John is clean-cut and athletic, with short blond hair and sharp features. His quick movements and speech reveal his alert intelligence. But through all of his teens and young adulthood, he was headed for complete self-destruction through drugs. And it all started when he was just seven years old.
At that age, after a short multiple-choice test at his school, he was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin, a strong stimulant drug. His small initial dosage kept growing over the years until it had multiplied to six times his original dosage by the time he was 21 years old.
His years of being given Ritalin by his mother and his doctor convinced him of one thing: He needed to take a drug to feel normal. From that idea it was a simple step to start abusing alcohol and marijuana in his early teens.
When he and his older brother started hanging out with older kids, he got introduced to LSD and mushrooms as well. He quickly found out that alcohol was the drug he preferred.
Drugs and Alcohol Start Ruining John’s Education
By the time he was in high school, the effect of the drugs began to drag his grades down. He barely graduated and only made it into college with the help of a family friend. But then, since all he was doing was partying and using drugs, he flunked out in his first year.
That was the same year he began to abuse cocaine, finding the effect to be very similar to the effect of the Ritalin he was still being prescribed. The stimulating effects of the cocaine allowed him to stay up longer and drink more.
But the outside world began to interfere in his drugs and drinking. He began to be arrested for malicious mischief or DUIs. After he hit and broke a telephone pole while high on marijuana, his actions got the attention of his family who got him to rehab for the first time. It was the first time he wanted help too.
John’s First Rehab: Librium and Valium as Treatment
This first program was a standard 28-day program. The primary treatment was medication and meetings. He was immediately given Librium and Valium and began to attend the meetings.
He left the program after 12 days but continued to go to meetings. In every meeting, he met people who had been trying to recover but were back in the meetings again after failing at sobriety, never recovering fully from their addictions. In his mind, this seemed to give him the justification he needed to start drinking again and in two weeks, he was back to hitting the bottle.
Now he was convinced he had an incurable disease, like they had told him in the rehab. He got back into all his preferred drugs: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine. He was still taking Ritalin but most of the time crushed it and snorted it to get a stronger effect from the drug.
The Life of Constant Lying Begins
Soon he was living at home again, pretending he was going to college and picking up odd jobs as he could. Most of his money was going to the bar where he was doing his drinking. His drugs, he mooched from his friends. About this time, he said, “It was such a pit of existence that I was stuck in and I didn’t know how to get out. And it only got worse after that.”
His family continued to try to help him but he seemed unable to stay sober. He wanted to get away from their constant help and supervision and found a job selling furniture while traveling from state to state. This enabled him to keep using drugs without anyone trying to help him.
He was making plenty of money but most of it was going to drugs. Now that he was more flush, he started using more cocaine.
He started using eightballs — an eighth of an ounce — per night. He hated the feeling cocaine gave him but found himself unable to stop.
His Father’s Death Brings John to a Turning Point
The turning point of his life came when he tried to go home to see his father just before he died. In a fateful coincidence, he got bumped to first class on the flight home, where he got all the free alcohol needed to get him completely drunk by the time he landed. His family refused to allow him to visit his father drunk. But by the morning when John was sober, his father had passed away.
He swore at that point that he would get his life together. It took a few months and one more car accident for him to turn that promise into action. After that accident, covered with blood but relatively uninjured, he looked at himself in the mirror and got honest with himself for the first time. He had to decide how to break the news to his family that he’d been using drugs because they thought he’d been doing great while he was on the road. The next day he was on a Greyhound bus for Narconon.
“I came to Narconon knowing that this was my last stop,” he said. “I knew I needed help and I was ready to do whatever it took.”
Getting Sober Wasn’t the Only Thing that Happened at Narconon
He not only got completely sober at Narconon, he also dedicated himself to saving others from drugs. Instead of going on the road to sell furniture and use drugs, John hit the road to deliver drug education classes in schools across the midwest states. In the next few years, he would reach more than 200,000 children face-to-face.
After feeling betrayed by his constant use of drugs, John’s family was upset with him for quite some time. Now, because of his lasting sobriety, John and his family are reconciled.
“The Narconon drug rehab program not only helped me get sober, it helped me understand why I had started using drugs in the first place,” John concluded. “And that helped me find lasting sobriety. Now I can bring my understanding to others through my drug education lectures to schoolchildren.”