By Greg Williams
I was a drug and alcohol addict by the age of 17. I smoked pot almost every day, drank, and abused OxyContin and benzodiazepines. To my parents and sister, Natalie, it was clear that I had a serious problem. I didn't see it that way, though. I just thought that I liked to party.
Even though I was in denial about my addiction, my family started to take action. My parents sought answers from professionals and tried to find ways to prevent me from using. They drug tested me at home and demanded that I follow their rules and be accountable for my actions. Eventually, they got me into a local outpatient adolescent treatment program.
These early interventions helped me—somewhat. My thinking changed from "I don't have a problem, I just like to party" to "Well, maybe I have a problem with pills." So I left the outpatient program in May 2001 truly believing that I could give up the prescription meds, but still smoke weed and drink beer and be fine. I vowed to control my alcohol and pot use. But after only four or five days, I was back to my old habits and taking the pills again.