Saturday, November 3, 2012

Addicts share their stories with high school students

Two teenage heroin  addicts shared their stories of battling drug use with students from Marshfield High School during a school assembly aimed at addressing the growing drug problem in the area.
Ashly Matteson and Aaron Korbisch each have been clean and sober for a year now after receiving help a substance abuse treatment center. They explained to students during the assembly Thursday afternoon how heroin and prescription drugs ruined their lives.
“When I started out, I never thought I’d touch heroin or shoot up. If you keep doing pills, it will eventually come to heroin,” said Korbisch, who started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol when he was 14. Eventually, he started taking prescription pills, and, by the time he was 17, heroin.
“A friend told me about shooting up. I did it, and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever done,” he said. “It basically destroyed my life. I had no money. I got kicked out of school. It was just terrible.”
When asked how they were able to hide their addictions from friends and family members, Matteson said she would just lie to her parents.
“The whole time I was an addict, my family did not know at all. I guess they were a little bit naive. Unfortunately, they believed every lie I told them. My family did not know until after I was already in treatment for about five months, and I finally told them, and they were actually really surprised,” Matteson said. “I didn’t think I hid it too well, but I guess they didn’t want to believe.”
Matteson said now that she is sober, she is going to school to become a veterinary technician and has a steady job as a certified nursing assistant.
When asked what she found most refreshing about being sober, she said, “Just living life and doing everything you want to enjoy in life. I spent so much time and days being lazy and laying around.
“I woke up, and I would have to find someone with drugs, and now I have to wait. Now I have to go drive and buy drugs. Now I have to come home and use the drugs, and wake up the next day, and do it all over again. I didn’t want to live that lifestyle anymore.”
To fund his growing drug addiction, Korbisch said he turned to selling marijuana, which only exacerbated the problem.
“I had to figure out a way to get money. So I figured I would start to sell weed. That’s where it actually started getting worse. I had so much money, I could just buy whatever I wanted,” Korbisch said, adding he would use the money from selling marijuana to purchase heroin and prescription drugs.
“It’s not hard at all (to find heroin and prescription drugs),” Korbisch said. “If you just know your friends, you can easily get something. It’s harder to get prescription drugs, and it’s becoming easier to get heroin now.”
Now that he is clean and sober, Korbisch said he wants to get involved in the information technology field and work with computers.
After the event was over, students and teachers cheered and thanked both of them for having the courage to share their very personal stories, and one person, who identified herself as a parent, hugged them.
“I was nervous as hell; I’m still shaking,” Korbisch said to event organizers after the event.

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