Hi, My name is Chris, and I am in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. When I was a teenager, I discovered that I had a robust enthusiasm for alcohol. I wasn’t having an easy time fitting in, and wasn’t interested in school or sports. I was a weird kid. I liked weird music and drawing scary pictures and drinking stolen liquor until I didn’t feel awkward around people. I made some friends who also excelled at this, and we went on to explore everything from smoking weed, to LSD, pills and eventually IV heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth. Things got really out of hand. I found myself oblivious to any consequences of the life I was living and was unwilling to listen to anyone around me that didn’t agree with what I was doing. After a while, I thought that the best life I could hope for was bartending, playing in a death metal band, crushing beers and smoking meth every day… I got arrested a lot, I was locked up for a year and a half for selling drugs, I was arrested for drunk driving five times and lost my driver’s license for ten years. I found myself with less and less to lose every day; and then it all changed. My best friend had just gotten out of treatment for heroin addiction, and needed help. I admitted that I also needed to get help if I ever wanted to have a life worth living, and we began going to 12 step meetings. I had been to rehab before, but I wasn’t ready to change and it did nothing to make me want to stop. I didn’t know if going to 12 step meetings would be any different, but we had to try. The first few weeks were difficult, as I didn’t know how to interact with regular people, but after the first few months of sobriety and talking to people in recovery I felt hope for the first time in my life. Through the recovery community in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas, I was able to form strong bonds with people from all walks of life who shared a common problem and a common solution. As a result of my involvement in the recovery community I haven’t used drugs or drank alcohol since February of 2002. Today I have an exciting and rewarding life with a beautiful wife, a great career and cool hobbies. I still go to meetings, and maintain a support network of others in recovery. I treat it like any other health issue; with diligent and proactive effort, I never have to worry about finding myself suffering from my addiction.