Because of addiction to drugs I have lived experience and because of that I've gained a passion and also the empathy necessary to be able to help other addicts gain recovery and a sense of well being in their life.
I started using marijuana and alcohol at the age of 14 and I slowly graduated to pills, acid, and finally heroin. When I was 18 I joined my first methadone program only to keep transferring from program to program and in the end, I found out that no matter how much methadone was administered to me, it was ME that had to do the changing and that I had to create a brand new personality. I needed to find myself, where was I situated in life, where had I been, what I had done to myself and my loved ones, not to mention total strangers that crossed my path, and where was I headed in life at this very moment. I had to be drug free in order to do this because I had hit my bottom being on drugs, and the little of mind that I had left told me that I needed to climb out or die high as a kite. As I looked around at what was left of my world, I noticed how all of my friends had lost their lives to drugs and how their families were left wondering on what to do next. I have overdosed 14 times from heroine and pills, never intentionally, and I have kicked methadone and pills cold turkey but because of the disease of addiction that was never enough. I have lost both of my parents due to drugs and I have been homeless for 14 years and seen hell as I walked the streets of New York City begging for money just for another high. But still that wasn't enough to wake me up to the fact that I had to stop. One day I ran into a friend that told me about these NA meetings that they had in the Village and he suggested that I go to a meeting and try to get acquainted with the people there. After this I began to get acquainted with the people there and got a sponsor to guide me through this new experience. Slowly I started to find myself, and with the help of my sponsor I began my new path to recovery. I'm 64 years old and I can proudly say that I've now been clean for six years of my new life. I currently work as a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate in New York City helping others suffering from addiction also find recovery from active addiction and I feel very proud of myself.