Only wanting to be identified as "David," an man invited us into his home and gave us an inside look at what life addicted to prescription drugs is like.
It's a statement he makes on a weekly basis:
"My name is David, and I am an addict."
After 15 years of being addicted to prescription pills, David is now in recovery.
Part of which includes weekly AA and NA meetings.
It’s just one part of adjusting to a new, sober, way of living.
But life wasn't always like this.
“At one point I was prescribed 1000 narcotics a month. Personally that was my escape from the real world was doing drugs or doing alcohol or taking pills, even though it started out innocent enough.”
How it started out, was innocent.
David went in for a routine appendectomy.
“It starts with a necessity, as far as a medical aspect. And then it goes from just random to a dependency to a complete addiction. It was how I escaped I didn’t want to deal with the real world, I didn't want to deal with life. So I drank. And I used.”
Finding the drugs was easy, whether it be at the end of a doctor’s prescription pad or from a friend on the street.
“Frankly, getting a doctor’s prescription is rather easy. I went to a pain doctor, and anything I wanted is what I got. As far as getting it off the street it’s probably the easiest thing to get. They were just given to me. Whether it was fentanyl patches or vicodin or oxy, whatever I could get my hands on it. I could go get it off the street. It’s only a buck a milligram.”
It wasn't long before his life hit rock bottom - and stayed there.
“I never used to be able to look at myself in the mirror. I rarely shaved because I could stand to see a 40 something year old junkie looking back at me. I’ve done more pills in a day and drank enough whiskey in a day to where I should be dead. But there’s a reason I am here.”
Somewhere, in the deepest, darkest parts of his life, David found light. Understanding. And a strive for the better.
“I told myself when I went into rehab I am either 100 percent into being clean and sober or I am 100 percent going to die and that’s the way it is.”
So he went to rehab, and he stuck with it. Now he hopes his story can reach someone whos shoes he’s once walked in.
“This is what made me who I am. This is how I can help someone else. Even If I can just plant a seed in one person. It may take 5 years down the road for that seed to sprout in that individual, but if I can help at least one person down the road with my story of what I’ve been through, seek help and get clean and sober, than every bit of what I went through is worth it.”
So for now, David is back to a healthy life. Working. Meetings.
The saying "My name is David and I am an addict" has taken him through several phases of recovery.
“Today I can say I am an addict. I’m an alcoholic. I’m an addict. I’m a trustee in modern chemistry but there’s more power behind me being able to say that to know that that's part of who I am, but it’s not all of me. I am an addict, but I am an addict in the beginning of recovery, looking forward to every single day waking up clean going to bed clean, just a day at a time.”