I never thought in a lifetime, back in August 1993 having my twin boys, that I would go through the misery 24 years later.
My twin boys were athletes and outgoing boys. Zach was always the life of the party, always made everyone laugh. Me, as a mother, never knowing deep down inside he was hurting. Growing up was difficult for my boys their father was an alcoholic I tried my hardest to give them all I could and care for them the best I knew how. I knew deep down inside I should have sheltered them more but being a single mother and working nights was hard. Both my boys took care of themselves that being said I thought they would grow up to be okay.
After high school I thought it would be smart to send them to Santa Barbara to play football trying to get them out of what I feared would be failure. They did good on their own. Two years after playing at Santa Barbara City College with Zach having many injuries and surgeries he received a Division 1 football scholarship at University of North Dakota.
His father returned after being incarcerated for 4 years for multiple DUI’s during their high school years and drove Zach to North Dakota in January of 2015. Zach worked hard to achieve his dream and earned the starting safety position. Three games into the season a player clipped him from behind breaking his tibia and fibula. He was rushed off the field and immediately taken into surgery. It was never the same.
Zach quickly became addicted to OxyContin, then fentanyl, and after that he began actively drug seeking. Zach wanted to play football so bad that after his leg healed he came back for another season in 2016, but was still addicted to the pills. After that season he admitted he was depressed and wanted to come home. The school let him come back and take online courses, which he failed to complete. This lead us further into the nightmare.
He wanted to be clean, so he willingly went to 30 day rehabs multiple times, only to come out and use again. He began using heroin after he could no longer support his pill habit. Three months into heroin use and self-destruction, we used up all of our connections with insurance. It was his last outpatient day at Casa de Palmera, I was so scared to see what was going to happen when my girlfriend said just to give New Life House a call.
I talked with the staff for about 45 minutes, picked up Zach and said, “You are going to LA for 3 months tomorrow.” He said, “OK, I want to.” We packed his things went to dinner, and the morning of April 4th, 2018. I dropped him off and cried all the way back to San Diego. This was the best decision we ever made. My son, my child, my addict is 19 months sober today.
I cannot say enough about this program! They gave me my son back. It has been such a pleasure watching these young men turn their lives around. It is all accountability, and for that I am forever grateful. Watching them all go through the process is absolutely amazing. I can’t thank them enough for this gift, and to watch Zach give back is so special.