I was born in Houston, Texas to loving, successful parents. My father was an Aerospace Engineer for NASA and my mother was a school teacher. I have two older brothers and, as a child, we all played Little League baseball and were a typical Little League baseball family.
When I was 11 years old, my mother died unexpectedly. At that time, we swept it under the carpet and I never dealt with that traumatic event. Later it showed up in my acting out.
Soon after my mother died, we moved from Texas to Maryland.
I had my first drink and introduction to marijuana in the 8th grade at the age of 12. I very quickly became a “party kid” in school. In high school, I was a Golden Gloves boxer and a starting attackman for our lacrosse team. I was not the kid in school you would have thought was going to be the next CEO of Apple, but I was not someone you would have thought was going to be homeless and shooting heroin on the streets of Baltimore. That is exactly where that first drink, thrown on top of untreated trauma, took me.
I graduated high school and went to college where my addiction really took off. I started hanging out with the same partiers, just different faces. While in college, I experimented with a drug called crystal meth and eventually found heroin when I was 25. This was the start of a 12-year run of being addicted to the hardest drug (in my opinion) to beat.
On November 8, 2003, I was done. I walked into a local hospital and begged for help. I had no money, no insurance and nowhere to live. They gave me three days and I detoxed for that amount of time (although I needed more) and sent me to a sober living home in Baltimore City.
It was in this place – after being in 18 treatment centers since I was 19 – that I turned a corner. I overdosed four times that year and nearly died on each of them. After one of these overdoses, I finally started to listen. I embraced a 12-step model of recovery and received good counseling to get through my childhood trauma. Since that day I have had a passion to help others.
I stayed in the sober home for six months and started working in a flower shop that I was able to buy through hard work and recovery. At four years sober, I got involved with local advocacy groups and the health department in Carroll County, Maryland. This led to the opening of two sober living homes in Carroll County, Maryland. (They are still open today and help many men from all over of the U.S.)
In 2015, I was hired by Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office in Maryland to lead a team for the Overdose Response Initiative, prevention programs and on-demand treatment programs in Maryland.
In June 2018, I met with Mike Kennedy and Allen Rhinehart. There we nurtured a long-discussed idea to begin a treatment center that gets people into detox and early recovery, while also teaching them how to live a full, long life of recovery, like we have.
Our plan has one mission – to help people recover from addiction and lead a fulfilling life.