another woman and had two more children—two more girls—with her. But she had a drug problem, too, and when the last baby was born with opiates in her system, family services came and took the kids away. All four of my girls.

They say every addict hits a rock bottom moment. Well, that was it for me. Losing my girls broke my heart.

I made up my mind that I needed to do something drastic to turn my life around, and to get my girls back. So, on March 27, 2018, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done:

I checked myself into the Crossroads program at David Lawrence Centers .

Scared, but hopeful

I was scared when I walked through those doors. I didn’t know what to expect. I had been through detox programs before, only to relapse. I wasn’t sure if it would work this time either.

But I was more than just scared. I was also angry—angry at myself for my actions, which had led to the loss of my children.

So I really took rehab seriously this time. I dug in and did everything they asked. I did all the counseling, group sessions and one-on-one. And everyone there was great. I could tell that they really cared about me, that they really wanted me to succeed.

I started to feel hope for the first time in a long time.

I also got into David Lawrence Center’s M.O.R.E. program—Maintenance of Opioid Recovery Everyday. It’s for adults who struggle with opioid addiction, and incorporates Suboxone treatment. Suboxone is a medication that helps stabilize and manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It’s pretty amazing; it really did take my cravings away.

Fast forward to now, and I’ve been sober almost a year and a half, thanks to David Lawrence Centers . But best of all, I got my girls back, all four of them. I’m working a steady job, and in the evenings and on weekends, I’m spending all the time I can with my girls, now 7, 6, 2, and 1. On these hot summer days, we mostly do a lot of swimming in the pool, just having fun together.

I’m so thankful to the good people of David Lawrence Centers . Without them, I just don’t know where I’d be today. Because of them, I’ve turned my life around.

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