Red Ribbon Week, a national campaign to raise awareness of the danger of drug and alcohol abuse in schools, is approaching. In the Concho Valley, there is an organization that is dedicated to this cause year-round.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley‘s mission is “to save lives and create healthier communities.” They do this through offering events, programs, and resources to people of all ages.
William Rees is the Assistant Intake Coordinator at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of the Concho Valley.
He shares his story in hopes of inspiring others:
“It started for me at a younger age. I grew up in a family of alcoholism it was very progressive in my younger years even. I was homeschooled. My mom was assigned to take care of that program and she fell into drug addiction and alcoholism. So, I spent the majority of my upbringing raising my younger brothers making sure that we took care of everything like our needs and school and things like that.
I didn’t get involved in substance abuse until I was almost 18 years old although I did run with a crowd who was using on a daily basis for about three years. After a traumatic event that I experienced I went ahead and jumped into the boat with them and I used marijuana for the first time. That quickly turned into alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, acid, mushrooms, the whole lot of it. Pretty much anything that was around I was gonna take it and try it out.
So, I lived the next eight years of my life in and out of active addiction never pursuing a 12-step program or the idea of alcoholics anonymous or anything like that. I straightened up for a little bit and got back in school and got and EMT license and maintained sobriety for approximately six months after getting licensed and working on an ambulance. However, in that realm of things I started to experience a lot of things where I sought heroin as a coping mechanism. That got really bad out of hand.
I relocated from where I grew up which was in Memphis, Tennessee and I came out here to West Texas to get away from that and start over. So, I maintained a period of sobriety when I first got here, got a job and things were going okay. And then I was introduced to pills and that lead right back to heroin use. That’s the crux of my story in a nutshell and it wasn’t until I finally found the ability to submit and let God take over, it was nothing I did other than what was mentioned earlier which was obedience. You know I finally found the ability to let God run my life and when I did that, things got progressively better as the same as the drug addiction was worsening my life and ultimately leading to death.”
There is much more to his story. The full, unedited video is below: