The following story was contributed by Eric, a friend of MHAG staff.

My name is Eric.I am 34 years old, and live near Cleveland, OH.I finally decided on July 24 2015 that i had enough of the crazy lifestyle that I had been living for far to long.I wont go into much detail but I started with weed when I was 13, did pretty much everything there is until I discovered opiates at the age of 30.It started with percocets from a car accident and within a year i was snorting heroin.It quickly destroyed my life.I first started getting serious about recovery when the mother of my children died from an infection that ate away her heart valve that she contracted through I.V. drug use.Two months later, I lost one of my very dear friends to a heroin overdose, he snorted a small amount and it killed him.Since I finally got my act together, I have lost too many friends to count to addiction.

My little brother, Matt, whom i was very close to, died 3 weeks ago from an overdose.He left behind 2 beautiful children, and was loved by a lot of people.As a person who does not believe in god, I found that AA/NA was not the right program for me.I do not like being around people who use, and lets face it, there are people in some of those meetings that still use.If they are there, trust me I will find them.I had to give up a lot of life long friendships because those people still use.That was probably the hardest part of this recovery process for me.Today i see a psych doctor, and he is treating me for depression.Its great, the best decision that i have ever made.I go there and unload all the guilt and shame that carry around, and when I leave, I feel great.I am still picking up the pieces of my life that my addiction created.Today I can say that I have no warrants, and no desire to use.Its not easy, but it can certainly be done, you just truly have to want it.My biggest regret is that I did not address my mental problem earlier in life, but that is o.k., better late than never.If I could tell a fellow addict one thing it would be this- some people recover before they let addiction kill them, and others die before they get it.Do you want to live, or do you want to die.I know that I want to live, so i know today that i cannot use.I wish everyone the best of luck in the journey of recovery.