Steven’s story is typical of the estimated 10,000 people in the Lucas County region who are addicted to heroin and other opioids. After using prescription painkillers-mainly Percocet and Oxycotin- he graduated to heroin when he was 20 years old. Eventually Steven was shooting up to a gram a day and spending $50-$100 a day to support his habit. If he stopped using he felt the agony of withdrawal, including excruciating body aches, nausea, diarrhea and feverish sweats. To get money to buy drugs, Steven sold drugs and worked at local restaurants. But it wasn’t enough, soon he was “boosting” and breaking into buildings and selling the stolen property. In 2012, he spent a year in prison for breaking into his neighbor’s home and stealing three televisions. “Addiction makes you do things you don’t want to do”, he said. “I’m not a bad person, but I’ve made some bad choices”. In early January, Steven decided to get treatment, but the waiting list for detox at a local treatment center was eight weeks. So Steven went out and used again. On January 14th, he overdosed, locked in his bathroom with a needle in his arm. Steven’s brother called 911 and Steven was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center. After Steven was discharged he received a call at home from a D.A.R.T. officer, Deputy Charles Johnson. The day after Steven spoke with Deputy Johnson, the two were able to meet for a home visit. The next day, D.A.R.T. officers took Steven to the Zepf Center in Toledo to get assessed and start detox. Again, Steven was told there were no available beds. “If I can’t get in, I am going to go out and use again” Steven said. Another D.A.R.T. Officer, Deputy Shaun McMahon, told the receptionist he was not leaving until Steven got in and got a bed. A few hours later, Steven was admitted to detox. Eight days later, he entered recovery housing. During his first two months in treatment, Steven saw five members of his group leave, relapse, and die. With the help of D.A.R.T. officers and Zepf Center counselors, Steven stayed with his treatment and recovery process. Today, he’s clean, excited about his new life, and eager to get back to work. A 2009 graduate of Maumee High School, Steven plans to enroll in Owens Community College and become a chemical dependency counselor. “My life is a million times better, and it is only going to get better from here” he said. *D.A.R.T. Continues to divert nonviolent addicts from jail and prison by getting them into treatment and opening the door to a new life. If Steven can overcome, then so can you !
Stevenís Success Story.