Jake Metcalf | Survivor of Addiction

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When I was 11 years old I had benign tumors in my tibia, and was introduced to OxyCodone after painful surgeries to remove them. After I took the first couple OxyCodone's I knew I was hooked. My addiction to painkillers continued throughout middle school and high school.

Once I entered college, I became severely addicted to Adderall, sleeping medications and alcohol. After a while I ended up getting jumped and had another surgery, and that’s kind of when things started going downhill for me. My depression and anxiety really started to interfere with work, with my personal life and made my addiction much worse. That kind of steadily got worse – the nights I wasn’t using medications I was drinking myself to sleep. It was just a wicked cycle back and forth.

I finally got so intoxicated and so out of my rational mind that I ended up breaking into a pharmacy. I got caught and went to jail for about five days before getting bailed out by my parents. They put their hands on the bulletproof glass in jail and said, ‘Jake, we’re going to get you the help you need and we still love you and we still care about you.’ So that was a really big turning point for me. If I didn’t have my parents there, I honestly don’t know if I could’ve made it. To have that kind of forgiveness coming directly from them was incredible.

After completing treatment and aftercare, there was still a really big void in my life. I thought, ‘There’s got to be more to recovery than this.’ I heard that reGROUP was hiring, so I went in there for an interview. I was a nervous wreck; I didn’t have medications to help with my social anxiety. I told them that I was facing felony charges for burglary and theft, and they looked at me and said, ‘That’s it?’ In that moment I knew that this was a place where I could help a lot of people. I worked there for about eight or nine months before coming to Face It TOGETHER.

So many people’s lives have been completely destroyed by addiction. I continue my work as a recovery coach so that I can help guide people. I’m not telling them to go to SmartRecovery, go to AA – it’s all their choice. I’m just there to help guide them. 

It’s incredible to build trust with someone who has had trust totally ripped out from under their feet over and over. It’s really cool and challenging for me to try to earn that trust so we that can continue to build a relationship and so we can work TOGETHER on this.