“There’s just like this thirst for it. It made me feel really good… There’s nothing wrong if I do it one more time. Problem with one more time is that the sentence never changes.”
Stu spent his 18th and 19th year in a heroin-induced blur. Heartbroken and panic-struck, his family did everything they could to get him out of his addiction cycle.
“We went through so many counsellors, so many rehabs, so many experts that could help us. I went to NA meetings like crazy. When you are shooting up heroin, when you’re mainlining… You get to a point where you would absolutely, hands-down rather die than go through withdrawals. The pain you go through is excruciating.”
Once addicted to the high, Stu thought that there was no escape. Rather than the excruciating withdrawals, and depression, he decided that the best way forward was to end it all.
“I thought overdose is the way to go. In order to overdose I have to reduce my tolerance. I’m going to tell my parents I want to be booked in a rehab. I’m going to reduce my tolerance.”
After a stint in the rehab, Stu came out with an extremely low tolerance and his mind set on one thing – ending it. At the first opportunity he got, he jumped into his father’s car and beelined for his dealer.
“I told my dad I’m just going downstairs for a cigarette. Got in the car, went straight to my dealer, straight to the chemist to get needles, got a lethal dose. I came straight here to the house. With no hesitation I stuck the lethal dose in, pulled it out. I just remember everything fading.”
Stu’s dad got a feeling that he had to go home. That something was wrong. He rushed to their home and found Stu, passed out from his suicide attempt. Acting quickly, he got Stu to the hospital.
“I woke up with very blurred vision in the hospital. Crying. I got a vision of this angel, hovering over the bed. Forcing air into my lungs. At that point it was the first time I truly decided that I needed to kick this whole addiction thing.”
The recovery rate for heroin addicts is rather somber. Stu recalls how he’d never heard of someone coming out of their heroin addiction… They were either dead, in prison mainlining or still using. No one had come clean. In an attempt to kick his addiction, he went to work on a farm with other people in similar situations as his. This is where his life truly changed irrevocably.
“On that farm was where I finally surrendered to Jesus. I gave him my absolutely worthless life and said you know what… Take it. It was emotional and it was hard. But it was also really easy. It took a lot of weight off of my shoulders.”
From then… Stu’s perception of life, his outlook and his determination has never been the same. His eyes have been opened to the wonder, goodness, love, kindness and grace of Jesus.
“I was on anti-psychotic medication, I was on anti-depressants, I was on anti-anxieties, I was on heroin supplements, I was on ridiculous amounts of sleeping pills. I left not taking one pill. Not needing one pill. I haven’t done one programme since then. I have truly been free ever since. I’m three years clean. And very happily married.”
This experience has left Stu changed forever. There’s no turning back. He’s been set free by our loving, gracious God.
“I’ve had moments where I’ve dropped down and cried like a little baby because I don’t deserve anything. But he still gives it so lovingly.”
Do you need to be set free?
Freedom from addictions is your portion through the power of Jesus. You or your loved ones don’t need to fight this battle alone. If you’d like prayer and to accept Jesus as your Savior from your addiction, we would love to come alongside you! Fill out the form below or WhatsApp us on +27 71 763 3810.