Ep. 197 – Getting Hooked On (and Off) Drugs and Drink

“I have a purpose today, and I feel God steps in my life a lot and he was telling me to have courage and be fearless.” -Ira

Today, Ben and I chatted with Ira, who’s a real deal addict. He’s had a ton of health issues like cancer, diabetes, and even facing death as a result of his drug and alcohol addiction. But he managed to turn his life around and now he’s going on two years sober! Listen in as he talks about getting addicted, how he overcame it, and all the people who helped save his life along the way.

Struggling to Find His Place

Growing up in the 70s as half Irish and half Vietnamese, Ira felt like he never fit in anywhere. He went through some verbal and physical abuse at an early age. 

In seventh grade at age 13, he picked up his first beer and smoked dope for the first time. By age 15, he was an IV drug user and hooked on cocaine and opiates. Then he dropped out of high school with only a 9th-grade education and eventually became a convicted felon in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. 

Years after his father passed away from cirrhosis, Ira turned to heavy drinking. “I drank alcoholically because I was searching for the high from dope and pills or whatever it may be, and I wasn’t getting it.” 

This led to frequent illness and hospital visits that did nothing to help his addiction… until a pivotal low point marked the real beginning of his turbulent recovery.

Helping Others in Recovery

After a lot of pain and uncertainty about where his life was headed, Ira has taken up a mantle that not many sober people choose. He shares his story in hopes of helping others recover from their addictions. Through his own experience of 35 years and newfound faith, he meets great people in places like hospitals, treatment centers, and psyche wards. Ira knows the importance of having a supportive person or group on the road to sobriety.

Check out our website, where you can download episodes with helpful information for those in recovery and their families. Share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review!

Show Highlights

  • [05:26] What made Ira swear off heavy drinking for 13 years
  • [07:26] How he got high on alcohol and drugs at the same time
  • [10:49] Frequent hospital visits as an easy way to get a fix
  • [14:11] Why the substance of choice plays a minor part in addiction overall
  • [18:46] Ira’s downturn before the turnaround
  • [29:36] An intervention that led to him getting treatment for his health problems
  • [40:04] The place and the meeting that ended up saving his life
  • [46:58] How the last few months of Ira’s life have changed

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