My name is Tristan. I’m 24 years old, from Youngstown, Ohio and I’m an ex-opiate user.
My struggles began in early years, around 13 I dealt with abuse at home and severe bullying at school. I was pulled out of school at 13 for online schooling due to this.
My home life was crazy, both sides of the family. I never wanted to be home; I had a friend when I was about 14 or 15 and he was quite older, 18 years old. He introduced me to pills called triple c’s, I loved them.
We spent so much time together abusing these things; eventually I flunked out of school due to lack of care. Time passed; these pills became boring. He introduced me to many more but the one thing that changed my life from it was a dark powder he had mixed in a cap and a syringe.
At 16 I became addicted to shooting heroin. Age 18 I developed stage 3 kidney disease; my body was shutting down. My mother looked me in my face and told me she was not ready to bury her son. I tried for years to get off the needle and pills. I succeeded for periods of time, but eventually enough was enough.
At 21 I went back to rehab, got my head straight and met a woman who changed my life. I am now almost 25, have a family, a house, and a huge community I speak to regularly. I worked in IOP and AA groups for a year after recovery.
I read a lot, and when I started working again, I ultimately kept myself busy. Helping people and maintaining consistency and organization keeps me going daily, along with my support system and knowing there’s people who need me.