One Injury Changed Everything

Sober man
(To preserve privacy, the photo does not show the Narconon student.)

Many people think they’ll never become addicted. They work hard, do things right, and focus on achieving their dreams. Unfortunately, sometimes the things we thought would never be true become a harsh reality we have to face eventually. One of our graduates tells his story of how he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, but one injury led him down the dark path of addiction.

“At age five, I began to play soccer and fell in love with it. It was a sense of security for me. I grew up without a father, so soccer was the one thing no one could take away from me. In my childhood, I developed a very high skill level in soccer, and by the age of ten or eleven, I entered the end of recreational leagues and began to transition into club soccer. Club soccer is a league that holds tryouts to make the team. Along with tryouts came a high price to play throughout the year.

“Growing up, I was raised by my biological grandmother, Monique. I wasn’t aware of this until I was nine or ten years old. In my mind, she is and was my mom. I always had everything I needed regarding survival, but the luxury of spending tons of money to play soccer wasn’t a possibility. Luckily for me, I was talented enough to receive scholarships to play. I also played for the school in middle and high school, playing varsity while traveling the country and playing in club tournaments. When it came time to graduate high school, I received a college scholarship. This was it. My ticket out. All the years of hard work and practice had finally paid off. I figured from college, I’d go pro and be able to take care of Monique as she took care of me.

“In the fall of 2011, I made it to school. I was red-shirted and couldn’t play my freshman year, so I focused on my grades. Then, in preseason of my sophomore year, we were running practice drills, and during one of the drills, I dove to head the ball someone crossed into the goal. In the process, I hit my head on the goalpost. I fractured my temple, received a level five concussion, and pulled twelve ligaments in my spine, having to be resuscitated. Waking up in the hospital, I was told my scholarships were being redacted due to me being too high a risk and medical liability to the school with my injuries. In a split second, the one sense of security and my way out was ripped away from me, obliterating the years of hard work and dedication. Following my injuries, I quickly found myself thinking my life was over. I slowly began experimenting with drugs and alcohol as a coping method.

“As the next few years went on, my occasional drug and alcohol use turned into a full-blown, chaotic, dark cocaine and alcohol addiction. After losing my scholarship, I moved back to the Dallas area with Monique, where I only increased my addiction at a rapid pace.

“My addiction began shortly after I had turned eighteen. In the following years, I lived my life with no directional purpose. Instead, I was solely focused on cocaine and liquor. Throughout my addiction, I became a thief and a liar and manipulated people for my benefit. I ruthlessly ruined friendships and relationships while having constant trouble with the law.

“Towards the end of 2015 – the beginning of 2016, I attempted to end my addiction by moving to Wisconsin with my biological mother and siblings, but no sooner than arriving there, my addiction skyrocketed higher than ever before for no explainable reason other than I was an addict. I began to repeat history as a manipulative liar ruining relationships with my family and friendships.

"In 2020, I met my beautiful girlfriend, Ashley, who I am still with. My addiction carried on throughout our relationship, causing detrimental issues. In December of 2021, Monique sadly lost her battle with cancer sending me into an unexplainable state of madness with my addiction.

"By October of 2022, I was at my lowest ever and realized I had lost the trust and respect of my loved ones. After countless nights playing with my life during my addiction, I finally admitted to myself it was okay to need help and decided to change my life and go to treatment, so I didn’t lose everything or send myself to an early grave.” 

—S.S. Narconon Graduate

Losing everything you worked so hard for is devastating. It’s a feeling many can relate to. Some learn how to cope with the loss in different ways. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and can’t find a way out, there is one. Reach out for help before it’s too late. Going to treatment makes the difference between a second chance and losing everything.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.