Addiction happens to even the nicest, most polite people. Sometimes creating more of a risk for never getting help because everyone around them thinks everything is ok. Instead of continuing to fly below the radar, read about how one man chose a different route to recovery.
Our story about Caleb is not that different from many others that we have heard. He was born and raised in Sacramento, California with his two sisters. His parents parents were Catholic and he attended private school. Caleb remembers a pretty normal upbringing and he first started drinking around the age of 14. He got caught by his mother for smoking weed and while she was upset, her rule was “just don’t drink/use and drive”. Through the rest of high school, Caleb tried just about everything (alcohol, marijuana, mushrooms, acid, cocaine, oxycontin and Xanax) but never got into any real trouble. Caleb was always polite and felt like he always ‘flew just under the radar’. In fact, he was pulled over one time for a possible DUI, but the police officer let him go because he was nice to the officer and did not talk back.
After high school, Caleb attended the University of Oregon and stayed one year until his grades got so bad that he had to transfer to a community college and move back home. He managed to improve his grades and went back to the university until his junior year. His drinking and using continued, and when his grades declined again he decided to take a break from school. Caleb got a job in construction and made some new friends that liked to drink and smoke weed like him. His using continued to increase, including more and more pills. After only two hours of sleep one night, Caleb rear ended a parked car on his way to work. Before the police arrived, his father was searching through his car and found all of his stashed drugs and pills.
His parents were now fully aware of how bad things had become and got Caleb admitted into a treatment program in Pennsylvania.
Caleb completed the 5 month program but all the while his ultimate plan was to smoke weed as soon as he got home. He held true to his promise, and smoked again and soon started drinking and using cocaine. Caleb remembers that things were cool for a while and he was still flying under the radar with his behavior, until the loss of his sister led him to completely spiral out of control. Trying to numb his feelings, Caleb was using more than ever. He soon moved in with some friends who were actually concerned about his drug use. Caleb hid his drug use for a while until he was eventually kicked out by his roommates.
With a serious decline in his health (weight loss, not eating), Caleb begged his friend to let him stay one last night. It was that evening that his parents were called and they got Caleb admitted into his second treatment program near his home in Sacramento. He completed 3 weeks of residential/detox and 8 weeks of outpatient.
Caleb stayed clean for about a year without ever going to any 12-step meetings. He instead focused on work but ended up smoking weed again.
Caleb was laid off from his construction job so he decided to return to school where his drinking and drug use quickly escalated once again. He was using everyday and was struggling with his heavy class load. Through the years, Caleb had been in on and off contact with various friends and he remembered one guy who went to treatment in Southern California so he reached out to him. His friend invited him to come visit so Caleb flew down to check things out. The plan was for Caleb to finish the school semester and return in a few weeks to admit in the men’s program at Coastline Behavioral Health.
After Caleb returned home, his parents once again found out that Caleb was drinking again (and stealing bottles from a grocery store where is cousin worked), so his parents gave him a final ultimatum, “Go to treatment immediately or you are on your own”.
With nowhere else to turn, Caleb went back to Southern California the next day and was admitted for treatment.
Caleb describes his third stay at treatment as very different. For the first time he got involved in AA, got a sponsor and did everything that was told of him. Instead of flying under the radar, Caleb was participating in his recovery. Today, Caleb is still sober and he has returned to California State Long Beach to complete his final class to receive his BA in Sociology. He is currently resides in a sober living home where he continues to work with his sponsor and attends regular meetings. Caleb works everyday to keep life in balance and when things get rough, he picks up the phone instead of taking a drink or a pill. Today, Caleb is grateful for another chance for a healthy life in sobriety, and for the help of his friends and parents who gave him the final ultimatum to get sober.