‘Three or four months into taking heroin, I wound up losing my job, lost my car, and had to come clean to my family.’
“I grew up on the island and I had a normal childhood. I graduated with honors from Albany’s business school in 2012. Everything was great and then I wound up having an injury in the gym. I saw somebody at my job; he always looked a little inebriated and he said, ‘you should try this particular pill,’ which was a really popular pill back then. It was Oxycodone, 30 milligrams. That was what the doctors were overprescribing.
“Once I took the opiate, it was just game over. Once a week or once every few days led to an everyday thing. I got introduced to heroin in 2016. There were just no rules; my life turned into absolute chaos. Three or four months into taking heroin, I wound up losing my job, lost my car, and had to come clean to my family. From 2016 to late 2020, it was awful. I’ve been to double digits number of rehabs, overdosed many times, had unbelievably close calls, car accidents, a lot of situations where I should be dead.
I had a complete transformation from how I was with addiction, with my body and my health, to where I am now.
“At the beginning of last year, I overdosed twice in the same day. I got very lucky: my mom saved me, and I wound up going to rehab. Then, boom, COVID hit and everything shut down the week I got out of rehab. I wound up relapsing and had another terrible few months. I made it to the beginning of this year, and I said, alright, I’m going to die if I keep doing this. Do I really want my legacy to be, ‘Oh, he died at 30. He had all this potential’?
“I took all the suggestions from people who’ve done it themselves, such as going to meetings, joined an outpatient clinic, did therapy. What really helps me is I have a very strict routine with the gym and what I put into my body. I had a complete transformation from how I was with addiction, with my body and my health, to where I am now.
“I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m going back to school to get my certification as a nutritionist. I want to do it in the field of recovery and help people in a natural way without having to take medicine, without having to numb the pain of their feelings. I have a YouTube channel about addiction, and I am an NA sponsor. There are so many people on the island who have suffered through this and I’m trying to change the stigma of what an addict is.”
Interviewed by Hannah Fusaro