Scott Harman was a crack addict for 17 years. It all began at 13-years-old when he started drinking and then using drugs. By the age of 17, he was addicted.
“Within a six month period I was into the love of my life at the time, which became crack cocaine and nothing else mattered at this point in time in my life,” said Harman, who was born in Bowmanville, Ont. and has lived in Peterborough for the last nine years.
Harman compared the high to a euphoric, sexual feeling.
“Could you imagine upon putting a piece of crack on the end of your pipe and inhaling it, and upon inhaling it getting that feeling of an orgasm times 250,000 instantaneously, and rushing through your system and then as it’s wearing off is all you want is that feeling over again,” said Harman.
According to the most recent data from Statistics Canada, 1.2-million Canadians struggle each year with addiction to alcohol or drugs.
Harman’s childhood friend, Shane French, said he’s a very energetic, passionate, lovable guy but he remembers what it was like to watch his friend descend into addiction.
“He disappeared, so he wasn’t much of a friend,” said French.
At the age of 18, robbery charges landed Harman in prison for six months. Once he was released, buying and selling crack cocaine became his full-time job. He was living on the streets, under bridges throughout Ontario and was in and out of treatment.
He could have easily ended up a statistic; one more overdose, one more fatality. But finally, after being addicted for 17 years, he was in the right place, at the right time in Peterborough.
In 2009, Harman checked himself into Fourcast, an addiction treatment facility — the 12th rehab program for him. There, he was reunited with French, battling an addiction of his own.
“I was here in search of recovery, and Scotty was already in recovery and the way we reconnected was on the same path and journey to getting clean,” said French.
Today, Harman is 42-years-old and has been clean for two-and-a-half years. He volunteers with various charities such as the Peterborough Aids Resources Network, One Roof Diner as a server, Kawartha Food Share as a food sorter and gives speeches on addictions and mental health.
Harmon’s journey to recovery took him down his own unique path but his is one of the thousands of similar stories. While many receive treatment, it often takes a variety of different services, supports, and realizations before recovery can happen.
“I’m really grateful for life today. I do believe I’m here for a purpose and that purpose is to help other people,” said Harman.
He hopes by sharing his own story, he can help other people find their own path to recovery.
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