This is Russell Paretzky interviewing Justin Justin Urbonas on recovery
Recorded December 5, 2019 Archived December 5, 2019 19:09 minutes
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DescriptionThis is Russell Paretzky interviewing Justin Urbonas We will start with the first one
What was your pivotal moment that made you want to change your life?
I mean I was using for a total of probably about 8 to 10 years and ended up in and out of rehabs and in and out of psychwards I can only attain probably 5 or 6 months at a time before you know I would relapse and go back to I what was doing the biggest moment that made me change my life is when there's actually around Hurricane Sandy and I was curled up in a ball in my parents house in a bed crying to my mom that I can do it anymore and I was going through withdrawal I was very sick something just came over me where I just felt like I just I was done I didn't want to run anymore I didn't want to put everything into damaged my body I mean I was soaking wet a hundred 50 lb so I mean it was I didn't look good so I look like one of those guys on the corner of that you know I was looking for change unfortunately I am but it just the end they were going to kick me out they were going to disown me so I made a decision so like listen I'm gunna at least give it a good try this time and that's kind of where I am
Can you remember why, how, who you started misusing drugs or alcohol?
I actually was totally against drugs and alcohol growing up my parents should told me you know cause they had people that have died from alcohol and drug abuse and they instilled in me from five six seven eight years old like drugs are bad pot bad alcohol bad so I kind of was completely against it but I grew up in Philadelphia and then when I was about 12 years old I move down here and at that time people were big in smoking pot and I was again I was completely against it, you shouldn't do it and I was around it to but I still didn't do it and then the 8th grade summer going to my freshman year starts smoking pot and started out a couple times a week and a while. Just being like an everyday thing the pot kinda kicked it off for me and I went to high school I still smoke pot here in on the weekends I was an athlete so I didn't really do much but what really kicked it off for me was is when I got hurt my junior year in high school for football and I needed shoulder surgery and they prescribed me Oxycontin and Percocets, and I didnt know at the time I was given the pills like it just felt like I was on cloud nine I mean I've never felt anything like it kind of like some trigger to me like oh my God this is awesome and so you know even then I realized that Mom I'm in pain I need some help I wasn't in any I just love that feeling you know that ran out and I didn't really mess with pills for a year-and-a-half after that and then I graduated high school and that's when a pill called the they were called rocks attacks they were 30 mg oxycodones from Florida all the way up here so I mean and then I started hanging out with somebody that would get them for her back it would start with a half then 3/4 and then a full one and then I got hooked on those I started eating them that I started snorting them because I realize like okay it's going to hit me a lot quicker instead of having to go through my whole bloodstream it'll hit me right away the worst thing I ever did because it was a long fast really didn't it really picked off I mean I was in my first rehab by the time I was 21 I start using the 19 so they were they were rough anywhere and I was unresponsive so I would have to go to a lot of bad things to get them steal from my parents this and that it wasn't good was not good
The next one is do you have any regrets
I just know I made my amends I apologize to everybody I had to but I wouldn't be where I am today if that didn't happen in my life you know I caused a lot of wreckage over 10 years and I have seven years sober now so I mean it was this past seven years has been just repair in the wreckage of my past and luckily for me I never had any charges or criminal offenses I didn't have any run-ins with the law but then the worst part about it is the emotional wreckage I cause my mom my dad my whole family so I mean I don't have regrets about like for transpire to get me here I'm more I'm still I wish I could take back some of the things I did but again like I can't live in the past I have to move forward and try to just everyday be a good human being be the kid that everybody knew before I started using that's what I tried to do are in
The next what is how do you feel or think differently about drugs and alcohol now?
I would feel if they differently I tell everybody pot is a gateway drug I mean I do this for a living I'm a drug and alcohol counselor so I'll like I just know that I can't do any of it like if I were to go out with you and we want you like a restaurant or something you had a beer it wouldn't bother me but like you don't have that thing in your brain that's like okay if I have this I'm going to if you take a sip if you take a drink you're not going to wind up in handcuffs or if you have a lot going to wind up in you know the worst part of Atlantic City get heroin for me that's not the case like I know one slip up for me and I'm done alterations you know I can't stop people from drinking or for that matter I don't hang around anybody smoking pot but I can't stop them from doing that they're going to do that I just know I can't do that I mean you have to damn it now with heroin and Fentanyl is insane luckily for me I didn't get into I didn't have that for I mean yes I did heroin for a very short amount of time but I didn't that's when the fentanyl wasn't really thought of so like I don't know I mean it's my feelings are the same like I can't do them stay away from I mean yeah I go to restaurants, I go to a friends house if my friends like have a birthday party I'll go out to like a bar or club but I'm having a Coke and a Red Bull and gone within an hour I'm just I'm not putting myself in this situation and a lot of all my friends respect me and know like okay well we're not going to put him in a situation for that long.
I already know this answer from that one but I'll ask it do you think people judge you or treat you differently because of your past know if anything they respect you more and I have every time I go out I don't mean I haven't met somebody or something or that means the first time all you not drinking now I just drink is not my thing now and then they probably a little bit it's alright doesn't bother me differently when I got sober and I first started I don't think anybody will be there for nothing more often than not they respect you I think the stigma of that was 10 or 15 years ago you know people word disgrace for being a heroin addict ever be called junkies this and that it's different now because now it's more of Let's help them let's try to get them on the right path because she will realize that it's not just that the guy lives under the Boardwalk it's your doctors and if for some reason if somebody looks me the wrong way because of it and that's on that something to do with me are there any people from your past or people affected who weren't using or misusing with you who do you still speak with don't talk to her but you still did play turn on all of my past life I had always pretty much like him I got a used Batman like I was at night I was in the suit during the day I was I was just a plain plain guy you know how I pretty much had two different lives like I did my friend from high school literally do anything and I had my using friends that he never did everything and it was hard to balance that out at the time but now I don't have any association with anybody that I ever used within the past I would occasionally see them from time to time people I get a used with her bought from and it's kind of just like ahead and Anya Move Along its really it I feel no ill will because I was the one who did it but I don't I don't miss that part of my life at all luckily I have good friends that were that are there for me to this day that help me get out of that during my addiction a Home Depot me kind of out of the dump so to speak but I don't miss anybody man they they it was just it was like I was hanging in a nowhere if I was hanging with those people still today I wouldn't be even close to where I am alone apartment new car finally back on my life I would have any of that I still be the person walking 5 miles just to get a bag of dope I don't need to have any of them around I don't want them in any of them around if any of them ever came to me for help to try to like this and I need to help change my life by all means I'll help you but other than that hey next what is are you active in the community to help others stop or educate beforehand about trucks knock off but also I am I go to AA so you know I'm at a meeting and now I'm I talk to somebody that struggling that that raises their hand but I try to tell my clients like this is a lifelong thing like putting down the drugs and alcohol is the first step yes but you have to realize that now it's a long process the rest of your life you know what yeah they tell you in counseling at the kind of separate your personal life from here. Your business like I really don't I try not to use much of my personal life on them counseling clients but sometimes it's relevant so I give them a tidbit of would happen with me how I did this this and that I think for everybody especially when kids nowadays you have to educate them on everything as far as like we have to educate them on like freaking dumb he's a problem is people know if they're put in any of these substances they can slip a little bit of fentanyl in anyting and nobody's going out so I try to do my best honey I stay within my boundaries I don't want to step my phone like you somebody wants information I'll give it to him but again like sometimes you know it's not the greatest topic of discussion can you go places but I do my best I can educate people rmx question is how you personally suffered from any overdoses or near-death experiences do to your dish close to me know I haven't really dealt with any death as far as people overdosing near-death experiences no I mean like I remember one time where I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my bed and then my mother and my sister come in and I had to my chest and I'm like they wake me up in there like what's wrong with nothing like but that's kind of like my body shut down in like I completely I was so intoxicated and knock myself out that's probably the scariest I've come too close to like being I guess you can say in your but the problem with opiates if you don't realize it's a it's a precious sure you're breathing CNS Central Nervous depression feel like you can take a half You take a half a day Rockledge hermine now I haven't had two bury somebody you're a good friend but you know I know a lot of people that have money they tell you when you go to treatment like if you want to ruin there's no I'm going to be three you going to know when three or four years and you know she'll on Facebook and Instagram the tribute 2 they're not close to me but it still has a lot of respect for me what it says talk when there's going to be more people that died and lived that's just the sad part of the Slate it's it's too bad chess game the next question is have you lost any friends or family from drug drug or alcohol and didn't that influence your behavior Outlook friends no I mean my father has stories from going off when it is even on his best friend Thanksgiving Day in his bathtub so that kind of like hit home for me but I really don't have any yeah I don't know BioLife because my dad my dad is a mess and I had to finally take care of himself and the house and refused to sometimes what I would just leave it on the floor because I was out getting high and there was always arguments going on between my mom my dad me my sister it was bad I didn't want my sister at one point of the locker door for a year-and-a-half because she didn't one she was she was scared that I was going to break in the door and hurt her much since my baby sister I never would with a sober mind but I was very angry I was very play on me this and I'm not doing anything wrong so the home life isn't bad I mean on my mother personally could never probably throw me out of the house but she took me to the Rescue Mission City saying I want to leave you here this and that she never did but it was just a miserable I mean there is broken door is broken glass everything from me holes in the wall from me but it was it was bad and then finally when I turned everything around and I got sober everything came back like my sister trust me again my family trust me again I could be around family parties not wearing him I want to get high you want me over my mom's 4 years had to hire purse under her bed and she was up all night now she can sleep should have to hide anything when I come over she actually enjoys my company they enjoy my company that I enjoy their coffee I mean there was a holiday for me was just like showing up and that's it I wasn't thinking about anything else except going to get high now I can enjoy your nails whether it's a football game on or he had to talk to my cousin about college or you know catch up with my enough clothes about whatever it's nice life is completely different than when I used to be and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world thank you