Substance Abuse: The Life Of Miguel Calbillo

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Neither John, Gwen, nor Miguel began taking drugs with the intension of harming others. Nor were they aggressive or abusive by nature. Yet their long-term substance abuse harmed others, including family members, friends, and the communities in which they lived.
John’s substance abuse had negative consequences for his family and community. During his senior year of high school, however, he began smoking marijuana and drinking with his buddies. His grades fell, and he stopped talking about college. His parents assumed it was a phase he was going through. Soon he began taking methamphetamine; it made him feel “enlightened.” After high school, John got a job at a poultry processing plant. He drank and took drugs on weekends but was fired for calling
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Miguel Calbillo tells of his upbringing in Houston. Although Miguel’s parents were intelligent and creative people who were involved in many worthy causes, his father was a multi-substance abuser. When Miguel was 4, his mother divorced his father and Miguel and his sister spent much of their time with their maternal grandmother. While Miguel mom worked two and even three jobs to support the family, Miguel’s dad, a TV cameraman, kept losing jobs due to his substance abuse. Following both of his parents’ examples, Miguel became an enthusiastic reader, but as skinny, bookish Hispanic kid, he was picked on a lot by his peers. To add to his problems, Miguel suffered from severe asthma, which only made him feel like more of an outcast. To make himself feel better, he began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. In middle school, he stared taking crystal meth, a drug that made him so aggressive that he fearlessly fought anyone who bothered him. Miguel “begged his way into University of North Texas in Denton. There he met Michelle, a girl who was heavily into drug use. After two semester, he and Michelle quit college and centered their lives on scoring and hustling drugs. When he decided to enroll at Texas South University in Houston, he and Michelle decided to make money by dealing drugs out of their apartment. Miguel started snorting heroin, while Michelle secretly mainlined the drug. Miguel intentionally overdosed on heroin. His heart stopped, but he was revived by two EMTS in the back of an ambulance. When Miguel protested that he wanted to die, the EMTs unceremoniously dumped him out of the ambulance. He became involved in a local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous and recently celebrated a year of sobriety. He also started his own videography and film editing company. Now Miguel is 31, happier and more excited about his life that he ever though he could be. He wants everyone to know that hope and

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