David’s story

A bright and successful future

I never thought I would ever do drugs, let alone get addicted to them. I grew up in a Christian home with good parents and a supportive family.

I was always a keen sportsman – playing soccer every Saturday throughout my childhood and teenage years. I was constantly training and devoted to developing my skills and fitness all year round.

I had to let go of my dream of playing professional football when I sustained a serious injury during an interstate tournament. My world was shattered – despite all the rehab and physio work, I was told I wouldn’t play again without surgery.

This created a void in my life, and I began seeking ways to fill the empty space. I first started drinking alcohol and began smoking cigarettes at 18 years old.

The first time I took hard drugs was in a nightclub, and I knew, from that time on, I had found something I loved. It was around the same time I was introduced to marijuana. Eventually, I found myself drinking or smoking weed regularly.

I entered university at 19 to complete a construction management and economics degree. From there, I became a fully functional drug addict. Even though I passed with good grades, my party life was out of control – drinking and taking drugs every day.

By the time I graduated, my addictions and mental health were so bad I struggled to find employment, which turned me towards using drugs more intensely.

I knew deep down that no matter how bad my life had become, [taking my own life] was not the answer. I stepped back off the bridge and walked away.

By 25, I was heavily into the drug world, and my life revolved around getting drugs and being high. I became alienated from my friends and family, and my life was becoming unmanageable. I was getting into serious legal problems for drug possession, brawls and driving offences.

It all came to a head when I was involved in a car crash while driving without a driver’s licence. The maximum penalty was 18 months in prison. I couldn’t believe how reckless I had become; my life was in ruins.

I finally decided to take my own life by jumping off a bridge into oncoming traffic. As I sat on the edge of the bridge, watching cars drive underneath my feet, I started to see how wrong this decision was. I knew deep down that this was wrong and that no matter how bad my life had become, this was not the answer. In a moment of sanity, I stepped back off the bridge and walked away.

That same night I got evicted from my house. I couldn’t believe the timing. Having narrowly escaped a suicide attempt, I was now looking at homelessness. The next day I called an old friend and asked if I could stay with him until I got on my feet. He asked if I knew anything about Teen Challenge SA. After explaining how the rehab worked, I knew it was time to take action and do something serious about my addictions.

I have now completed seven months of the program. For the first time in years, I am looking at a bright and successful future. Teen Challenge SA has provided me with everything I need for recovery. My relationship with God kept me alive in those years, and he has led me here to recover my life. I owe my life to Teen Challenge SA and all the people who make this place work.