Alumni of the Month December 2011 Dave

I grew up in a good family in Coquitlam with very supportive and responsible parents. I started abusing drugs and alcohol in my mid-teens and I discovered that I enjoyed using drugs. They helped me to ignore my feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity, but little did I realize they were actually making my problems worse. I was diagnosed with Cancer when I was 19 and I continued to use drugs and alcohol during my treatment. Although I managed to beat the Cancer, my addiction got worse and worse. I ended up losing jobs, going in and out of treatment, stealing from loved ones, moving to Edmonton to try to escape my addiction (which didn’t work), and eventually did two years in prison as a direct result of trying to financially support my addiction.Dave

I returned to B.C. and tried to stay clean on my own but was unable to do it. I was now 32 years old and I had no potential, no realistic goals, living with my parents and going nowhere. Eventually I realized I had a choice to make. I would either accept some help or live a long, miserable life addicted to drugs. That help came from the Last Door. When I arrived at the house I was absolutely amazed at the positive energy that everybody seemed to have. It was inspiring and seemed magical. It didn’t take me long to decide that the way of life that was being offered to me was a gift that I had to accept. Through working the 12 steps, attending group, building friendships, and taking direction from the counsellors, I have learned the basic tools I need to have a happy life.

I stayed in treatment for 7 months and transitioned for 5 months. There is no doubt in my mind that taking my time and not rushing through treatment gave me the best possible chance of staying clean. I recently celebrated 1 year clean, my 34th birthday, and moved out of the transition house into an apartment nearby with a friend from the Door. I’m working full-time and I am starting a training program soon for a career that I’m very excited about. I attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and volunteer to do service with the NA activities committee. None of that would have been possible without the support I received from the Last Door. I’ve never felt so optimistic about my life and words can’t describe how grateful I am about that.

Thank you to everyone at the Last Door for changing my life.