Voices of Recovery is a new series that will be spotlighted on the 449Recovery Blog. It will focus on real stories about drug and alcohol addiction from the beginnings and root causes of addiction through the subsequent victory’s and continuing battles with drug and alcohol addiction through the eyes of former addicts. This will be a continuing feature for the 449Recovery blog and all stories and discussions are 100% true. We hope that by sharing these real life stories, others battling addiction and substance abuse problems may be able to identify with these stories and take the first step towards recovery.
My name is Danny. I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Hermosa Beach, California. I was your proto-typical Southern California beach kid I guess you could say. My childhood wasn’t any different then any other kids from that time and I grew up in a home with two loving and caring parents. Given those facts, my descent into drug addiction is probably shocking to a lot of people who meet me.
First Experience with Alcohol
Believe it or not, my first time I thought about drinking or using drugs probably stemmed from the scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Marion(played by Karen Allen) is having the drinking contest with the big European looking guy. I am not blaming my drug and alcohol addiction issues on Steven Spielberg by any stretch, but I remember clearly after seeing that movie me and my friends would reenact that scene using orange juice and pouring it into shot glasses. I was probably in the 5th or 6th grade at that time. I knew where my parents kept the liquor so one day we tried using real alcohol instead of orange juice, the next thing I remember was waking up on the couch later that evening. I woke up and actually thought the whole event was kind of cool so my first foray into abusing alcohol was in a weird way seemed kind of positive. I never could have imagined at that tender age and based on that one small event as an 11 or 12 year old the life long effect that drugs and alcohol would have on me and every waking moment over the next 16 of addiction and even to this day.
Factors of Drug Addiction
One of the other factors that played a role in my battles with alcohol abuse and drug addiction in particular had to do with my older sister. She was a few years older and one of the more popular girls in school who always had a lot of friends. Since the older kids knew I was her brother, they would take me out with them on occasion and give me alcohol or marijuana and what not. I think on that same note that my sister’s teenage girl drama type issues kept my parents very busy, and thus I probably had less of the spotlight on me and tended to get away with more as they(my parents) were busy attending to her and doing their best to supervise a teenage daughter. Those factors really served as the foundation of my battles and subsequent need for drug and alcohol treatment. There may also have been some jealousy towards my sister or maybe feeling neglected a bit by the attention she was getting from my parents. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a good situation because the focus and attention given to her let me have far more freedom and less accountability, which in turn, made my ability to regularly abuse, consume, experiment and utilize drugs and alcohol not only easy-but routine.
In the next Voices of Recovery, Danny talks about his descent into full blown drug addiction to crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and life on the streets in some of LA’s toughest neighborhood.