Clayton - harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I tried cocaine for the first time when I was 16 years old. I was drunk when I first snorted the drug and was pressured into doing it. I soon fell in love with the feelings it brought me. It began to overtake my life. I was spending all of my hard earned money on it, and I was receiving nothing substantial in return. I risked many things during this period: my job, my family, going to jail, and most importantly, my life.

I would return home from a night of using and partying, and while everyone else slept, I lay awake in my bed staring at the ceiling, wishing that I could just sleep. But, sleep barely ever came. No sooner was I drifting off to sleep then my alarm clock was buzzing for me to get up and go to school or work. I spent much of my junior and senior year of high-school discussing and looking for drugs. I was constantly making connections, finding ways to ensure I could always have it when I need it.

Cocaine is not physically addicting, but it is mentally addicting. Your mind is constantly processing how and where to get it. My life began to revolve around Cocaine. My friends were sick of me and my family began to worry why I was constantly out of money though I worked so many hours and that I rarely ate or slept. By the time the summer following my senior year came around, I was using at home, at work, at parties, at friends houses, in my car, in other cars; just about anywhere I could find risking my health and my independence. Cocaine is an illegal drug and I could face serious jail time for possessing it.

I loved the drug while I was on it, but once I came off I would realize how horrible it was. Though I hated the drug for months, I still continued to use. It wasn’t until about a week before I arrived at James Madison University that I truly understood just what this drug was doing to me. I got into a car accident driving while on the drug. I hit the concrete median twice and proceeded to spin into the guardrail. My car was totaled. Thankfully, I was able to walk away from this event without a scratch.

After my accident I fully realized just how much this drug had changed my life. I had become a liar, a thief, and worst of all I had lost all my friends and my car which I had bought with my own money. I decided then and there that I was done with this drug. I have now been drug free for over 35 days. You can do anything and be anyone you want if you truly make the effort to change. I made that effort. I believe in self-determination, and I believe in me.