Many people may believe that individuals who begin to use drugs at a young age must have had a rough childhood, maybe even an abusive one. Such an assumption would then have to be followed with the parallel that individuals who have a loving, supportive childhood would never use drugs. Unfortunately, while an individual’s upbringing can certainly have an influence on the choices they make in life, it does not itself determine with finality whether or not they turn to drugs.
A Choice of Drugs or Family
Talin first used drugs when he was only twelve years old. Looking back, there is no obvious reason for why he would have turned to drugs – he had a good family life and was an average twelve-year old. Despite this, he began to use marijuana and alcohol. By the time he was fifteen years old, Talin was using speed, at sixteen, he was using cocaine and by the time he was eighteen he was using PCP (Angel Dust).
In the beginning of his drug use, Talin wasn’t addicted. He thought he was having fun, making a choice to take drugs for the desirable side effects they created. He felt sure that he wasn’t hurting anyone, and therefore there was no harm in him taking drugs. However, like many other individuals have discovered during their journey on the slippery downward spiral into addiction, Talin began to notice that he needed more and more drugs just to get high. He began to violate his own code of conduct and began doing things he had previously thought he’d never do. He became involved with dangerous groups in dangerous neighborhoods. By the time he was twenty-four years old, Talin was mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally lost. He was so entirely addicted to cocaine and PCP that he no longer knew who he was and what his purpose or goal in life was.
Talin held onto the hope that he wasn’t in too bad a condition because he was a functioning addict – able to work and function on some very crude, basic level despite his addiction. There was no other hope in his eyes – he was certain that rehabilitation treatment didn’t work because he had witnessed others who returned to drug use immediately after being released from thirty-day rehabilitation treatment programs. Talin was certain of only one thing – he would eventually end up in prison, in a psych ward, or dead.
Talin soon learned that his sixteen year-old nephew had become involved with drugs when a “friend” gave him some crack cocaine as a birthday present. Talin’s nephew tried the drug and immediately became addicted. Within a short time he was selling drugs to others in order to support his own addiction, and he even ran away from home. Despite being crippled by addiction himself, Talin tried everything he could to find his nephew and get him help. Unfortunately, he was unable to avert disaster and his nephew was killed by a gang member only a few months after first trying drugs.
The loss of his nephew left Talin devastated. He felt he had lost his brother or his best friend. He began using PCP every day; he wanted to die and he believed that drugs were the easiest way out of the nightmare he was living in.
When Talin was twenty-nine years old, his brother approached him and told him that he had two choices: he could either go to rehabilitation and get clean or lose all connection with his family. Talin knew that his brother was entirely serious. He also knew that he didn’t really want to die, that he didn’t want to lose his family and that he didn’t want to cause them more devastation while they were still grieving the loss of his nephew. He agreed to go to rehabilitation.
Talin arrived at Narconon in August 2000 and began the journey to a drug-free life. He admits that completing the Narconon program was one of the most difficult things he has ever done because he had to confront himself and the choices he had made in his life. He was able to take an honest look at himself and see that he was worth saving and capable of being far more than he had been. Talin didn’t realize how many wounds had been laid open by his chronic drug use until he became clean and sober. He began to respect himself, his body, his family and others around him. Talin says that he didn’t become the same person he had been before drugs, he became someone much stronger.
Talin has now been clean and sober for fourteen years. He has never relapsed into drug use, and has never even had the slightest desire to do so. He thanks Narconon for saving his life, and giving him the tools he needs to have a healthy, happy future.