Jordan Eubanks remembers his lowest point of addiction – when the only thing he fed his body was heroin.
“I didn’t eat. I didn’t drink. I didn’t bathe myself. I was just living to get high,” he says.
Between 40-60 percent of the people recovering from general drug addiction will relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
As experts learn more about the power of opiates like heroin, they say access to the right treatment is critical to long-term recovery.
Eubanks says he grew up with a loving family in sunny Florida. A curious kid, who began experimenting with drugs in high school.
“These were prescriptions that maybe our grandmother’s had or our parents had and that’s how it began, just raiding the pill cabinets.”
Soon he began buying pills from dealers and then heroin, until he couldn’t stop.
“I thought that I would never be happy again,” Eubanks remembers. “I thought that I would die using, that there was no hope for me.”
Barely over a hundred pounds, Jordan ended up in a hospital – and he left the hospital alone.
“There was nobody who would talk to me, nobody would answer my calls. There was nobody in the world who wanted anything to do with me, except for one person who lived here in Syracuse,” he explains.
A place to stay just until he got into rehab…a glimmer of hope that changed everything with one little step at a time.
“I came out of that and went into a half-way house. I did outpatient groups. I went to meetings and eventually I did a supportive living program as well,” he says.
Most importantly, Jordan found a place to stay busy at the Town Shop in Camillus, a youth center, where he could battle cravings with support.
“Today I am four years clean. I am gainfully employed. I have a job that I love and I am a part-time student at LeMoyne College,” he adds.
He’s also a mentor at the youth center helping others conquer challenges. It’s work that motivates him to keep aiming for a clean life.
“I did a lot of messed up things early on, but the one thing I did right is that I didn’t get high and I didn’t get drunk and because of that, I am able to have the life that I have today,” Eubanks says. “I’m beyond happy now. I’m living the life of my wildest dreams.”
He wants others to know a clean and happy life is possible.
That goal is the focus of a drug abuse forum Monday night in Camillus, where Jordan will be available for questions.
Hundreds of people are expected to show up and find out what resources are available for long-term recovery in Central New York.
The forum is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, February 27 at West Genesee High School in Camillus.