Hopeless addict given second chance at life

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By Zeke Young –

As he sat handcuffed in the back of the patrol car, Josh realized the worst was coming: kicking heroin in county jail. Feelings of regret overwhelmed him as he thought about his wife and kids.

“God, I’m willing to face the consequences and the punishments of what I’ve done. I deserve whatever happens,“ he prayed. “I just pray you would forgive me and give me another chance to be a father to my kids and a husband to my wife. Give me time to hopefully make things right.”

Josh developed a meth addiction and lost his family. With a $1,000 a day habit, Josh needed more than just a job (not to mention being too strung out to execute the responsibilities of a job), so he resorted to drug trafficking.

Initially, he was afraid to try heroin but eventually broke down because other drugs couldn’t make him forget the shame and guilt of abandoning his family. At first, he only smoked it. As he got used to it, he injected it like other addicts.

“Heroin was a whole different animal,” Josh says on a Potter’s House Church Prescott video on Vimeo. “All the drugs are bad but compared to heroin, it’s a whole different thing. When you run out, you’re gonna get sick, and when you start feeling sick, you’ll do whatever it takes” to get more.

Because of the crushing weight of guilt, he mixed drugs, alcohol, weed, pills – anything to silence the shame.

That’s when he decided to sell. He bought big quantities and distributed them to small-time distributors. He had a network of dealers and enforcers to do his dirty work. He had plenty of money and plenty of drugs.

“You get really emotionally dead, because you don’t really care about people, all you care about is yourself, your habits, and your money,” he says. “It could be a single mom, ruining her life; she has kids that she ain’t feeding because she’s spending money getting high on dope.

“If you’ve got to make an example out of somebody, go after somebody and hurt them, you do it,” he adds. “You stay away from doing the dirty work yourself; you find people to do it for you. You find people to make the small sales on their own so that you aren’t the one exposing yourself.”

Having burned all his bridges, he was living out of his car. Sometimes, he could stay over at a friend’s house for a night or visit his wife and say hi to his kids. Other times, he got a motel room to consume drugs.

He was disgusted with himself.

A drug-distributing network can fall apart easily. Participants in the network can turn on you if caught, and also rob from you.

Josh’s network broke down all over. First, his lieutenant caved in to pressure from higher-ups and overpaid a pending account. Second, Josh crashed his car. Third, because Josh was high much of the time he failed to adequately supervise operations.

He found himself without capital and without drugs.

Desperately needing another heroin hit, Josh scrawled a note on the back of a Western Union slip that said, “I have a gun, give me the money.” He walked around Prescott Valley wondering where to pull his heist.

One evening he strode into Walmart. “I walked up to the customer service window,” Josh said. “They had just finished counting the money at the end of the day. I didn’t even pass the note. I just grabbed that bag of money and took off.”

He immediately took a shuttle to Phoenix, bought a car and heroin. After a few days in a motel, he returned to Prescott.

Then a call hit his phone. It was a customer, asking for drugs. Maybe his life would begin to turn around, if he could re-establish his business, he thought.

It turned out it was drug bust. The call came from law enforcement. The cops cuffed him and began pulling stashes of drugs out of his car. I’m never going to get out of jail, he thought.

As he was wondering about what awaited him, he dreaded the notorious heroin withdrawals in county jail. But even worse was the thought of what he had done to his family.

Already in custody in the back of the cop vehicle, Josh remembered God. He didn’t pray to get off the charges. He prayed for a second chance to make things right with his family.

From that moment of surrender, God began to help him.

The heroin withdrawal wasn’t nearly as bad as expected. Josh credits God.

He eventually got out of jail and began going to the Potter’s House Church in Prescott. His wife gave him the much-needed second chance. He got a job and is living clean. His kids are doing well.

“I don’t deserve what I have,” Josh says. “I don’t even deserve to be a part of their life, and a bigger miracle is that me and my wife are still together and that my wife was willing to forgive me, take me in, and give me another chance.”

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

About the writer of this article: Zeke Young lives in Santa Monica and studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy.

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