I began using drugs & alcohol at 12 years old, being introduced to alcohol & cocaine by older, extended family members. I looked up to them, so I used just to fit in with them. Like most alcoholics, I remember my first drunk - 17th hole @ TPC Sawgrass - like it was yesterday. I took off from there, accumulating 18 arrests on 25 charges over the next 17 years. I wrecked numerous cars; I lost countless girlfriends & an engagement; I cost my parents to lose their first home; and I've accrued tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. In 2009 I almost killed myself in a DWI accident & gave sobriety a chance. I always told myself that I was only an alcoholic & only used drugs when I was drunk. After 2 years of sobriety I relapsed on drugs, pain pills, and realized I am a drug addict as well. A drug, is a drug, is a drug & alcohol is a drug. However, my relapse did not happen when I used the pills; it happened way before that. It started when I began achieving things in sobriety, namely my law degree & law license. I thought I was "too smart" to get caught up again. Well, I wasn't & I almost lost everything I had gained. Alcoholism & drug addiction - the genetic predisposition - doesn't differentiate between class, race, color, creed, nationality, sex or intelligence level. The only way to assure you don't follow the path of destruction I have left behind is to not pick up the drug or drink the first time. I'm back in recovery now, staying sober one day at a time. Don't suffer like I did, just don't do it.