12 Steps to Change

    Step 2: Hope - Preston’s Story on Drug Addiction Recovery

    Step 2

    Preston's story on drug addiction recovery using the 12 steps program.3:42

    Preston was living in a basement with his brother, who was also addicted to heroin and cocaine, when their intense cravings finally drove them to steal. Preston wondered if he could ever be forgiven, so he prayed to find out. The hope he felt in response to his prayer was the beginning of a miraculous recovery.

    Step 2 - Hope: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

    Those who face addictions often struggle with the consequences of their choices for many years, sometimes for their whole lives. The outcomes that are portrayed in this video series do not reflect the possible range of outcomes that may be experienced by others. If you or someone you love is experiencing these challenges, or would like more information about addiction recovery, please visit addictionrecovery.lds.org.


      By my house there's this road, and I remember thinking, if this depression didn't go away, if I really just wanted to off myself, I could hit this bump in the road. There's a pull off to the right side, and it would be over.

      My story starts in 2006. After running and gunning for a few years with my brother, using heroin, cocaine, I didn't like who I was or who I was becoming, but I didn't think there was a way back. I remember my brother and I were living in a basement. We were craving like crazy. You know, it had been probably 48 hours since we had used, and it got to the point where I felt that I needed to use as much as I needed to breathe. One of our dealers told us that you could steal 509s, or 509s Levi's, and trade to the Mexican mafia for heroin balloons. I was really scared, and I think I was more scared for my brother's life than I was for my own. Battling addiction, you typically don't do it alone. You're with a lot of friends, and after a period of time, you're going to lose a friend or two or three or four.

      My rock bottom was fear. One day we'd come home, and I didn't know really what was going on. We're sitting around as a family. They said, "We want to talk about this drug problem." They went around and started talking about how they wanted us to stop, and I remember, you know, lying. What really touched me is my littlest brother, Jeremy. I could tell he didn't quite understand what was going on. And he looked at me, he says, "I just want my brother back." And that was the beginning of a turning point for me.

      So I remember sitting there in rehab, and I remember seeing these guys who had some sobriety, and they seemed to be happy. I wasn't happy inside. I had a lot of shame. I felt I wasn't deserving of God's love. And when they started talking about step 2, that my spiritual health could be restored, that was fascinating to me. I had to know, and particularly, I had to know if I could be forgiven, because I was convinced that if I didn't get an answer, that there was really no hope. Why be here?

      So that night as I got on my knees, I didn't even get a word out. I couldn't even get a word out, because I had an overwhelming--an overwhelming sense of love. That feeling lasted for, it seemed like 10 minutes. I just sat there in awe, just feeling this power, this overwhelming sense of peace that I'd never felt my entire life. And that was the beginning of my recovery. That's when I knew that, "OK. All right. He's there. He's there."