Ep. 182 – Tommy L – How one Corona took him down a deep dark path

“I’ve had family members that have died from addiction, but I never thought that I would have an addiction.” -Tommy

Today, Ben and I are chatting with Tommy, who became an addict after taking narcotic drugs for pain relief after a motorcycle accident. Since he has addiction in his family, Tommy wasn’t a stranger to the effects of drugs and alcohol on a person and their loved ones.

Why Tommy Didn’t Think Addiction was in his Future

“I never saw myself as that person that has a need for anything other than myself,” Tommy explains. Looking back, Tommy sees behaviors and patterns that led him down the path to addiction. He would go to parties and drink to the point of losing time, hurting himself or others, and not remembering events that happened while he was drinking.

Prescription Pain Medications as Gateway Drugs

Tommy quickly found that he liked the feeling prescription painkillers afforded him as he felt like he could get up and do anything. At first, he would run out of his prescription early, which quickly escalated to increasing his dose, then the doctor hopping to get more drugs legally. When one of his doctors wouldn’t write him refills for pain medication, he turned to buy heroin and oxycontin on the streets. “Then I was so tired from these drugs that I started cocaine and crack.” Within five years of starting his addiction to prescription pain medication, Tommy was out on the street purchasing only illegal drugs.

The First Round of Addiction Treatment

In 2019, his family gave him the option of getting treatment or leaving their home, so Tommy decided to go to his first treatment facility. “I was scared and didn’t know what to think. I didn’t fully believe in it and I didn’t want to do it.” At this time, he didn’t acknowledge that he was having an issue with drugs and alcohol and didn’t believe that he needed help to get past his addiction. Realizing that he needed help with getting sober, Tommy was motivated to get back on track during his second treatment at Rock Recovery Center.

Listen in and find out why Tommy changed his viewpoint about getting help for his addiction, why having a drink will lead addicts back to treatment in a short time, and why Tommy was scared that he wouldn’t be happy as a recovered addict.

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Show Notes:

  • [03:33] Decompression surgery to his skull led to more health problems after his motorcycle accident. 
  • [04:08] What treatment was like the first time in recovery for Tommy.
  • [05:37] How his prescription for pain medication led to illegal drug use.
  • [07:53] Tommy reflects back on his time at the first recovery facility.
  • [13:08] Getting back to life requires a lifestyle change after addiction.
  • [18:35] Tommy’s second time in recovery at Rock Recovery Center.
  • [23:56] The danger of hanging out with old friends who drink and do drugs when you’re an addict.
  • [29:48] Questioning if he is going to be happy when he was in recovery.
  • [34:11] The importance of surrounding yourself with positive people after addiction. 
  • [39:08] Life changes that happened to Tommy as he worked through the recovery program.

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