My name is Kevin. I have been completely free of drugs and alcohol since July 27th, 2014.

I was blessed to grow up in a supportive family with two loving parents, a brother, and sisters. Nothing about my childhood screamed addiction. I was successful in school, participated in several sports, and easily made friends. I first began experimenting with drugs and alcohol early on in high school. It was an awakening. Unbeknownst to me, I had had an anxious pit in my stomach and a heavy weight on my shoulders for my entire life. Drugs and alcohol gave me relief from this tension. Once I had discovered an escape from this feeling, it was all I craved. I continued partying with friends throughout high school but steadily found that I needed more and more to get that same sense of escapism. 

Alcohol and weed slowly turned into opiates and benzodiazepines, plenty of which was prescribed by doctors. Eventually, at the age of 18, I tried heroin for the first time. I very clearly remember thinking, “How am I going to rearrange the rest of my life (school, sports, relationships) so that I will always have this feeling?” For the next 5 years, I destroyed everything. Every few months I would end up in some inpatient rehab treatment or psychiatric hospital with my family and friends begging me for this to be the last time. Almost every time that I went to treatment I had an earnest desire to stop getting high but was unwilling to make significant changes and put in the work that staying clean required.  I was hopeless and miserable. I wasn’t brave enough to kill myself but dreaded waking up each morning, hoping I would somehow die.

Eventually, the rehab that I frequented informed me that I was not allowed to come back unless I committed to long term treatment afterwards. I was completely out of ideas and so I agreed. These four months gave me a chance to get immersed in a 12 step recovery community. Since then, I have continued to actively practice recovery principles and remain a part of the 12 step community. I have been able to repair the relationships with my friends and family. I was able to return to school where I played four years of college hockey and earned a Bachelors in Business Administration, majoring in Information System Management and Digital Marketing. I am now employed as an Application Developer at the same university where I used to pretend to be a student so that I could sneak into the dorms and sleep in the common areas while I was a homeless drug addict. I have begun to start my own family and am engaged to be married to a wonderful woman who shares the same values and story as me. My life without drugs and alcohol has become so much more than I could have ever imagined and I am excited to see how it will surprise me next.