Climbing Up Hill

May 13, 2009
By Anonymous

Many young adults are turning to drugs and alcohol to help cope with their issues in their struggling teenage years. Mike, a 20 year old manager of a local GameTop experienced the same problems many young adults are turning to. Statistics say 19.5 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs in the United States according to Us No Drugs Rehabilitation Center. Drug addiction is a serious illness that affects almost half of the United States population, but it can be cured.

“I was only twelve years old when I started experimenting” expresses Mike, who has battled years of addiction and depression. Marijuana was the first drug he had tried, and from there, it went all downhill. At age seventeen, Mike experienced an addiction to the stimulant methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or better known as ecstasy, “Those were really hard times for me” said Mike. In August 2006, he was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of ecstasy, and was forced to participate in an outpatient rehabilitation center. “My first thoughts when I saw the red and blue lights were, Oh no, I’m going to jail.” During the 8 months he was in rehab, he stayed completely sober, and detached himself from his friends who participated in drug use. “It was one of my first big achievements in life I felt” smiled Mike, as he remembers the days before his drug use escalated. During his sober and happy months, he found out the one thing that could ruin anyone’s sobriety, his mom had cancer. She had seven surgeries in her hip to remove the cancer, but this wasn’t easy on Mike. “I was completely devastated, and distraught.” Mike starting turning to the synthetic heroin pain killer, Oxy Cotin. “The pills totally messed with my mental and physical status”, though Mike only took them for a few months, they led to even worse drugs. Eight months of cocaine use led to a very depressed and unhealthy lifestyle. The use of cocaine makes a person feel invincible, and they will go to extreme lengths to get their high. When asking Mike questions about his further use of the drug, he refused to give anymore information, for they were very heart wrenching days that he prefers to not think about. After years of battling drugs, not attending school, and unemployed, one day he hit rock bottom. “I didn’t want to be a burden on my family anymore; I wanted to be a positive influence.”

During the summer of 2008, Mike stayed clean, picking up small jobs here and there, working for his mom’s friends. Playing video games was his new passion, they helped him clear his mind of drugs and depression. In December 2008, Mike decided to apply for GameTop, a video game store in the local mall. When he received the call that they wanted to hire him, out came a very ecstatic Mike, something that nobody had seen in years. Within the two months of employment at GameTop, they promoted Mike to become one of the store’s managers. “This has always been my dream job, I get to talk about video games all day! I can’t think of anything better than that.” Being the hard working man he is today, has brought him great success. When asked what else he was planning on in his future, he responded “I’m planning on enrolling back into school in the fall, something I should’ve done years ago.” Mike’s story is truly an inspiring one, it just proves that you can fall out of drug addiction and go on to better things in life. “Thinking positively helped turn my life around, and being dedicated to my job gave me something good to focus on instead of all the negative things in my life.” Mike, now 20 years old, a manager at a GameTop, and a sober go-happy guy, thanks his family for all the support they’ve given him. Mike had only one thing left to say after his interview, “Stay away from drugs” smiled Mike.

I first hand, witnessed Mike through these stages of addiction, being his friend for years and his girlfriend for a year and a half. Though he did pull through this on his own, I do regret not contacting anyone to get him to receive help. Addiction is not an easy obstacle to overcome, but if anyone in your life has a drug or alcohol problem, you need to remember your love and support is highly needed for them.

(Names of people and places were changed due to respect and personal business)

The author's comments:
I wrote this article for a journalism class, and my teacher told me that I should publish it on this site. So i thought i'd give it a try. This is a true story about one of the closest people in my life.

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