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A young person sits in a jail cell with their hands handcuffed. The jail cell bars are casting a long shadow over the negative space of the photo.

How Did This All Begin?

addiction drug abuse marijuana May 30, 2024

The testimony of a person incarcerated. 

By an anonymous writer from jail, 32 years of age.

How did this all begin? That is probably the hardest question anyone has ever asked me. The easy answer is truly just an excuse. You see, I’m writing this response from jail where I’ve been living for the last four months. 

Being incarcerated might seem normal to some but not for me. Never could I imagine myself being placed here a few years ago. I was halfway around the world in Indonesia doing some repair work at a biodiesel chemical plant as a well-paid welder from California. In California I lived in a luxurious waterfront apartment and was a proud owner of my dream truck, car, and motorcycle. Life was truly a dream up until a motorcycle accident, which I use as an excuse for the reason my life changed so dramatically. Truth is, the accident isn’t the reason I’m sitting here today. 

I am and have been a drug addict for as long as I can remember. I was smoking cigarettes by the 5th grade. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in junior high school and sadly addicted to cocaine by 10th grade, which led me to drop out of high school in 11th grade. My life was in a downward spiral and I did not care. I was in trouble with the law and was facing 21 years in prison at 21 years old. 

I went home after one year and at that time I finally understood drugs were my problem. I returned to school and held a job thanks to my sobriety. I would be lying if I said the temptation of drugs didn’t linger in the back of my head, but I kept telling myself I have too much to lose. 

The day I got in a motorcycle accident, I was in the hospital on very heavy narcotics. I was under the impression that because the doctor prescribed the drugs I was taking that I wasn’t doing any harm to my mind and body, but deep inside my heart I knew where I was heading: spiraling back to my addiction. 

The day finally came when the doctor stated he would no longer prescribe me any more narcotics and that was the beginning of my trouble again. Soon I was contacting friends that were no good for me, but it was only to get my next fix. In a matter of 2 years I lost everything I worked so hard for and sadly the only thing I gained was being back in jail with a criminal record. 

I am a smart, driven, hardworking individual until drugs come around. I tell you this to help you understand how that one time of temptation can ruin your whole life. So the question, “How did this all begin?” is actually an easy question to answer. The answer is this all began when I got high…

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available and recovery is possible. Visit for resources in Ventura County.