My Name is Jason, I’m 22 years old,

I am from northern New Jersey. I grew up in a loving caring family that gave me everything I ever wanted and needed. I did not have many problems as a child. I had a very happy and fulfilling childhood.  My parents got divorced when I was very young, which did not have a major impact on my life. I lived with my mother and saw my father on an almost daily basis, I was very into sports as a child.

I started using drugs when I was 13 years old.

The first drug I used was marijuana. The first time I used marijuana, nothing really came from it. I enjoyed the way it made me feel. Shortly after that, I started smoking marijuana daily. At about 15 years old, I suffered my first of many consequences due to my addiction, I was arrested with marijuana and was court mandated to complete a substance abuse program (IOP program). I had a great deal of difficulty remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol while I was in that program, and that was when I first identified that I may have a drug problem. Once I finally completed that program, my addiction really took off. I started getting into drugs like Xanax and cocaine, along with my daily marijuana use. It wasn’t too long before the Xanax abuse became daily, and I found myself in another IOP program following another drug-related arrest. Again, I had a great deal of trouble staying sober while I was in that program, and eventually, I was discharged unsuccessfully from said program. As I continued to spiral out of control, my disease of addiction eventually progressed to prescription painkillers. Once I got my hands on those, my addiction really went into full effect. About a week into using opioid painkillers, I developed a full-blown opioid addiction.
I started to steal from my mother. I would con and manipulate her and ultimately do whatever I could to get my hands on the next few pills that could get me through the day. It didn’t take much time until my family noticed I needed to go back to treatment. And at the age of 17, I was sent to my first inpatient residential program in Nashville Tennessee. I remember this time going to the treatment I actually had a desire to get and stay sober; I ended up relapsing yet again within 1 day of getting out of treatment. Shortly after that my tolerance for opioid pain pills increased and I did not have enough money to maintain my habit, so I made the transition to heroin. Once I used heroin, I was off and running. In between the ages of 17 to 19, I went in and out of detoxes and treatments followed by countless relapses. I began to consider myself a hopeless heroin addict. I had lost all trust with my family and burned just about every bridge I had. After I got kicked out of my last residential program, I discovered Live Free Structured Sober Living in NH. I had been to countless sober houses and had very minimal success, but this sober house in NH was different. I noticed the other residents there were genuinely happy and content with their lives and themselves. Upon admission, I was integrated into the community, and shown a new way of life, a new way of life that I continue to live today. Live Free Structured Sober Living in NH taught me how to be honest and accountable with others, but more importantly with myself.

Today I am 2 and a half years sober.

I have a great relationship with my family, I have amazing friends, and I have the honor to work in the recovery field, where I am now able to help others the same way I was helped early in my recovery. I am truly blessed.