Jason had a hard time paying attention in school and was diagnosed with ADD at a young age. He was good at sports and loved playing musical instruments. He remembers feeling different or “less than everyone else” and very alone within his own family. Jason was in junior high school when he took his first drink. “The sense of relief I felt was groundbreaking! All of my fears and discomfort were gone,” he said.
By the time Jason entered high school, he was also using cocaine, OxyContin, and injecting heroin with intravenous needles. He became homeless and resorted to stealing and selling drugs to support his habit. His mental health began to suffer because of the use of meth, and he went into a paranoid psychosis with auditory and visual hallucinations. Jason attempted to take his own life and thankfully was unsuccessful.
The criminal justice system ordered Jason to a six-month recovery program. Instead, he chose a one-year program and arrived at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission on August 15, 2013. Jason says, “Through the help of the volunteers who come to teach us the word, I was inspired to seek and grow closer to God.” He believes the extended period in the program allowed him to get back on his feet and find his own path. Jason is now enrolled at Santa Barbara City College to pursue a career in health education and personal fitness.