My name is Jacob. I was asked to share my story. You could say I love anything that made me feel different; drugs, alcohol or even household products. When I was in middle school I never thought about drinking or doing drugs. I didn’t hang with the pot smokers or people who drank. Who was really thinking about that stuff that early? So, I guess you could say I started late. I started drinking and smoking the summer before high school. I was about 15 years old. The first time getting drunk was with Crown Royal in a basement with a few of my friends. I didn’t like the taste but did it feel good? Yes. Even though I ended up talking to a freezer and falling a hundred times. I told myself I wouldn’t drink as much the next time. I started drinking on the weekends. Everybody was doing it. I was smoking weed daily before school and after. I turned 16 and started working. Now I have a few bucks in my pocket, working in continuing to smoke. I was working with a guy who was a few years older than me. He had told me maybe I can put some money up and get a big amount of weed so I started slanging. I’m 16 and have no clue what a 50 bag is or looks like. So, I start trying to learn the ins and outs of drug dealing. All I was doing was smoking for free really. Where there is drugs and drinking their usually will be different drugs. So I decided to quit my job and live up the summer. I started hanging with people who had E pills and living the good life. It was fine. We all hung out, took some smoke rides, sell stuff the people we didn’t think anything of it. This is not what a 16-year-old boy should be doing. I’m meeting new people and living young, wild and free. I was the type that would always need to be on something or life seemed to be boring. I started lying, coming home late, stealing from my dad and robbing. At this point I started doing pills, Coke and anything else to try and get out of my head. I’m staying up all night thinking about how Jacob will get high again. I’m 18 years old now, skipping school and getting high every day and breaking into places to chill and smoke weed. Someone called the cops and said there was a group of people that went into the basement of an apartment complex. Well, there was around 13 of us; some ran and some didn’t. I was one that didn’t run thinking they would let us go. They did not let us go. This was my first time to Central booking. They let me out on P.R. I stayed home from school that day, I should’ve just stayed in the house. That’s all I kept thinking to myself. I was waiting a few days to tell my dad but he already spotted my paperwork. From that day on I kept visiting the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. I kept getting weed charges. I would be in and out of jail, from Project 103 on the street to getting real comfortable with having my name in the newspaper. I’m 21 now and I’m one house arrest. It’s 2009. My dad is sick and trying to get a new liver from all his drinking. His liver is shutting down. It’s August 27 and my dad dies. My grandma and I moved to a smaller house. I start messing up again. I started selling pills and weed again. I eventually got arrested for weed. My grandmother is dealing with her cancer and has had enough of my crap. I don’t blame her though. I moved in with my mom. It’s now December 28, 2010 and my sweet grandmother dies; bless her heart. Losing her son and her loving husband she couldn’t take it anymore. I’m now lost, confused and heartbroken. I wouldn’t say I used from all the pain but I stopped caring about life. Artie don’t care about my life because of my cystic fibrosis. Maybe that’s why got high, I’m not too sure but the three most important people in my life are now going. How do I react? How do I cope with life? I do what I do best and mask my feelings with drugs. At this point I’m living with my mom. I can do whatever and have whoever at the house, so I did. I’m selling and meeting people at my house. I’m drinking, smoking and I’m now doing coke, Percocets, dippers, eating mushrooms and doing anything else I could to get high. Y’all know the rest; I started to learn about heroin. It was way cheaper than Percocets. I started out only snorting them. Then I started shooting them. Worst mistake I ever made. Waking up every day getting more and more just so I wouldn’t feel sick. I’m not even getting high anymore I’m just chasing the Dragon. I lost respect for myself so why stop now. I finally get arrested for heroin. It saved my life though. I told myself I’m going to stop tomorrow. I’m going to just do some today and I’m not doing any tomorrow. I’m on probation already for a charge from a few months but that didn’t stop me. I got arrested twice while being on probation. I had a VOP coming up and still breaking the law. Waiting for court on Monday, January 6 at 2014, I knew I had a warrant so I put three layers of clothes on for my stay at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. I didn’t know how long I was going in for. I can remember every time I went to court from jail I’d bag for them to let me out. I’ll do right, I promise I’ve learned my lesson. I will break the law anymore. They hear that type a talk all the time. I had learned anything from the few weeks I was there. All I’m thinking is how can I get out fast. I was told about Drug Court. I kept thinking how can I do Drug Court when I can’t even finish probation. I do project 103 in the jail which is substance abuse treatment so I can get into a halfway house. The day of court I’m scared. I don’t know what to do. Sit down for seven years or take Drug Court? I question my lawyer and she tells me that I’m going to DOC or taking Drug Court. I’m in the cell all alone. I look up and tell God I won’t let you down. I’m done messing up my life. I don’t want to get high. I’ll be damned if I ever stick a needle in my arm again.
July 14, 2014 I started my journey on my new way of life. I haven’t been perfect. I have many down falls but I get back up and keep fighting. I have been beat up all my life. I can get beat up again or beat these demons. Getting stronger each day. You know what’s crazy today? My old friends look up to me. They are proud of me and how far I have come. Today I’m more than a junkie. I’m a son, a brother and an uncle. I can be trusted today. Living in this awesome community. Today I’m in the newspaper for good things and it’s all because of Drug Court. The 12 steps and the willingness to live and want to stay sober. There are so many awesome recovering people in Frederick. Some I even used it to run with. The people I have met these last few months have so much love and respect. I’m not perfect. We fall but we help each other out. I’ve seen more people died since I’ve been sober then when I was out there using drugs. It’s sad. Life should be more than putting your friends and family 6 feet under. I have so many blessings. I can remember asking God to not let me wake up. Now I thank God for waking me up. Don’t judge anybody by what their past used to look like. You may never see them again. I remember what life used to look like when everything was cloudy but today I see the light and it looks amazing. There are people out there that can drink and drug successfully. I’m not one of them. I’m proud of who I am today. I used to never be able to say that. Today is way better than what life used to be. “Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it. Right is right even if nobody is doing it.” – Jacob Reid AKA Jreid