LARS | Florissant, CO

We need to end the stigma around addiction; it’s not your fault you’re wired this way.

I am Lars. My first experience with substances came at an early age when I drank alcohol for the first time in seventh grade. In my early twenties, I had multiple knee surgeries, which came with an opioid prescription. Daily use led to addiction, and things began to spiral. Over the years, I have had periods of sobriety. These periods never lasted because I didn’t feel like I was really doing the work. It wasn’t until I was pulled over for an aggravated DUI and possession that I started to turn things around. Facing the consequences of my actions was a wake-up call that I couldn’t ignore. The fear of losing everything I held dear, including my freedom, propelled me to take a hard look at my life and the choices I had been making. It was a moment of clarity that forced me to acknowledge the destructive path I had been on for far too long.

In this situation, I found pathways to recovery. One of those pathways was that I received court-ordered rehab. I was also able to do some self-evaluation of myself as a person and how I wanted to share myself with the world. From there, I was able to put in the work that’s so essential to recovery. Having a supportive partner was hugely helpful. My wife understands that I can’t be with someone who is going to use substances at all. My support system, competitive nature, dedication to working on my sobriety, and being myself have given me a new life. Today, I own a natural pet market and dog wash, I spend time volunteering to do outreach, and I focus on my sobriety.