Recovering Addict Shares Story, Warns Teens

During the week of June 15, recovering drug and alcohol addict Marty Concilio, 22 years sober, came to Coginchaug to give junior health classes insight into the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse by sharing his story with students.

“I’m not going to lecture you or talk down to you…I’m just going to tell you what happened,” Marty told the students when he first came in. He wanted students to hear his experiences he went through, not sit there and lecture them about the effects of drugs and alcohol. Marty expressed to the students that his childhood was very unpleasant at times, such as his dad leaving his mom before his 19th birthday and his parents always fighting, which caused him a lot of stress.

“I smoked my first joint when I was 26. I thought getting stoned was fun,” Marty said. He shared that he had a very good job and had a great reputation, but he was always drinking and drugging. He said, “The interesting thing about me was the more I drank and drugged, the more money I was making.” Although Marty had a great reputation and was making a lot of money, drugs and alcohol were destroying relationships he had. He had a wonderful wife, two children, and a beautiful house, but he fought with his wife so much that they divorced.

Marty reads a letter from his daughter concerning his drug addiction and the fact that she didn't want to see him anymore if he continued using.

Marty reads a letter from his daughter concerning his drug addiction and the fact that she didn’t want to see him anymore if he continued using.

Marty then told students about his experiences with cocaine: “Cocaine brought me to some dangerous places and took me around dangerous people.” He talked about how he fell in love with a girl, and he loved her because she also did cocaine. They got married and ended up moving into a very large house because he was still making significant money from his jobs. Marty then shared that while in his house one day, he went to the garage and opened a warm bottle of alcohol and drank it. He said to the class, “Remember that little boy that wanted to make lots of money so he can be happy? Well, does somebody that goes down to the garage to drink warm alcohol out of the bottle seem happy?”

Marty and his second wife ended up getting divorced, and he lost his job. “The guy with a big house, nice cars, and lots of clothes became homeless,” he said. Marty ended up going to rehab, mainly because he knew he needed shelter.

“In the 22 years that I have been sober, I’ve met lots of people, and I made an observation; every single alcoholic that I’ve met, including me, have four characteristics: low self-esteem, fear, loneliness, and dishonesty.” He told students that no matter what you are doing, even if you’re making a lot of money, if you are drinking and drugging, then you have low self-esteem. He also said that “when we are drinking and drugging, we are running and hiding from ourselves. Drugs and alcohol makes us cowards. “

He said that “it takes a lot of honesty to talk about who you are.” He wanted to tell students the truth about his experiences and his life because he wanted us to know that drugs and alcohol can change who we are and will affect us and the people around us. He said, “When we tell a lie of any form, it becomes part of your future, and the more we lie about who we are, the more we shrink ourselves.”

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