Victor | Denver, CO

“I got introduced after being drafted to Vietnam. People picked up a lot of bad habits over there.”

I got introduced after being drafted to Vietnam in ’71. People picked up a lot of bad habits over there. Mine was heroin; it helped numb me to what I was doing. I didn’t realize I was addicted until about six months in, when I became sick from withdrawals. When I got back from Vietnam, I tested positive for substance use, and they put me in a psychiatric hospital in Aurora, Colorado. If you used drugs, you were crazy–that’s how they labeled us then. I had to stay there for three months until my discharge came through. I’d hurt my back in the army and still had pain, so a doctor prescribed me opioids. That’s when I started shifting from using heroin to taking opioids. I wasn’t using them as I was supposed to, and it probably took about ten years of abusing them before I found treatment. There were not many drug treatment centers then–places where you could seek therapy, or even get on a methadone program. Eventually I found a center where they were able to get me down to a treatable amount, to where it was like I was taking nothing compared to what I initially was. I was ready to face my addiction from a physical standpoint. From there, I really connected with my church, and with their help and prayers, I was able to finally break my chain of addiction. If you have a problem, seek help. I know what worked for me, it can work for you.