"When I got into pills, they completely took me. I mean, there wasn't nothing I would do to get them, I had to have them," said a former drug addict who wished to remain anonymous.
That former drug user started taking drugs at age 9, and by 15 he was heavily using several substances.
"That lead to, just the pill itself, led to money issues, which led to family issues, which led to relationship issues, I had a family, a good little family. Lost it. My wife divorced me, I went to jail," he said.
After he got out of jail, he started using more drugs, like methamphetamine and cocaine.
Experts said that's not uncommon. Jeff Pritchard from the United Summit Center said once someone gets addicted to a drug, it's a lifelong struggle.
"As time goes on, they develop a psychological addiction. With some drugs, we get a real physiological addiction. With a lot of drugs too, it's 'I want the feeling' as much as 'I need the feeling'," said Pritchard.
However, it wasn't just about the high for this former addict. Whenever he struggled with anything in life, he turned to drugs to escape. He also said it was a thrill to get the substances.
"You're addicted to the drug, and you're addicted to the chase. It's nothing but, you want the drug, you find it, you use it, you look for it again. It's like having a thirst you can never quench, a hunger you can never feed. It's never enough. No matter how much you have, it's never enough," the former addict describes.
Almost 9 percent of the American population has used an illegal drug. Once someone's hooked, the road to recovery is a long one.
"If you don't have a strong support system, if you don't have other things in your life, to fill that void that drugs, the place that drugs have in your life, it's going to be extremely difficult," said Pritchard.
The former addict we talked with said he hopes those factors help keep him away from drugs for the rest of his life.
"If you're not scared of falling, then, like I said, you're for sure going to fall. I mean, you've got to have that fear because all the things in your life that caused you to get where you're at right now, are the things that you're scared of. You should know, by now, that if you continue to use drugs, this is going to happen again and again, no matter what," he said.
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