“Sorry, I don’t really like talking or sharing stuff with people I don’t really know,” says John.

He takes off his hat and runs his fingers through his hair. His hands shake out of nervousness. It’s hard speaking about something that makes him feel so vulnerable.

John started using in 2009. Before heroin, he took unprescribed pain pills to manage his daily pain for his job. Then, his neighbor and his neighbor’s wife introduced him to the drug.

“It was cheaper than what I was doing at the time. I didn’t see a difference in taking the pills or heroin,” explains John. “I ended up spending way more money on heroin than I did pain pills,” he scoffs.

At first, John snorted it and did not get high. After he started injecting it, things spiraled out of control. He was arrested and sentenced to prison for 35 days.

After his release, the court ordered him to seek treatment at Community First Solution’s Behavioral Health Services in Middletown.

“I didn’t really want to get better,” admits John. “I didn’t want to stop using.”

Even though he fought it, John kept coming to meetings.

“I was still passing drug tests even though I was using,” he explains. “My family thought I was doing better, but I wasn’t. The counselors here, though, knew something was going on.”

John hid his continued use from his family until he accidently overdosed in his home. His fiancé found him before it was too late. Even though the episode scared him, it wasn’t enough for him to stop.

Concerned counselors at Behavioral Health Services approached John about seeking intensive inpatient treatment. Still not convinced he would succeed, John reluctantly agreed. The faith the counselors showed in him; however, made him start to look at himself and his addiction differently.

“The people here, they didn’t give up on me,” he explains. “It made me start to believe in myself that I could stop using.”

Finally, John made the decision for himself to stop.

“It was really hard,” he confesses. “It’s still hard, but now I realize I don’t need drugs to cover up the pain and things I didn’t want to deal with. I know that if I am struggling with something I can call any of my counselors at Behavioral Health and they will help me. I still have a long way to go, but I have come a long way too.”

John is like many people who find themselves in court-ordered treatment. Community First Solutions wants people to know that there is hope beyond addiction. Even if you are hesitant to seek treatment or unwilling to at this point, we urge you to give it a try. Visit our website https://www.community-first.org/what-we-do/mental-health-services/locations-contact-us and call either our Middletown, West Chester, or Hamilton offices for more information.