Outpatient Focus - Matt Adkins

Before I had a problem with drugs, I had a great childhood.  I lived at home with my parents and attended Manchester, a small high school. I was an average student and average in sports, though I could have done better if I had applied myself.  Like a lot of teens, I experimented with alcohol in high school.  My high school only had a total of about 400 students and there was not a lot of diversity there. There also were no drugs in my school that I knew of.  The school was so small that if there were drugs there, everyone would have known about it.  After high school, I went to college and I experimented with just about every drug I could get.  I discovered that the thing I liked most about college was partying. 

While attending college, I got an offer for an apprenticeship to become an electrician. I decided to take that offer and left college, but by then I was addicted to drugs and I carried that with me to my new career.  I became a journeyman electrician and though I went back to college for a time, I never graduated.  I was good at compartmentalizing my life and when I was at work, I worked and when I was off, I partied.  I rationalized my drug use by telling myself that I wasn’t hurting anyone – that what I did had no impact on other people.  I know now that it was a lie.  My drug use had consequences for those I cared about the most. 

Eleven years ago I became a father and that brought a whole new component of responsibility to my life which I took very seriously, yet my drug addiction continued to progress. My life really spiraled out of control when I went in for a medical procedure and I was given Vicodin for pain.  Those pills made me feel like I was 20 years old again and I was instantly hooked.  Originally I had a prescription, but when that ran out, I resorted to buying opioids on the street in bad neighborhoods.  No one knew about my addiction, I hid it from everyone.  I was the guy that looked like a normal suburban dad. I coached my son’s baseball team and worked as a full-time electrical foreman for a commercial contractor. I lied to everyone in my life to put on this appearance of normalcy.

I hated the lies and the double life I was living. I tried to get off the pain pills on my own by getting Suboxone from someone on the street, but it didn’t help. All my attempts at giving up my addiction failed. The pills owned me and my personal life was falling apart. I knew I was in serious trouble when my son was 9 years old and I was coaching his baseball team. While we were at the field, I went into a port-a-john, crushed up a pill, snorted it, and went back out to the baseball field to pitch balls to the team. I needed help.

I heard about New Destiny from a fellow electrician, so I called to get information.  I came to New Destiny two years ago having hit rock bottom. I was entirely ready to give up and get clean. Financially, I was a wreck. Within a single week after I started my treatment, my gas was turned off, a tow truck showed up at my house to repossess my car, and my home was 60 days away from a sheriff’s sale. I finally had to quit the lies and confess to my girlfriend what I had been doing. Amazingly, within one month of treatment, I was able to refinance my home and keep it. I had prayed to God and asked for help as I started this detox and recovery journey and God stepped in, answered my prayers, and helped in miraculous ways. It was crazy the way things worked out! I was grateful and humble. I believed in God before, but now I had a personal experience and I saw his grace and mercy for myself.

My son is now 11. I’m setting an honest example for him now. My finances and relationships are on solid ground and I no longer have to lie.  I feel physically better because I no longer have extreme ups and downs, but spiritually and emotionally I feel even better. Now I can tell people about my past without shame and maybe my story will help others have hope.