A Heroin Overdose Took Our Beautiful Boy And Our Family Is Forever Changed

Putting your grief into words is indescribable. Our family’s life was forever changed by an unspeakable tragedy when we lost our beautiful boy, our 21 year old son Cody, to a heroin overdose. This monster stole his dreams, our dreams, and the wreckage left behind is un-navigable. There is no healing, no moving on, your life is now work that you must think about attending each and every day.

What does addiction look like? Surely not my gifted, gregarious, smart, compassionate son? Cody was the athlete that everyone wanted to be. Cody was talented, and smart. He had a beautiful girlfriend a family and friends that loved him beyond words. He loved his little brother, his dog, and He was one of the most caring, compassionate people on this planet. I truly believe that his caring, loving soul was too good for this world. He died in our home, in his bedroom.

What most people did not know about Cody is that he suffered from severe anxiety and depression. Like so many, his decent into addiction began with prescription drugs resulting from several sports injuries. After his one and only stint in treatment, he was clean and we had our boy back. Then, at a job he loved…..the worst scenario for someone in recovery, a horrible near death accident. Seven surgeries and daily doses of the strongest opioids available, for nearly 12 months. He struggled with the pain and tried to manage the medication. He knew he was in trouble, I knew he was in trouble.

The day my boy left us, I walked out of my body and never went back. I remember hovering over my body, seeing myself sitting on the floor, seeing those around me talking-but not hearing a word. I thought to myself, “thank god, I’ve died too.” Then, I remembered my other son, my only other child, he would be getting out of school, I had to get to him before he saw all the commotion at our home. Just then, as if he knew, he called. “Mom, I’m done with practice, can you bring me a sub.” I told him he needed to come home. He said “why, is it my brother?” Before I could get a word out, the phone went dead. I will never forget the look on his face as he ran from his car to sit beside me, he took my hand, cried, and I knew at that moment, he was no longer 16, he was thrown into a nightmare that will haunt him forever.

I am now unrecognizable to myself and those who knew the ‘old me’. My soul is so intertwined with my sweet boy’s soul, I can’t get my feet on the ground. I still can’t imagine my life without him.

After 3 months in bed and a family intervention, I knew I had to be Cody’s voice. I refuse to let my beautiful boy become just a statistic. I became an advocate in our state. Meeting with our lawmakers, creating a foundation in his name to help those who cannot afford the gift of recovery. And most importantly, educate anyone and everyone who is convinced this could never happen to them.

I am a bereaved mother, forever broken, struggling to find meaning in all this pain. I’m angry, frustrated, and most days, hopeless. Addiction is so cruel. The guilt consumes me. I want to tell him “I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you.” Until I see my Cody again, I will continue to live between life and death.

I Hate Heroin. Lord: Save My Son, Because I Can’t.

I Hate Heroin.

You go to bed thinking about it, you wake up thinking about it…all day long in the back of your head you are thinking about…I don’t use heroin, in fact I’ve never used any drugs but my son is an addict. Sometimes in the middle of the night when he is out on the streets I jolt awake because I hear him screaming “Mom, help me.” I wake up with my heart pounding with a cold sweat on my body just knowing that my son just died and I couldn’t help him. It sounds like he was outside my bedroom window yelling. I get out of bed and go to his Facebook pleading with his friends to tell me if they have seen him recently and if he was okay…because he no longer has that $200 phone it was sold for that last hit, gram, push (I have no idea how you describe it) of heroin. I have even at certain times threatened his drug friends that I was coming for them. I had to blame someone..right?

He is on his sixth, seventh or eighth rehab…I can’t remember but each time I think this is “the one.” If I could keep him in Phase One of rehab the rest of his life, I would because he excels at it…it’s when he gets five minutes to himself in the next phase that it falls apart.

Driving through town with all of those silly signs “kids before addicts” I have to wonder if I am in Alice in Wonderland and fell down the rabbit hole. In 2013 61% of the drug addicts were kids…who do they think they are saving the kids from? Themselves?

My son overdosed in a “trap house” once, they surely were not calling 911, they dumped him on the street in a puddle and a passerby called 911. He was DOA but they got him breathing again but he was in a coma and on a respirator for a week…he went to his first rehab when they discharged him. I was in seventh heaven…finally (I had been trying for several months to get him in a program) he will be saved; I truly was clueless to the power of heroin.

One thing I have learned through all of cannot save someone from themselves. If only I had a magic wand. I have also decided after many “family weeks” in rehab that I really don’t believe in co-dependency although no one in the rehab world will agree with me. I believe as a mother we do what we can live with when they die. I don’t give him money, I will take him to dinner and I will buy him insulin…yes on top of being a heroin addict he is Type 1 diabetic (since he was 16 years old, he is now 22).

I have either gone or sent my 28-year old daughter as she lives in Puyallup where he hangs out to many trap houses to deliver insulin to him so doesn’t die…I decided if he was going to die it wasn’t going to be from lack of insulin. Yes, I have left messages for the police about drug houses but they are so overwhelmed with drug houses they don’t even return the call.

There are no guarantees in life…just love them while they are here. Things could be worse, he could be a rapist, murderer, pedophile, pregnant, he isn’t missing (most of the time), he isn’t on death row nor does he blame me for his issues…. he is simply a drug addict. My prayer is that he never harms another soul in his walk with drugs. If you met my son when he is sober you would like him, the little kids adore him. He is sweet, kind and loving with a great sense of humor.

This last go round (a month ago) he called and said I need a detox but it’s in Olympia I have no way of getting there, I went and picked him up and drove him there. He was so sick I wasn’t sure he would be alive when we got there. Once they are addicted they don’t use to get high…they use to not be sick. All I could say to him was “God has a plan for you because your ass should be dead by now you better start listening to what he is telling you”.

The real heroes in this world to me are not the police, firemen or soldiers (although they are awesome) it is the Matt’s, Levi’s, John’s, Sean’s and Mike’s who have lived through this addiction and do everything they can to help gather him (and many others) back in and try to help them. I can call anyone of them day or night and they drop everything to try to help my son. I have known about ten boys to die from this…these guys have buried many more friends yet they don’t quit trying..they are true heroes. Perhaps my son will be one of them someday.

No one wakes up and decides to be a junkie and as hard as it is too watch it..imagine what it is like to live it. There are many days that I pray “Lord you know how this is going to end….if he is going to die from it please take him sooner rather than later as I can’t keep doing this”.

If you have not read the poem “Mr. And Mrs. Heroin” google it…it ends with “just come take my hand and I will lead you to hell”…

Yes…I hate heroin…
……please Lord save him because I can’t…

Blessings to all who are struggling with this as I know there are many but not very many who will share it. Interestingly enough this started soon after my older son killed himself…the aftermath of suicide perhaps?

– Carri Litowitz

We Took Our Golden Girl Off Life Support After Heroin Put Her In A Coma

I would like to introduce you to my kind, empathetic, smart, artistically talented, beautiful daughter Brenna.  I would like to – but instead I will share her story and introduce you to her living spirit as her body left this world on December 10, 2014.

Growing up Brenna did all the “normal” things – girl scouts, ballet lessons ….  She was a good student and was accepted to every college she applied to.  All of that was before – before she got fallen on during a cheerleading practice – before the doctor prescribed pain medication for the 2 fractured disks that resulted from this accident.  So much I didn’t know.

Brenna quickly fell into active addiction and she hated being there.  She used to cry and say things like “I feel like I’ve wasted my life” and “I can’t believe I’ve done this to myself”.  So much I didn’t know – but I was starting to learn.  I found a rehab that was mostly covered by our insurance but she wouldn’t go – instead she chose to go into a methadone treatment program.  She participated in the program for 25 months – and it did keep her off heroin – but, it didn’t provide any counseling and it didn’t provide a “new” community for her.  For 2 years she secluded herself – living back at home and refusing to go anywhere without an immediate family member (all of this at 22 & 23). She struggled with the idea of replacing one drug with another and successfully weaned off the methadone.  However, without the counseling, without the community it didn’t take long for her to relapse.  She cried when she told me. By this time I was just a little smarter.

We found a treatment center out of state that would then locate a sober living facility for her once she completed the program.  Off she went looking at me and saying “You have no idea how badly I want this”.  On the morning of December 8, I got the phone call – she was in “extremely critical condition” in an Atlanta hospital.  On the 10th we found out that she had only 2 small portions of her brain with any remaining functioning and one of those allowed her to feel pain.  We had her removed from life support.

I miss my daughter desperately every day but do feel that she is here with me.  I believe that she led me to The McShin Foundation, a RCO based in Richmond, VA.  Here I found a community in recovery helping and supporting others striving to find their own recovery.  I learned that recovery truly is possible when you have a “village” to make it so.  Brenna has given me a community that understands.  She has given me a way to honor her and her time here with me by working with this community.  I feel her with me every day – but never more so than when I’m with my McShin family.  While I am heartbroken that I didn’t know that such places existed when searching for help for her, I am so grateful that she led me there.

‘Pain Management’ Led Me To Heroin

To start off my name is Rebecca but most people call me Becca.

I am 27 years old and am a mother of 2 beautiful little boys. My story starts out 3 years ago. I was diagnosed with a brain deformity called chiari malformation of the brain type one. It caused a lot of headaches and pain in my extremities.

First it started out with pain management but that just wasn’t enough. I tried smoking weed and that didn’t help. It was then that a “friend” of mine introduced me to heroin. I instantly fell in love. At the time, I only had my oldest son Malachi and the demon stopped the pain long enough to function and care for him.

It wasn’t until I got tired of it that I reached out for help. I reached out because I was spending over $600 dollars in one day for my high and I knew if I didn’t stop – I would die. I didn’t go to a rehab center, instead I went to meetings where I met my real friends.

By this time, I had my youngest Micah. My friends staged an intervention and I’m forever grateful that they did. Since then, my life has improved and I’m the mom I want to be, the daughter I’ve always wanted to be, and the sister I wanted be.

Now I help my family who also suffers from addiction. And I help family members who just don’t understand what it’s like to suffer from addiction.

It’s similar to Russian roulette only with a needle, pills, and pipes.

I will have 2 years sober on September 27th. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the help of my real friends, my family, and my higher power. I hope whomever is reading this and is suffering from addiction gets help or reaches out because it is worth it.

One Bad Night Stole My Beautiful Jenny Rose. Heroin Poisoned Our Family.

I’m the mother of Jenny Rose. A young, beautiful girl who lost her life to heroin overdose.

Jenny Rose’s addiction effected our relationship as a mother and daughter. It effected my marriage with countless arguments and sleepless nights. We, as parents, have now fallen victim to heroin. It took the life of our only child.

Jenny Rose died from an accidental heroin overdose on May 9th 2014. It was a Friday and she was celebrating her 20th birthday with “friends.” That’s right – Jenny died on her birthday. We were waiting for Jenny to stop home, like she said she’d do – but instead she went to get drugs with her 2 friends and went to a KFC bathroom where she would take her last breath.

Since Jenny had been clean for over 60 days (30 days at rehab, 30 days at a halfway house in Florida), the amount of heroin she used in that bathroom at KFC was too much for her body. When she overdosed, her “friends” ran out from the bathroom – leaving my daughter unconscious and unresponsive. My daughter died from that overdose.

Jenny unfortunately came back home near West Chester, Pennsylvania too soon from her treatment. And she came home from treatment only because her lawyer wanted her to close her court case.

We, her parents, were telling the lawyer, “don’t bring her home yet, she’s not ready.” Something is seriously wrong with our current system – it doesn’t take care of nor care about people struggling with addiction.

Today, my family lives day-by-day. But our dreams, our future as a family has been completely destroyed. So many people tried to help Jenny, but in the end she wasn’t ready to cut her treatment short – and it killed her.

Our lives will never be the same. I hate this disease and heroin is the devil.

Alcohol and Heroin Were My Kiss of Death. Recovery Brought Me Back To Life.

It all began in the 1960’s – living on Long Island in an upscale town called Great Neck.

Great Neck was a very competitive town where you were never “good enough” or rich enough or smart enough. From a divorced working class family, my world collided when I was raped and almost murdered, shame I kept buried for years, and a boyfriend who had too much of everything.

At 16, I was getting front row seats at the Copacobana, given jewelry, new cars, I was 16 going on 25. Then his father, uncle, and friend were killed. It was a classic mob style hit and the love of my life began using heroin.

I knew I had lost him, he changed. At 16, with no support at home, my boyfriend on heroin, and the money drying up, I wanted to please him. I also had my dark secret about the rape. I was mad at God, had no family support and my father who had temporary custody was dying. Heroin looked like a nice solution.

Within 90 days, life as I knew it changed.

I went from Great Neck to the abandoned lots in East NY in 1972. I went from martinis to cheap wine. I stood in long lines at methadone clinics and took any pill that came my way. I forgot the pretty, bright girl that once was and was reduced to a mill crate, in a lot in war torn dangerous east NY. And to me it felt like heaven. I

I was trapped when I met the new love of my life. A handsome Spanish guy right out of prison and it was he and I against the world. He taught me the streets. I found it exciting but I was wearing out. After over 40 attempted detoxes (yes, I said 40), I was hooked on methadone, hydromorphone, valium, and alcohol.

And then it happened. I got that call. My husband had overdosed. My goal from then on was to party until I was 30 and then commit suicide. My world as I knew it was over.

Alone, beat up, addicted. I had a spiritual intervention that made me know God is real. He is present and His promises are true. I got a feeling that was stronger than any drug I had ever done, a warmth and glow went through me and a calm a sense of safety that almost knocked me over. I said, “God if you just get me off drugs I will do anything.”

I found a basement apartment. Someone gave me a mattress, old TV, a bible, a coffee pot, and I was going to trust that voice. I stayed in that basement with a bible and God said all you have to do is breath I will do the rest. I had seizures, I lost 40 pounds kicking methadone cold.

Having grand mail seizures in the shower, I called a therapist. I checked into a detox. I didn’t get it the first time, though. I came out and picked up more pills and alcohol –  and that was the kiss of death. I tried to commit suicide feeling like I let God down. He wasn’t done with me yet but I had so much more work to do.

I was found placed in a locked unit. I felt so distant from reality and never thought I could live one day at a time without a drink or drug. My counselor said follow the simple steps of 12 step recovery. I prayed, I listened and hours turned into days, days turned into years. This June 20th, I will have 34 years clean and sober.

Life has not been easy. I have had and continue to have challenges, relationships, health, poor choices but GOD is good. I would never go back on my word. I am here until He decides to take me home.

Recovery showed me how to laugh, care, feel again. I will never see homelessness again and make a judgement, I have lost many friends to suicide. We are never “fixed” but we can and do recover. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done but I am happy. We can’t keep it unless we give it away. If I can do it anyone can. It begins with willingness and faith.

Thank you for the opportunity to share. Today we have a choice! God is good through it all. His love is indeed unconditional. He is the greatest love of all.

My Victory Over Heroin

Hi my name is Kayla Whitehead.

I can say I have found victory over heroin addiction! My addiction with opiates started when I was 13 and spiraled out of control when I picked up the needle at 15.

I went to rehab after rehab and cycled through many jails here in Oregon but on February 13, 2013, I finally got clean through my last incarceration. I spent 6 months in county jail and had enough and committed myself to my recovery.

On November 4 2014, I gave birth to my son Layne. He weighed 1.13 ounces and is truly my miracle child. Addiction has affected not only me but my son. At 6 months old, we lost his father to an overdose leaving me devastated and now a single mom.

Today I serve my community. I became a certified recovery mentor and sponsor women and serve an awesome God. I am no longer the face of addiction but the face of recovery!

I was once homeless – now I have a home. I get to wake up to my son and be whom God intended me to be and share my story with others in hope that it saves someone else.

Recovery is possible!

Denying Addiction Plays Russian Roulette With Families of Sufferers, Too.

22 million people live with substance use disorder. 45 million people are impacted by addiction. I am 1 of the 45 million people affected by this disease.

The disease of addiction is no one’s fault, but everyone’s problem. Alcoholism was declared a disease in 1956. 61 years later, some still need to be convinced of this scientific fact. Looking at the numbers in the middle of this PLAGUE we now find ourselves in, we don’t have 61 years for people to catch up. Christ, we don’t have 61 hours.

Heroin sucks. It really, really does. It sucks not just in the “man, that sucks” way but also in the literal way. It sucks the happiness out of homes. It sucks the trust out of relationships. It sucks the dreams from a peaceful night’s sleep. It sucks the literal life out of those who use and those who watch those who use.

People still roll their eyes when I call addiction a disease. Yet, when I call it a FAMILY disease, I am not met with the same adversity. Something in the person breaks and they recognize, even but for a moment, that I am sick, physically and mentally ill, over what I watch unfold every day.

Maybe they can see it in my eyes. My very tired, dry, bloodshot eyes. Maybe they can feel it in my frail shoulder blades when they hug me and have no idea what to say other than “have you eaten today?” Maybe they can understand it when they hear me crying in the middle of the night even though I turned the shower and the sink on to kill the noise of my pain.

Yes, MY pain.

All because of a bag of powder that skulked into my life through the bloodstream of someone I love more than I can ever explain on paper.

Alicia Cook

I am never in denial. I know this drug. I know the statistics. I know the situation is dire. I know overdoses are killing more of us annually than automobile accidents. Killing someone every 16 minutes. I know that one bag costs less than a meal at McDonalds. I know what Fentanyl, Suboxone, Vivitrol, and Narcan are. I know why dealers stamp their wax folds. I know the third day of withdrawal is the worst. I know it costs $250 for a 45-minute session with a specialist who will just tell me everything I already know. “They need to want to save themselves.”

It is poison. Each bag, a bullet. Each snort or injection, the spin of the cylinder. This is our generation’s Russian Roulette.

I am sad a lot of the time. A home where addiction is present is oftentimes a painful place to live. It is hard to watch someone you care about spiral out of control and become someone you have to squint at to recognize. Memories will flood your mind, as you scramble to latch on to one – just one — happy reminiscence. It is difficult to see so clearly what their disease makes them so blind to: their own potential, their own worth, their own mortality.

I am angry a lot of the time. I used to feel guilty saying that. I’ve learned it’s okay for me to say, even out loud, “I am the collateral damage in this. I didn’t ask for this.” I used to walk on eggshells and talk and act very deliberately. I was afraid that something I would say would push them to use, or even worse, give up on themselves. “You’re dope sick? Well, I’m heart sick.”

I am happy a lot of the time. Which is a really odd thing for me to say, right? Since I am also sad, angry, helpless, and confused most of the time, too. If I learned anything from this, it is families are resilient. I am resilient. After a sleepless night of praying the phone won’t ring, or praying it will, the sun will rise and another day of my life will begin. Dishes need to be washed, laundry needs to get done, birthdays need to be celebrated. Yes, some days I am mailing it in – the fears that come along with addiction are all consuming – but some days I do smile and mean it. “I have good days, and bad days, but never normal days.”

To anyone going through this with a loved one — I want you to know — happy times can and will come again once you accept that you cannot “fix” your loved one. You simply (it’s never simple) can’t; but being helpless doesn’t mean you help less. You can love them. You can support them. You can do everything in your power…everything but save them. I know as soon as I accepted this, I was able to let bits of joy enter my life again. This light didn’t kill the darkness, but it brought with it moments of happiness and laughter nonetheless.

I used to hear “you can’t let it get to you like this,” or “just cut them out.” Just cut them out — as if they were nothing more than a one-dimensional character on a poorly written crime drama. I am met with sympathy now, but more so, sadly, I am met with complete and utter understanding from people who can directly identify with my situation. As more and more families are affected by addiction, I hear less and less from the peanut galleries in both my real life and the comment sections of my articles. Perhaps they are too busy still thinking it could never happen to them. Or, more realistically, they are terrified it can.

91 Americans die from drugs every day. I do believe we will outrun the epidemic, beat it to the finish line. We can do this. We have no other choice, because the other choice is heartbreaking. I can’t keep losing people I love. I can’t beat this alone. Each and every voice matters.

Three Weeks After My Wedding, I Lost The Love of My Life

My son, Carlos Castellanos, died at age 23 from a drug overdose, just three weeks after walking me down the aisle at my wedding.

On that day, he was happy, healthy and loving life. He had a job and was expected to get a promotion the following month, loved his girlfriend dearly, and was planning to resume taking college courses. Carlos’ dream was to become an aerospace engineer and to work for a company that would enable him to be part of the Engineers Without Borders program so that he could help others. He was sensitive, humble, kind and loving. He was precious to all who knew him.

Carlos was smart and witty with a great sense of humor, musically gifted, perfectionist, always excelling; but he never felt like he was good enough. Those feelings of inadequacy are what drove him to start smoking marijuana at age 15. Very quickly though, he went looking for a “better high” and moved on to cocaine, heroin and other similar drugs. He suffered a grand mal seizure at age 18 from crystal meth and stopped drug use for a very short time. However, pressures that he imposed on himself led him to resume his drug use.

Carlos was in and out of rehab facilities and went through intensive outpatient care a few times, as well. His most successful clean period was for a period of 20 months, during which time he became very involved with helping others to get and stay clean. He volunteered at a local rehab and facilitated recovery sessions for other young people who were fighting to stay clean like he was.

After relapsing again, my son got and stayed clean for the last 10 months of his life. We will never know what caused him to use again – this time, with fatal consequences.

The drug that he took on December 23, 2016 was laced with fentanyl. What will I miss about Carlos? Everything. I will miss his smile, hugs, his “I love you Mom’s,” his joking around with me and teaching me how to use my IPhone 6. The photo albums that we will create as a family going forward will not be filled with pictures of our beautiful son and brother as our wedding album is now. We will never again hear his laughter, see him drumming, singing and playing the guitar or just goofing around with his cat, Simon. My husband, Mike and I will miss having Carlos outlive us – nothing any parent should ever have to endure.

How do we go on? How do we survive without the son, brother, friend who we lost to this terrible disease? For Mike and me, we have chosen to do what Carlos would have done had he lived. We tell his story – one of an amazing human who thought about others before he thought about himself. Who dreamed of a future without drugs, a future with hope and life and success and love.

So we share the story of who Carlos was and we preserve his memories by fighting when he cannot. We want everyone to know that drug addiction is a primary, chronic disease that alters who you are. It’s a disease that is often progressive and fatal. No one chooses to be addicted to drugs. We urge other parents to educate themselves about the signs and symptoms of addiction. We encourage them to get help for their loved one and for themselves. We fight to get laws enacted to help those who struggle with this disease so that they have full access to treatment and care.

Most of all, we rest in God’s embrace, knowing that Carlos is our angel and that we will be reunited with him one day.

For 19 Years, I’ve Been A Police Officer. Today, I’m Clean from Opioids and I’m Done Hiding.

My name is Steve. I’ve been a police officer for 19 years and a narcotics detective for the past 10 years. My job like many of you know is high risk, high stress. I worked undercover making drug buys, utilizing informants and conducting raids on residences.

Early on in my career, I was involved in a shooting where a fellow officer accidentally shot at me during a foot pursuit but thankfully missed (the bullet actually went right through my jacket). Also around the same time, I was intentionally struck by a suspect vehicle during a vehicle pursuit causing a severe back injury.  Of course with such an injury I needed surgery. After getting that surgery I was prescribed large amount of narcotic pain medication.

Now I never really knew how powerful the medication was, only from what I heard from people that worked for me (arrestees, informants, etc). I learned the hard way. I was taking this medication everyday and realized when it was gone I felt sick. Unfortunately, I was stuck. I developed a large habit and hid it from my family and people at work.

After being on narcotic opioid medication for about 3 years, I decided enough was enough and went to my work and admitted I had a problem I could no longer hide. I was sent to a rehab facility for detox. My first day there the nurse taking my blood samples said, “make sure you DO NOT tell the patients here what you do for a living!”  So I lied again – telling everyone I was an electrician. During my five day stay there, I was given Suboxone and then let go with just my willpower to get by. I mean I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. How could this happen? I’m a narcotics cop, this isn’t supposed to happen.

After about a month away from work, I went back. My supervisor put me right back into narcotics work where I was running the show. I was floored that I was placed back into that line of work after coming forward with my problem. I thought it was a little reckless – but I didn’t want to let anyone down.

I was clean for 2 years. Then all hell broke loose. I was stressed due to all of the pressure put on me to make cases and seize assets to help my police department. It all fell on my shoulders. Also during that time, the pressure got too intense. My wife and I began having problems and separated. I was devastated.

So, I relapsed. I began taking opioids again but was not getting it prescribed like before. So, like any good addict I graduated to heroin. Never in my wildest dreams would I believe that I would stoop so low, but I did. The guilt was immeasurable! I couldn’t go to my work and admit that. I couldn’t face my wife and kids. And I couldn’t tell my father. I was stuck and didn’t even see it coming.

A good friend at work who knew my past recognized my behavior and forced me to get help. I told him “I’m good” and “I got this” but I didn’t. I was spiraling out of control and had no where to turn. So I accepted the help.

I went to detox once again.  I told the staff at the facility that I needed and wanted a fast taper off Suboxone and they obliged. I spent this past Easter at the facility away from my kids and family. I got out the day after and tapered down off Suboxone myself and haven’t looked back.

I’m clean today and I’m done hiding in the shadows.

After finally speaking to a good therapist, I was diagnosed with PTSD due to all the crazy things I have seen and witnessed in my career.

As I write this, I am 7 days clean and feel great. I have a newly formed respect for opioids and I know I am powerless. No matter what I can’t go back. They have taken a lot from me.

I am happy to say my wife and I are patching things up and she’s been great. I have a great support system in place and I thank God everyday.

I don’t know what the future holds with my job but I am a lot happier now.

My story goes to show that addiction does not discriminate at all.  I wish all of you luck and please be strong!