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Sean focuses on transparency, building a lasting foundation at Mission

Sean thinks his ADHD meds kicked off his addiction.

Sean thinks his ADHD meds kicked off his addiction.

When Sean was 10, he was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin to help him stay focused in school. It quickly became a part of his everyday routine: wake up, take meds, go to school. It was this developed habit that Sean believes conditioned him to try other substances. “I was so used to taking something in the morning to get me going that when I no longer took Ritalin, I needed something else,” Sean said. “So, I started using meth as a stimulant to help focus. It was just like my ADHD medication to me.”

After Sean graduated high school, he went directly into construction where his drug use escalated due to the stresses of the job. “I didn’t go to college … and construction isn’t steady,” he said. “You have to hustle a lot. Me and the other guys did meth and coke to keep up with the work.” As his addiction progressed, Sean’s girlfriend and her daughter (from a previous relationship) started noticing a change in Sean and an increase in his drug use and drinking. “I was staying up all hours of the night and then went to work. I never thought there was an issue.

“As an addict, the more you get into the drugs, the less likely you’re going to notice you have a problem. I always thought I had control.”

In between rehab attempts, Sean and his girlfriend had a son, and although they eventually separated, they remain close friends and peacefully co-parent. Sean was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After his separation, Sean started to mix opioids and meth, moved back into his parents’ home, and became depressed and unmotivated. “I started shooting meth. Which affected me hard. It only took about a week for me to get hooked.

“My life was getting bad. My health was bad. My parents were concerned. I needed help.”

When Sean entered the Men’s Life Recovery Program, he couldn’t believe the kindness he experienced. “I was severely underweight and constantly sick because of my diabetes and drug use, and they just loved on me,” he said. “This place is different.”

Sean has become transparent about his struggles. “This is the first time I’ve told my son, Andrew, I was in rehab,” he said. “The other times, he was younger and thought I was going to school to become a better dad. This time, I was honest. I told him I had a problem and that I needed help. There’s more accountability. There’s no other option.”

After graduation, Sean wants to stay connected with the Mission and plans to get out of construction to pursue a different career. “I want to further my education … I know what addiction is like, what disability is like, so I’m thinking of becoming a specialized counselor. I want a new future.

“This is my last chance. I don’t have another relapse in me. Now, I don’t see a need for drugs. I needed to find the foundation to stay that way. I’m finding that here.”

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