George had an alcoholic father, increasing his potential to become an addict. After his father left his family and moved away, George said his mom was busy, working to keep food on the table, and she didn't have time to notice what was going on.
“It wasn't that she was a bad mother, she was just a single mom trying to take care of four kids,” he said.
By his 21st birthday, George said he was using marijuana and drinking, though he had quit 'experimenting' with other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. A coworker had given him the prescription drug Vicodin to help with the pain he felt from working a physically tough job.
He continued using Vicodin and added Percoset to the mix. However, Vicodin and Percoset became expensive, so he moved to Oxycontin. He said he moved from simply taking it, to snorting it for a better effect. For two years, George took whatever painkillers he could get his hands on.
“I stopped smoking weed, and justified the pills with the fact that prescriptions are legal,” George commented.
Oxycontin began to became more expensive and George found a connection to the opiod drug, morphine; so he began using that, he said. During this time, he began having problems in his relationship.
“I tried to quit, but I got really sick,” George shared. “So she left me, and I can't blame her. I wasn't the person she'd started dating. The pills had a strong hold on me.”
Eventually, George said his dealer wouldn't sell him morphine because they were worried about what it was doing to him. He felt sick, he said, so he went on a search for something to help. He tried to clean up, but eventually started snorting heroin because it was inexpensive.
A friend advised him that he was wasting the drug by not shooting up; so he tried it, and didn't stop.
“From that point on, I couldn't stay sober,” he said. “I felt like a piece of crap for having someone watch my son while I scored…”
George tried to get clean, but with a lack of resources in rural Darke County, it took several tries. He finally moved from the area, got himself clean and has changed his lifestyle. George has been clean for one year now.