Two courageous young men emerged victorious in their struggle against their crystal meth addiction. The unshakable faith of Jeff Rice and David Parnell, along with the intervention of loved ones and the will to succeed, helped them defeat their demons and return to normal life, much like what an established outpatient rehab in St. Louis does for its wards. In an article for the South Missourian, the two recount their turbulent journey from addiction to redemption.
Rejecting the distorted notion of an artificial stimulant to make your life feel good can lead to feeling like a new person. Jeff and David struggled mightily to exit the riptide — and found a way through a connection to the divine that brought a higher understanding of themselves.
The pursuit of “happiness”
Substance abusers are often trapped in their own little world of insecurity, self-pity, and escapism. Their feelings of inadequacy distance them from others, even as their friends, family, and concerned individuals struggle to bring them back into the world.
For meth and recreational drug users, the pursuit of a manufactured feeling of “happiness” is so out of control that to friends and family looking from the outside, it is as if they are being swept out to sea by a riptide. Loved ones, community members, law enforcement, health care professionals and others go to great lengths and expend significant resources to save them, often without success.
Finding their faith
After hitting rock bottom, both Jeff and David took time to reflect on their situation and somehow found redemption in their faith and managed to turn their lives around. They have since kicked the habit and now have their respective advocacies that assist young people coping with substance abuse and similar illnesses.
Intervention is key
According to experts like those from the Midwest Institute for Addiction, a center for therapy and rehab in St. Louis MO, the most critical step in the journey to sobriety begins with the family and/or those close to the patient. These people can easily influence the patient’s decision to enter rehab and provide support while they are undergoing treatment.
Ongoing war against relapse
You must remember that while success stories like Jeff’s and David’s are indeed inspiring, the process to remain clean and sober is a continuous one. Without proper guidance, discipline, and an effective support system, the victories of Jeff, David and others like them will be short-lived.
(Article excerpt and image from “Drug addicts find freedom at most desperate moments” 25 September 2014, Southeast Missourian)