Recovery Spotlight: Rick Hamilton

My name is Rick Hamilton and I was very much enslaved by alcohol and drugs for almost twenty years. I played sports in my youth and began partying with the football team on the weekends in high school. I suffered a sports related injury my junior year of high school and was introduced to pain pills at that time. I immediately fell in love with the feeling the pain pills gave me, and as a result eventually progressed into other opiates such as fentanyl and heroin. What started in my teenage years as partying turned into a destructive lifestyle in adulthood. From 2003-2014 almost eight years of that was spent in the Maryland prison system due to my alcohol/drug use.
By the grace of God, I have not had any substances or drugs since April 10, 2014. I have been able to achieve this by getting treatment, tons of help, understanding, and support along the way. First and foremost, I had to get honest with myself and respect the disease of addiction that I have. I adapted to the motto of knowing if I wanted something different with my life, I had to try something different. My spiritual connection has been key for my transformation, and I maintain that spiritual connection by helping others, working a program of recovery, and maintaining a positive network of people that hold me accountable.
Early in my recovery I realized that in the midst of my addiction I had unknowingly lost both my hobbies and overall ambition. Getting clean and sober I realized I had to replace that drive for other positive things in life. I participated in my first 5K run in 2014 at the first Run for Recovery. I fell in love with the people running and organizing the run. I began to run on a consistent basis, but in 2015 tore both my ACL and Meniscus. I had total replacement knee surgery and was able to recover with no narcotics. I had to replace running with other positive outlets knowing that life will always happen, and drugs/alcohol would never be an option for me to cope with any of it.
I have been called many things in the midst of my addiction: Junkie, Thief, Liar, Hopeless, Felon, Scumbag, Degenerate, Addict, etc. I owned those names and labels for almost two decades. If you would have told me I would have over two years clean a few years ago I would of never believed it. The best part about this fact is that I am not special, or rare in any way. I am one of many! Recovery from drugs/alcohol is very possible! #WEDORECOVER