Tucson man overcomes drug use and now helps others recover.

Tucson man overcomes drug use and now helps others recover.

By Brendan

What started out as having “a little fun” smoking weed and drinking with my friends escalated to complete addiction to pain pills and oxycontin in high school. Things got bad when I started smoking heroin. My life became chaotic. I would lie to everyone and myself acting like everything was normal. I was trying to be a good son, brother, and person but I was a real hot mess, that’s for sure.

During my last three years of using heroin, I smoked meth and that’s when I really started making crazy, illegal decisions to make money. That’s when I hit bottom. I got to the point where I needed to make some hard choices. My recovery started by getting on medication - suboxone - that I didn’t believe in at first.

CODAC definitely helped me. After 10 years of heroin addiction, I was doing a lot better. The support groups were awesome and without them, I probably would not have stayed clean. I learned how to deal with triggers and urges. I also got a job as a CODAC peer support specialist. The combination of medication, support groups and helping others in their recovery was a turning point for me. I am doing a lot better now. I have my family back and have rebuilt relationships that I had burned. And as a convicted felon, I had my rights restored to me over a year ago.

People always think that if they get into recovery, they have to be perfect and that their life will be boring. I always tell people I am evidence that life doesn’t have to be boring. You don’t have to be perfect. Everyone’s recovery is different. Most of all, I am grateful to be living proof that your life can get better. You just have to get rid of heroin or meth or whatever because it is destroying your life. You can reclaim the rest of your life, and it feels great.

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