Vernon’s Story: Hope in the Face of a Drug Epidemic
Our country is experiencing a drug epidemic. 100 people die a day from drug overdoses. Heroin is taking out entire cities. People are becoming hopelessly addicted to painkillers. Meth labs are everywhere.
But all is not lost. There is hope. There is healing. Today we are sharing with you a story of one of our friends, a recent graduate from Spring to Life, Vernon.
Vernon’s story is one of pain and denial, but also hope and inspiration. This may mirror your life. This may mirror the life of your loved one. We want you to know that addiction can be treated and a fulfilling life can be had. Vernon is proof. Read on.
What is your background? What is your drug of choice?
My drug of choice was alcohol. I never drank until I got to college, but once I got there, I started drinking pretty heavily. I just I chalked it up to just being a “college thing” – I would try to justify it and tell myself, “This is just what college students do.”
But once I graduated, my drinking increased.
What happened after that?
For a few months, I wasn’t working, so I started drinking every day. The more I drank, the more depressed I became – so I started drinking all the time.
I had a few instances where I was out of control while I was drinking. I was drinking at inappropriate times – at work and when I was home by myself. My attitude and mood just became darker and darker.
How did you get into Spring to Life?
Eventually, one of my close friends who had seen me transform over the years decided to do take action. He got a hold of my parents and he found Addiction Campuses. Together, he and my parents set up everything for me – travel arrangements and my stay at treatment. I didn’t know any of this was going on.
It wasn’t until the day before my flight that my friend came to me and told me that I was going to rehab. At first, I thought he was joking and I tried to laugh it off. But of course, he wasn’t kidding. Even though I was surprised, I wasn’t angry or resistant at all. I was in at a place in my life where everything was going wrong and I had nothing to lose.
Before my friend came to me, I had considered going to meetings or some kind of outpatient program, but I had no follow through. Because he had already set it all up, I had no excuses – and truly, I was grateful for his concern. Plus, I was so anxious when he told me, I was glad I only had 24 hours and I didn’t have to worry about going for a week or however long – it was already set up.
What is the most important thing you learned about yourself while in treatment?
While I was at Spring to Life, I really learned to importance of being open and honest. There was a part of me that knew I was going above and beyond normal drinking and there was something that wasn’t right. If I had just been honest with myself from the start, I may have gotten help sooner.
What would you tell someone who can identify with your situation?
Be honest with yourself, don’t make excuses for addiction. Seek someone and let them know. It’s so much worse living with it on your own and in the dark than it is getting help. When you talk to someone and bring it into the light, it’s freeing.
Even if you’re young or you’re in college, like I was – nip it in the bud early. You don’t need to suffer through all the consequences in order to get help. Get help before it gets to that point.
What would you tell someone about treatment to inspire them to go to Spring to Life.
Spring to Life has the best staff. They’re caring and knowledgeable – they know first-hand what it’s like to struggle with addiction and to be in recovery. Plus, it’s a safe environment – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, as well. Everyone there has the same kind of issues and we all cheer each other on. It’s really like a brotherhood.
What keeps you sober each day?
Number one – God. Two, remembering where I was at and where I don’t want to ever be again. When I was drinking, I let other things fall through. Alcohol was my priority. Now, I’m focused on the positive and I want to use my time, not hinder it.