I remember sitting in the waiting room for my drug detox treatment to start and shaking like a leaf and wondering “How the hell did I get here”. I knew I was beyond hopeless at that point, but no matter how hard I thought, I could not tell when exactly I went from recreational drug user to full blown addict that would lead me to drug detox. I suppose the path to this living hell I found myself in started way back when I was a child. I was the outgoing type of kid, who would always push the envelope with everything from sports to practical jokes. If someone told me that I couldn’t do something, I tried my damn hardest to make them eat those words and think twice about what they assumed of me next time. Naturally this attitude gave me the title of class clown and landed me in detention or trouble with teachers and parents quite often.
By the time I was in high school, I knew I showed talent for most sports I tried. Cross-country, soccer, and BMX were my favorites, as they kept my mind and energy focused and my school yard antics under control. They also got me pretty popular and a regular invite to most parties and many friends. Smoking weed at first on weekend gatherings soon turned into almost every day before and after class. My thought in those carefree days was that “When you’re popular, good and bad choices don’t affect you; and since people will like me anyway, it’s only about looking cool, so I’ll just do whatever that calls for.”
With college came hot girls, parties every night, and access to a plethora of drugs to enhance all the fun. Seeing that I had barely even graduated high school, education was the last thing on my mind and I was here for the experience. Alcohol, pot, ecstasy, LSD, and whatever prescription drug I could get my hands on became my toxic concoction almost daily. I would spend my entire textbook and food money on this totally exciting lifestyle as my new friends seemingly cheered me on. The scholarship I received for cross country was soon put on hold and then totally elapsed by my haze of smoke and drugs. It wasn’t long before I blew my education and failed out of school, only to become a frequent visitor to the social scene on my former campus.
This was when the once new thrill and fun just didn’t feel the same. I realized that I was taking whatever I could get my hands on compulsively and without pleasure. Waking up in the morning and feeling sober proved too much to bear, as I felt so miserable, sick, anxious, and like an empty shell of the person I used to be. The state I was in must have pretty obvious since I had lost most of my friends by now and even family members who refused to speak to me, but my parents had found a website for a place in South Florida called Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches for me to go for my drug detox and subsequent drug rehab treatment.
Without the help of the wonderful staff at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches I don’t know how I would have made it through that miserable cleanse during my drug detox treatment. Looking back on it now they really saved my life. As my mind and body slowly began to regain its original function and sense of self, I began to see the effects of my substance abuse in a light I had never realized. The staff at BHOPB explained not only the addiction process itself to me, but my own character and which personality traits were responsible for my dependence on drugs in general. Along with all the great and sympathetic people I bonded with there, I was taught how to overcome my old behavior with constructive decisions and resume my life with a focus and motivation unlike anything I had previously felt. In the seven months that have passed since my time with Behavioral Health, I have enrolled in college courses, reclaimed my athletic ability, and have been gaining a new perspective, strength, and value for my life.