At 13, Tim smoked marijuana for the first time, so that he would fit in with other kids. He was the oldest son of a proud Irish-Catholic police officer and grew up middle class. Tim attended Catholic school and was a cross-country track star in high school, achieving scholarships for his athletic abilities. Throughout his teenage years, Tim began experimenting with other drugs, and by 18, he was addicted to cocaine.
At 22, Tim got married and had three children by the age of 27. His cocaine addiction put significant strains on his marriage. Tim’s ability to work diminished significantly because of his addiction and he resorted to a criminal lifestyle to support his addiction. His behavior led him to prison five times, for a total of 10 years of incarceration. Tim also underwent seven addiction treatments over a 23-year period.
Breaking the Cycle
During his first incarceration, Tim’s wife left him and got remarried. He was not able to handle the loss of his family. Feeling he had no purpose, he returned to old habits upon release, a cycle that he kept again and again. It wasn’t until his last arrest where Tim recalls sitting in a county jail for a residential burglary charge, that he decided enough was enough. He asked for treatment and he received it. Tim flourished in a behavioral change-based program that challenged him to notice his thinking errors and to identify a sense of purpose for his life. He attended Certified Associate Addictions Program and excelled in it. The program helped instill a renewed look on life.
A New Start
Upon release, Tim was excited to start a new life. He got a job at a homeless shelter and attended the local university. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Services and was then offered a full-time position assisting post-release parolees. Tim became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and moved on to complete a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Currently, Tim is completing coursework to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). He has been fully employed since his release, often working two jobs while taking classes.
– Tim O.