Recovery Matters

Sam T – Drugs and Alcohol Addict Recovery Story

Drugs and Alcohol Addict Recovery Story

I was born in 1984, the last of four siblings. I have two sisters and a brother. I wanted nothing when I was growing up as I had been blessed with a hard working family that gave me everything on a silver platter.

I attended some of the best schools in the country, including Michaelhouse, a private boarding school in KZN. When I was 9 years old we were struck by the tragedy of my father’s death. He had cancer and that most certainly had a tremendous impact on my life and later my actions in feeding my addiction as I discovered through therapy.

I was a smart boy, did well academically but excelled on the sports field. I was very popular and being part of the “in” crowd came with a lot of partying and dabbling in the occasional substance. Although I had my first drink at age eleven, my drinking became more prevalent in high school. My drug experimentation followed the usual route of marijuana first, then party drugs like ecstasy, mushrooms and acid and then to cocaine which I tried after I matriculated. I did not go to varsity immediately after school, instead I worked and got my own place near the gym that I worked at in Sandton. This allowed me to drink and use freely. It became too costly to maintain so I quit work and went to varsity for 2 years. I had unlimited funds from my family and used frequently, and while it still remained fun, there was a sense that it was becoming problematic.

My family is well connected so they landed me a cushy position as a sports journalist. My mom paid for my car which enabled me to spend my salary which was between R25 000-R35 000 on myself and partying and even though at this point I had a daughter, my family took great care of her. In 2010 I took six months break from drugging, as my brother was getting very worried about me. In 2011 I started again, but went back to crack cocaine which I tried a few times before. This time it hit me hard and within 3 months I had my first stint at rehab for six weeks. I was not ready yet to give up and I relapsed, a relapse that lasted two years and broke me until 2013. I went into rehab again, after a three-week detox at a clinic, I went to Houghton house, the Gap which is a secondary treatment programme that has changed my life.

My counsellor, Lauryl, and the rest of the Houghton team worked tirelessly and lovingly for five months helping me undergo a personality change that was required, for me to get out of my soul destroying addiction and it is only because of their programme that I am back on my feet again. Earning the trust of my family, I have paid off debts that I have racked up in my last few months of using and I am repairing broken relationships. The intense group therapy helped me deal with a lot of things that I had bottled up and resentments and anger that I had. I am now at a halfway house with new found sober friends where I continue to work on myself and staying clean. I am eternally grateful for this journey and Houghton House for the role that they played in turning my life around. Using drugs was no longer fun, I was powerless against them.

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