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Group 401

Dave’s Story

It is very common for teenagers to turn to drugs and/or alcohol after a tragic, life-changing event, and that’s just what happened to Dave. Now in his early twenties, Dave started drinking and smoking marijuana after his dad passed away when Dave was 16. He moved back in with his mother and, as he puts it, “fell into the wrong crowd and began using even more.”

“When I used, I didn’t have to think or feel,” says Dave. “I just had fun and forgot about the pain. I didn’t think I had a problem.” His mother tried to help, but Dave wouldn’t listen to her and she had little control over his time and activities.

As Dave’s habit increased, so did his problems. He was kicked off the wrestling team and eventually suspended from high school. Feeling pressure from his peers, Dave began robbing stores to get the money to feed his habit. And, as is also very common for teen users, Dave eventually got caught.

He was placed on probation, which he soon violated. He was sent to rehabilitation, but had no interest in participating and soon began telling lies to “get through it quickly.” Eventually he landed in drug court and ended up in jail. And that’s when Dave began to realize just how serious his situation was.

“I graduated from drug court, but was still subject to regular urine tests and probation,” says Dave. “I had to restart drug court and still thought I could beat the system. I was wrong, and that mistake landed me in an inpatient facility.”

When he completed that program, he was sent to Horizon Village and, says Dave, he was not happy to have to undergo more therapy and more “group b.s.” but it beat going to jail.

The first few weeks at the Village, Dave was not a willing participant. But he soon started paying attention and participated by telling the truth. “One of the counselors made a comment about ‘if you bring the body, the mind will soon follow,’” says Dave. “That made me realize that addiction is a disease and that Horizon was the best thing to happen to me.”

“Dave had a revelation while at the Village,” says Paige Prentice, director. “And once he realized he was dealing with an illness, he really turned a corner.”

“It helped to be around others in similar situations on a daily basis,” says Dave. “I learned from the experiences of older people and I saw that they’re not just talking the talk…they are actually walking the walk and working to fix their lives. It helped me to see what I want and what I don’t want.”

Today, Dave is living in a halfway house, with plans to enroll in school either in criminal justice or the culinary arts. He understands that addiction is a progressive illness and that the bigger the addiction, the worse things that will happen.

“I want people to know that rehab is not a bad place, it is not for ‘quitters,’” says Dave. “You can turn your life around while you’re still young and have it all: a family, a career and a life.”

Path To Recovery
The Path To Recovery includes true stories of consumers who overcame many obstacles with the help of Horizon Health Services to turn their lives around. Last names have been omitted for privacy.