"I now work as a Certified Recovery Specialist, and am once again that guy with so much potential."

When I was younger I was the guy that “had so much potential,” even though I grew up in a foster home and used for the first time at age 12. From then on, my drug use did nothing but progress and deepen. I never imagined that this could even happen to me.

For over 20 years I lied, cheated, and stole for drugs. Drugs gave me nothing in return, but six felonies and, more than two years of jail time. I had totally pushed away my family and anyone that loved me. My mother tried countless times to help me. If it wasn’t for her finding me one night, I would probably be dead.

To clean up, I joined the military. I hopped off street drugs, unfortunately, due to an injury, I started taking prescription Naloxone. Pretty soon, I had two children that took a back seat to my drug use, and then all of a sudden I was in the back of a squad car again. But this time, I made a promise with God. The deal was that I would quit using and do whatever needed to be done. In turn, God would ensure I would be ok.

Once again, I reached out for help. I left treatment and nine days later I used again. But then I remembered my deal with God. I went to one of those meetings I tried going to when I was younger. Before the meeting ended I stood up with tears in my eyes and cried, “I need help.” A man simply smiled at me and said, “keep coming back,” and I did.

I began outpatient treatment a few days later, and never missed. Eventually, I received another blessing, my case was passed onto Veterans Court. All of a sudden I was six months clean, then a year clean. I’ve worked odd jobs that others would refuse, all for my deal with God. A veteran organization helped me with rent so I could get on my feet. This is why I am sharing my story. Now, I’m 18 credits away from a college degree. I now work as a Certified Recovery Specialist, and am once again that guy with “so much potential.”

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