12 Steps to Change

    Step 4: Truth - Austin’s Story on Addiction Recovery

    Step 4

    Austin's story on addiction recovery using the 12 step program.4:31

    Austin never thought his drug addiction would hurt the people he loved. When drug dealers threatened his family for information on his location, he knew he had to change. But how could he? Was there any good left in him? In the addiction recovery program, Austin learned the truth: God had given him many good qualities, and He had the power to help Austin uncover them again.

    Step 4 - Truth: Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.

    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.


      I never thought that my actions would ever find their way to hurting my family or the people that I loved. And now I was faced with the very real prospect of that and more. I, at the time, was robbing drug dealers because I thought, "They're never going to call the cops."

      We started getting phone calls from everybody that knew us with a lot of fear in their voice. And we didn't know why. There were people with machine guns and Uzis and shotguns breaking into everybody that we knew's house and waking them up in bed, demanding to know where we were. These people were armed, and they were very dangerous.

      And they had a lot of money to throw around and offered it for any information as to where I was headed and where my family was located. And I was running. The man who had put the hit out on our heads, he had been in a car accident and died himself.

      And we were informed that we were safe to come home.

      I started drinking real heavily. I was ashamed of who I was. I was ashamed of what I knew I was capable of and what I had done all my life. I thought an addict was someone with no willpower that needed something, that needed to depend on somebody or something in order to be OK.

      And that wasn't me. I was the one-man army.

      I started trying on my own, very hard, to quit. And after months of that, I almost completely gave up because I couldn't do it. So I went to the bishop, and he gave me the ARP, the addiction recovery program manual.

      I learned a great deal. But again, I thought I could do it on my own. Then he mentioned that there were group meetings where people like me met together and shared each other's struggles. It's very hard to describe the empathy, the love, the honesty, the humility that you feel when you walk into that group.

      They've all been there to one degree or another.

      So I got through the first three steps fairly well on my own. I got to step 4. I had no problem sitting there and listing every fault that I had, but I didn't know what to do with that. But going through it again with the sponsor was quite different because they emphasize not just your weaknesses, but also your strengths. And that was hard, because I didn't want to see the good. I accepted and I knew the bad. The fourth step helped me to see the good that was always there. There was a lot of good. It was just hidden and buried underneath substances and habits and years of guilt, years of shame. I learned that I needed my God. I learned that I needed my brothers and sisters around me. And every time I think that it can't get any better, it does. It keeps getting better.