Participant #8
30 years old

Bio of Addiction

C3 was raised in a two parent household until he was about 6 years old when his parents split, briefly. C3 has one maternal sister. Both parents were long term active alcohol and marijuana users, and C3’s older sister became his caretaker. He suffered abuse as a young child, being raised by an older sibling. C3 began using marijuana at 9 years old when he stole roaches from his father. C3 hung out and used marijuana with older peers. By 11 years old C3 was smoking marijuana everyday. At 12 years old, C3 stole alcohol to drink, but didn’t like it and became violently ill.  At 15 years old, C3 suffered a wrestling accident, and was prescribed Vicodin. C3 abused the Vicodin after only a few days of using the medication as prescribed. At this time, C3 believes he’s suffering from the flu.  However, a heroin-addicted friend, who had been sleeping over at the time, informed C3 that he was “dope sick”. As a result, the two travel to the city to use heroin. It is C3’s first time using heroin and he is only 16 years old.  From that point on, he began cycling in and out of heroin addiction.

At 19 years old, C3 was living with his parents, employed, had a car and was financially responsible. However, by 20 years old he lost everything, and ended up in drug court.

“My childhood is kind of blurry for me.”

“My sister was basically raising me because my parents would rather be at the bar. So I had to work through that. I had abandonment issues. It messed with my spirit a little bit. For a long time I held resentments against them. They chose alcohol over me.”

“I took them (Vicodin) as prescribed for the first two or three days, and then I was like I kind of like how these make me feel.”

“I sniffed it (heroin). I started with one bag that day. By the end of that month it was 4-5 bags a day. I tried it IV for the first time after a month.”

“By 20 I was back in jail and drug court and I lost everything. I felt beat down by the system. Just so many hoops to jump through to get myself back. I just stayed down.”

Turning Point

C3 began living behind a shed, eating out of dumpsters, and holding a cardboard sign on the street, to solicit money for heroin. C3 suffered a life threatening infection in his left leg, but left the hospital against advisement. He was suspected to have a MRSA infection, and people began searching the streets for him, due to his serious health condition. The previous month Hope Dealers BTC had reached out to help C3 into recovery. At this point in his life, C3 reached out to Hope Dealers BTC and entered detox that day.

“I almost lost my left leg and that didn’t stop me. I still went back out for two months.”

“I had the same clothes on for a month and half to two months.”

“I was living at an animalistic level.”

“I was in a puddle of despair.”

“I would say the turning point is enough pain and spiritual bankruptcy to become willing.”

Addiction 9 years
Recovery Attempts 10-12

C3 entered detox for five days. He was medicated with medically-supervised methadone, and slowly tapered off. C3 then entered a 38 day inpatient rehabilitation, and also attended another 38 day inpatient rehabilitation while waiting for a residential treatment facility or halfway house placement. C3 flourished in a residential housing treatment facility. He lived with 13 other men in recovery.

“We are lucky because the recovery part is contagious. Even in inpatient I was facilitating groups. That’s where I found my passion.”

“It was real easy to jump right in and go to meetings.”

“I’m a firm believer in 12-Step groups.”

“The spiritual principles, I try my hardest to practice honesty, patience, tolerance, love, and courage. All the steps have a primary principle that they allow you to practice. It’s been so helpful.”

12-Step 6 days a week
Volunteer with Hope Dealers BTC 1 day a week

Life in Recovery
9 months

C3 has become submerged in the 12-Step process. He has become an active member in the recovery community, and Hope Dealers BTC, choosing to help others into recovery like he was helped into recovery. He is transitioning back into the workforce, and looking forward to becoming a recovery coach. He is looking forward to working in the mental health field, focusing on working with the homeless or addiction recovery. He is looking forward to starting his new life as an active, and productive member of society, while passing along the gift of recovery.

“That’s the biggest thing for me, my perception had to change. I can look at a crappy situation all I want, it will stay a crappy situation. I just tweak my thinking a little bit, and look it as a crappy situation but I can learn from it. It changes the whole thing.”

“Once I got real with myself, I have a real problem and if I don’t do something I’m going to die.”

“What have I learned through past experiences to get through whatever this is.”

“This thing with drugs, with TV and media, I feel like it was a brainwashing. ……. If you want to be a rockstar you have to do coke.”

“Through my step work I have been able to forgive. And that is the ultimate, forgiveness. I had to come to terms with it, that I played a part. I had to forgive myself. That’s the freedom of the steps.”

“Now through doing the street outreach, the people I run into I abused with. I’ve been in abandon house with a lot of them. For theme to see me and how I was out there, they ask, “What changed, what made you change?” When you had enough, you have had enough. People use to say that to me all the time when I was using. I could never get enough of this. I thought it was awesome when I was out there. Even being homeless I accepted as my life no matter what it looked from the outside, I made ok within me.”

“This time I found who I really was and accepted it. And just adapted.”

“If I’m spiritually aligned, that’s the happiest I can be.”

“Go into the direction that’s the right way.”

12-Step group for alcohol (home group) 4 days a week
12-Step group for narcotics (fellowship)
Addiction and recovery activists (Hope Dealer BTC ones day a week
Self time 2 days a week


It’s possible to go from the brink of death to hope with every breath.

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