Client Contribution - A word of advice for all teens

To All Young Teens,

This is my story. I hope that it may help you with some very important decisions you will have to make as teens and young adults. When I was a teen, I decided to try pot, I liked it and it led me to try other drugs, including alcohol! I can tell you that despite any warnings I had from parents, or teachers, knowing that drugs could destroy lives, thinking that this would never happen to me I still decided to do drugs.

Let me just tell you what my drug abuse cost me. I was very active in sports before drugs, after drugs no sports. Before drugs a healthy respect for myself, after drugs no self-respect. Before drugs some very good straight friends after drugs only other drug users, if you can ever call them true friends. Before drugs thinking I could conquer the world, after drugs just trying to get by with the left over pieces of my life. I dressed as a hippie, long hair and all. I was truly a love child caught up in the drug culture. I can truly say I wasn’t a heavy drug user; I could still function and do the things necessary to get by.

When I was in my early twenties I decided to join the Army, thinking I could get a free education, which would give me many options for my future. Still I continued to do drugs, smoke pot, drink all the while tempting fate. Then one evening high on pot and drunk I made the mistake of getting into a car with my so called buddies all of us high and drunk. We had a terrible car accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury for me. I can’t say what happened to everyone else because I can’t remember.

This changed my life forever. After many months in the hospital, and countless therapies, my brain injury has left me unable to speak without difficulty, prone to seizures, unable to control my temper at times, relying on others to get me from one doctor’s appointment to the next. Knowing that I will need medication for the rest of my life, live in a brain injury program with many clients with just about the same story as mine, drug and alcohol abuse, some unable to walk or talk, some more brain injured than myself.

I truly robbed myself of a future that would include wife, children, career, and independence. I ask myself why was I so stupid, why didn’t I heed the warnings about drugs. Why didn’t I listen?

It has been twenty five years since my accident; I have come a long way. I have accepted my limitations and am peaceful with my life. I have a deeper faith in the Lord, who is my strength, but I feel the need to warn others of the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse. So take heed listen to this warning, think about what you may give up to get that next high!!!