Beating the Odds

“My best advice, never lose hope. Everyone can achieve happiness. Everyone can overcome addiction. No one should have to live the rest of their life as an addict.

“Heroin addict. Needle junkie. Pill popper. I was all those things as well as a man losing everything and still I didn’t care. The only thing that mattered was getting high. I even overdosed and had a face to face with death and didn’t care.

“How does someone with everything get to that point?

“I had the childhood dreams were made of; a loving family, good friends, and memories to last a lifetime. The stars were aligned paving a straight line to success. If only that would have happened. Instead, I chose the hard way.

“I was a star student, getting all A’s from kindergarten all the way through high school. I excelled in every sport I ever tried. I had many good friends and dated the girls everyone wanted. I could have chosen my path to college and beyond. And still, I made wrong decisions.

“In high school, I began partying every now and then, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. It seemed harmless. No one was getting hurt and I was able to keep up with school and sports. At least that’s how I had it justified at the time. It was just my buddies and myself having a good time, right?

“When I was 17 years old, I injured my back to the point I couldn’t walk for some time, even missing the better part of my junior year baseball season. This was the first time I ran into a real obstacle in life. At that point, I discovered pain pills. I wasn’t hooked on them, I even stopped taking them for an extended period. I didn’t have a problem. I was injured and ’needed’ them.

“I went to college at a prestigious university. I chose not to play sports to focus exclusively on my studies and become a lawyer. It wasn’t very long until I began experimenting with various drugs. I started missing class and not handling my responsibilities. This is where it went all wrong.

“I got back on pain pills, still justifying I was in pain and ’needed’ them. It wasn’t before too long I had a pain pill problem along with an extensive habit of cocaine, psychedelics, marijuana and any other drug I could get my hands on. School became secondary to my partying and use and soon became the entire focus of my life.

“A few years and a few colleges later, my pain pill problem turned into a full-blown heroin addiction. Life was slipping away from me very quickly. I checked myself into a 28-day inpatient rehab in 2009 and was immediately put on suboxone to come off heroin. That was one of the worst choices I have ever made. Soon I was addicted to suboxone, right back into the exact same scenario I was trying to escape.

“A handful of outpatient programs later and I had the same result. I was getting nowhere in life and losing hope quickly. I thought I was doomed to a life of a heroin addict.

“In 2015, I found a rehab in Louisiana named Narconon. That place saved my life. I’m almost two years clean now and still owe all my success to the Narconon program. It was the first time I was given the skills it takes to stay off drugs. A guy who had it all except for the one thing I needed. How to live without drugs or alcohol.

“I am lucky to now make substance abuse treatment my profession and life goal. Every day, I have the pleasure of helping people get off drugs and stay off drugs.

“My best advice, never lose hope. Everyone can achieve happiness. Everyone can overcome addiction. No one should have to live the rest of their life as an addict.

“Don’t think if you had a better life you wouldn’t have become an addict or if you had more opportunities you wouldn’t have succumbed to drug use. An addict is an addict for a reason. Their reason and it is as individual as each person.

“The recovery community is vast and there are people out there that are willing to help. Local businesses and families will help. The community is willing to help. One just must be willing to put in the work it requires to get clean and stay clean. This drug problem is only going to go away if everyone comes together to fight it and we solve this epidemic one addict at a time.”



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.