The Edmond Sun


May 22, 2009

Recovering addict shares story, hope

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: The interview for the following story about an Edmond recovering alcoholic and drug user was arranged through Edmond Family Counseling. A fictitious first name is being used to protect his identity, as part of a 12-step recovery process requirement of anonymity.

“John,” 19, grew up in Edmond. He began drinking alcohol at about age 14.

He said more than anything else, he started because of peer pressure. A part of him wanted to drink too.

The first time he drank was at a friend’s house with a group of friends from school. A friend who was about 21, the legal drinking age in Oklahoma, gave John some Everclear, a drink with high alcohol content that is illegal in many states.

“I got really, really drunk,” he recalled.

At age 15, John had friends who could drive, and he would get alcohol from gas stations and convenience stores in Edmond and Oklahoma City. They would drink at friends’ homes, “one party after another.”

“Wherever the liquor was, that’s where I went,” he said.

Before long, he was drinking on a regular basis, on most weekends.

Drug use detailed

At age 14, John first tried marijuana. The older sibling of a friend obtained it for him.

The first time, he didn’t get “stoned.” A week or two later, he smoked marijuana again and did get stoned.

“I loved it. It was great,” he said of his fondness for the drug at the time.

John said for him, getting “hooked” on marijuana was a gradual process. By age 15, he was smoking it nearly every day, 90 percent of the time with friends. It was “pretty easy” to get marijuana, with just a couple of phone calls, he said.

He worked full time, and he said he would spend an average of $100-$150 a week on marijuana. Most of the money came from his earnings; he occasionally would take money from home to pay for his drug habit.

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