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  • Writer's pictureHOPE is Here

My $1,000/day Heroin Addiction

My name is Kevin Johnson. I am 43 years old. God helped me out of a $1,000 a day heroin addiction. Here’s my story .

I was born the summer of 1977. My mother was working at the hospital and my father, a Vietnam vet, was working as a security guard at the Cincinnati Red’s Stadium. Life seemed normal and happy. I had two older siblings. While serving in Vietnam, my father had been exposed to Agent Orange. When I was 3 years old my father suddenly passed away from a surgery that was performed due to complications of Agent Orange. This left my mother left to care for 3 children while dealing with the loss of her husband.

Two year later, when I was 5, my mother married a decent man who was from southern Kentucky. He soon took us to Barbourville, Kentucky. Unfortunately there weren’t many jobs to be found. So to support the growing family (2 more children), he began growing marijuana. This barely lasted 4 years when he was caught and sentenced to 10 years at a federal penitentiary. I was 9 years old. I had lost another father. She was a God-loving woman who never used drugs or drank alcohol and now has 5 children to support and care for. She became severely depressed.

We eventually moved to Grant County, Kentucky where I lived until the end of high school. I began working on a farm to help my mom and my two younger sisters. My older siblings had grown and moved out. As a teenager I hung out with much older people. As a result of that influence, at the age of 12 I had my first experience with alcohol. By 13, I was smoking marijuana. As I got older, there was always a conscious understanding that I could use a substance to avoid dealing with anything I didn’t want to acknowledge . . . pressure, sadness and feeling unwanted. I was still a good guy who worked, loved hard, and cared for others. But I was always feeling like I was missing something in my life. This went on for probably 25 years or more; avoiding realities of life, feeling less than others and lacking in any self-worth. I was always seeking approval from others. I was a real people-pleaser. I eventually started a business and met a woman who had a daughter. Life felt somewhat whole. Mom had remained faithful to my step-father while he was in prison. She was so happy when he was finally released and life seemed good. My step-father was released from prison and I was able to grow close to him. Then in 2012 my mother passed away unexpectedly which resulted in my not wanting to deal with reality again. I turned to pain pills for escape and for some time I was able to look as though I was holding it together. But then 8 months later, my step-father also died. He was only 57. I remember clearly the day my younger sister called and said, “Come to the hospital, Dad’s dying!” I had been sober for 4 months but when that call came my mind went on auto-pilot and instead of going to the hospital, I drove to downtown Cincinnati and bought heroin. This was the beginning of several years of heroin use that eventually led to a $1000 a day addiction. I had become so lost.

On July 2, 2018 I stretched out on my porch “dope sick” and cried out to God. I prayed that He would save me and take all of this away. I was so exhausted, ready to give up. There were times when I had hoped that the next use of heroin would end it all. I had become involved in criminal activity to support my $1,000 a day addiction and knew there was no way out.

Three days later, on July 5, 2018, I was arrested. I went through 7 weeks of detoxing and misery. I made my way through the court system and landed in the Fayette County Detention Center. This is was God’s plan. I asked for help, He put me where I needed to be. There were programs that placed God’s loving people in my life on a daily basis; people like Greg and Keene Howard, Jim Ishmael, Mr. Robinson and eventually the Alpha program. I could see their happiness and love for God’s people. Alpha allowed me to ask questions that I wanted to find the answers for myself. During those 14 weeks, I found God and the self-worth I had never had before.

I am now a proud Christian. Anytime I feel lost or need an answer I have real friends who are there for me. I also have the ability to stop and pray, knowing God won’t put anything in front of me that I can’t handle with His help.

I was released on May 18th 2020. I’ve now been sober for 30 months by the grace of God and His love for me. I have been blessed more than I could ever dream. Life is still a struggle because of everything going on in the world today, but God has put peace in my heart and the feeling that I am worth something to Him. There’s no better feeling than this! Listen to Kevin's interview on HOPE is Here below.

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