Peter's Story

The path that has led me to Tuerk House’s Howard County Halfway House is about the same as anyone else’s who is lucky enough to make it to a halfway house. My name is Peter and I am 26 years old. I started the way it always seems to start for me with alcohol. I was about 12 and drank occasionally until I found a quicker means to escape and deal with life. From the first time I tried drugs, I was off to the races. I used anything that was accessible and living near Baltimore and D.C., a lot was in my reach.

By the time I was 19, I had used about every drug there is, got kicked out of five different high schools, and had started my bout with the court systems. I decided I had to stop using drugs at least for right now because I was tired of faking urines. I figured I never really had had a problem with alcohol so I began to just drink. Within three months, I was drinking half a gallon of vodka a night only weighing 150 pounds. This all came to an abrupt halt on January 31, 2003. That day I blacked out behind the wheel of my car and had an accident. I don’t remember any of it but was at the Shock Trauma Center for one month, another hospital for six months, and in a wheelchair for almost a year.

I wish I could say this is what got me to Tuerk House, but a year and a half of pain meds isn’t the best thing for an addict. Two years after the car accident I tried to get clean for the first time. I did it through religion mostly because I couldn’t stand 12-step programs. It worked for a short while. I knew that I would never be able to drink heavily again. I now had a medical reason—one kidney—to stay away from alcohol. That didn’t last long either, and in one year I was shooting Heroin and Cocaine until I got locked up on a warrant. After eight months in a detention center, I was released to a drug court program. The first four to six months I drank and used Cocaine occasionally only to get around tests. This caught up with me like always so I knew I needed to stop and I did.

Maybe a month or two later, I was getting high legally by pill popping prescription narcotics. Before I knew it I had a habit once again, and Heroine is cheaper and more accessible than pills. Being on a court program it was only a matter of time before things caught up with me again. I was ordered to do 90 days in jail and a 28-day program followed by a 6-month inpatient program. I really hated being in the program. However, while I went through it, I had a lot of time to think. I took advantage of the time, worked on myself, and decided I would finally try a 12-step program. Slowly, I began to change through the 12 steps, and by the time I was done I asked for transitional housing. I never thought I would go into a program of my own free will.

I now have almost a year clean and am on step 9. I have been living at the Tuerk House’s Howard County House for almost 3 months. It has been a great environment to continue staying clean. I also am allowed the freedom to attend meetings, community college, and to work. I would never have been able to achieve any of this without the 12 steps and the clean and sober living environment the Tuerk House has provided me. Thank you.