The Rollercoaster of Addiction

AB Narconon Graduate

“How does someone wind up addicted to drugs? The truth is that each person’s descent into drug addiction is different. This amazing story shows us one person’s perspective on how he became addicted to drugs.

Alex grew up in a wooded township located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, with many fond memories of playing different games in the surrounding woods with the other neighborhood kids. It was the type of neighborhood where everyone knew each other.

He recalls his childhood as being very comfortable and never wanting for anything. His home was a loving place where he would spend his days playing with his brother and cousin and his nights watching television with his mother.

On some summer nights, his father’s band would play on the back deck of his house. This was always a special treat as his father was a pilot and was often gone from home.

Alex remembers walking out the back door and hearing his father’s band playing and the Pennsylvania air gently blowing on his face while he ran around outside playing chase with his older brother. Cool, bluesy riffs of Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash filled the night and the music settled deep in his soul. These were fond and special memories.

He got his first guitar at the age of ten and took up playing music. He and his brother would spend hours exploring new music and being inspired. Then, at the age of eleven, Alex wanted to be one of the “cool kids.” In an effort to fit in, he smoked marijuana for the first time, and it wasn’t long before he and his friends were trying alcohol and tobacco.

When he was in the eighth grade, Alex moved with his family to South Carolina because of his father’s job. This was an extremely tough move for him. It was there that he found a new group of friends that would smoke and drink to have “fun”.

The start of junior year in high school, Alex quit playing sports and began smoking pot regularly. He experimented with painkillers and other drugs. In senior year of high school, he continued to using drugs as a solution for his problems. It was at this point that Alex’s use of drugs went from recreational to habit-forming.

Despite his escalating drug use, he managed to get a good scholarship to Clemson University in South Carolina on graduating high school. He started off studying economics but quickly switched to health science. In his freshman year, he joined an a capella group. Alex had found a group he could be a part of that shared his love for music. He also pledged a fraternity and his life became very busy between pledging, a difficult science degree, and his music. To cope, Alex entered a new level of drug use as he began using more weed, alcohol and painkillers and then bingeing on Adderall to stay up studying.

After the first semester of his freshman year, Alex found himself on academic probation as a result of this lifestyle. However, the following semester and summer, he was able to smooth things out and bring his GPA back into a good range and got off academic probation. In his sophomore year, Alex moved into the fraternity quad and the bad habits began to show up again. He began using Adderall again more heavily and he partied with alcohol and weed on weekends. By the time junior year started, his drug use had started to take its toll.

He failed multiple classes and lost his scholarship. He rebounded again and by the end of junior year, he had gotten back on his feet and managed to get his grades back up. But during his senior year, his painkiller use became more frequent as pills were more readily available. When he discovered OxyContin, his life never rebounded. The last couple months of senior year were the worst time of his life—but somehow, he managed to graduate.

During college, he had kept up appearances with his family. When he graduated without any plan for the future, he moved back home and began to heavily abuse painkillers. Soon, he could no longer keep up appearances with his family any longer. Fortunately for Alex, his family found the Narconon program.

Alex completed the Narconon program and is almost two years sober. He is thriving and has a strong purpose in life to help others. He tells the story of what his life is like now:

“Today, I am thriving in life. I am a Narconon graduate.
“Drugs began as a solution to my spiritual and mental afflictions. In looking back, I know that I did not use them because I was a bad person. I used them because I was a person who knew things weren’t all okay in my life and in the society we live in. However, I chose the wrong method of dealing with my problems and found out that not only were drugs a fake solution to my problems but they multiplied them until I didn’t even remember what I was trying to solve in the first place. At some point I felt committed to the sort of chaotic lifestyle of increasing complexity. I lost touch with who I was.
“I have experienced a reversal of that spiral downwards and am now on top, even higher than before I started using drugs. As a matter of fact, I do not even regret my drug history because I have come out on the other side of it brighter and more capable and more myself than I have been in a long time. My ’shadow self’ no longer exists and I am simply me—yet more powerful.
“I have a job I love and a new life that I now create for myself. And I have a lot of fun doing it
“I achieved all this by doing the Narconon program. The program deals in life fundamentals which underlie all others and that’s the reason why it works. I gained invaluable knowledge and recovered the ability to truly handle life.
“I want to thank the staff of Narconon Louisiana for their unmatched persistence in reversing the damage I caused with my drug addiction. They are truly making an impact in many, many people’s lives including my own.”

—AB Narconon Graduate