“I don’t always have an answer, but I do have an ear to listen.”

"I started using heroin when I was 15. No one knows what it's like to need to put $50 in your body before you can brush your teeth – no one knows what it's like unless you've been through it. It's like waking up with the flu-times-one-thousand. Every night I'm not going to sleep, I'm laying down and resting my eyes for 3 hours, getting right back up at 4'o'clock in the morning. I'm getting picked up from a small town in Carroll County, Maryland, by older white men that would otherwise not talk to me at all, so we can go down and I can get them their fix, their money can get me mine, and I can get dropped back off to get on a school bus and go to school and perform, pass tests, give speeches, and act like nothing was wrong. One teacher my senior year spoke to me. She said 'You know, Eric, I know you've had some problems, and if there's something I could do to stop you, I would… Only you have the answer. Please let me know what I can do to help.' I looked her dead in her face and said 'There is nothing wrong with me.' What can you tell a teenager – especially a teenager who feels like he or she is in charge? When you're not done, you're not done. And I was out to do harm to myself. I couldn't do enough drugs. …I didn't have enough to live for to worry about dying. I believe that's what's different about this time around. I'm never gonna say 'I've got this, I'm okay,' but I'm definitely alright. I now work for a prominent local hospital, linking people with the help and the hope that they need to possibly seek treatment. I don't always have an answer, but I do have an ear to listen." —– Eric, 11 months #clean and #sober, shares some of his story on @drugstoriesproject – listen at the link in our bio!

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Listen at https://www.drugstories.org/stories/eric-whitaker