True Story: Ryan

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

RyanMy drug problem started a couple years ago, when I was 16. Before the whole mess with the drugs, I was at a party, and some really big 19-year-old wanted to get in a fight so I fought him. The thing is, I had brass knuckles on, so I really hurt him and he had to go into the hospital. I felt really bad about it, and they put me on probation. At that point I was smoking weed sometimes but pretty soon I got a prescription for Klonopin; I abused it and took a lot of it—too much.

As soon as I started getting into the prescriptions, they became my main problem. I just wanted to be zoned out all the time, and I started doing badly in school; I wasn’t getting good grades at all. I was stealing money and valuables, selling stolen stuff in order to buy more drugs. I would just buy any prescription drug I could get a hold of so I could stay high. I think it was the stealing that was the turning point for my parents in their decision to send me to treatment at the Phoenix Academy of San Diego.

I was there for 38 days. It was good, I was kind of finding myself again, remembering what my personality was like when I wasn’t using. I made friends with all the kids in treatment, and I still have really good relationships with them. I certainly didn’t make any enemies. I got along with all the counselors, too—they were really cool people. I got to hang out with some of the animals at the Academy, too, which was great. The animal therapy was definitely a plus that helped me cope.

Transitioning back home after treatment was kind of difficult because everyone at school knew where I’d been. It was awkward, and I didn’t really have a good attitude as far as schoolwork goes since I missed so much, but now I’m in the process of bringing my grades up. Things are much better now; I’m a senior, planning to go to college next year, and thinking about studying law. I’m back to being an athlete, too—I had two wrestling matches right when I came back home, and I did really well in both of them. I’ve been in the newspaper a couple of times since then, and that definitely helped me realize how much of a better athlete I am when I’m sober.

I’m glad I went to treatment, and it’s good to be home. I have a great support network, I’m hanging out with really good friends—different people than before. I have an older brother at home too, and my whole family is being very supportive of my recovery. That was the worst part of my drug use—messing up everything with my family. I never want to do that again.

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1 Comment

  • Erine

    I’m glad to hear the San Diego center had a positive impact on you. I hope you’re still on the right path. We went to the same high school. I didn’t personally know you, but your mom is very nice school nurse. I also went to the Phoenix House but in Santa Ana;I’m doing a lot better but everyday is a struggle. Its amazing the changes we go through in High School, right? Thank God, your mom noticed the warning signs. Things could’ve been worse. =]

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