ANDERSON, Ind.— Alcohol and drugs started early for Ryan Troub, at age 13. For Lina Cortes, it started in high school with a wisdom teeth surgery. It took a drug bust for Troub and losing nearly everything for Cortes to help set them on a path to recovery.
They’re stories all too familiar to some Hoosiers on International Overdose Awareness Day. It’s a global event remembering lives lost, raising awareness and reducing stigma related to overdose. According to the CDC, more than 1,500 people died from drug overdoses in 2016.
“I think it’s very important that the awareness is there of addiction because for a long time there was a blind eye to it and people die all the time from it so I’m just grateful that they have some things that they have now a days that are bringing it out in the open,” Cortes said.
Cortes said her addiction eventually led her to heroin.
“Ultimately ended up I was a heroin addict and basically lost everything,” she said.
Troub said his drug involvement eventually led to time in jail, pills, cocaine and meth.
“Ended up getting into bigger things with meth to keep my habit going and got into heroin. I’ve overdosed twice on heroin myself,” he said.
Overdoses became a common scene for him.
“There’s be so many people in my house that like people overdosing was normal, like I could walk over somebody’s legs getting to the restroom as they’re getting CPR done on them, I mean that’s how, it was everyday life I mean” Troub said.
He said he was tired of that life, but didn’t know how to get out. That changed in 2017, when he was one of dozens of people arrested in what police dubbed ‘Operation Crystal Palace,’ what they called the largest meth bust in the history of Madison County at the time.
“I was in work release and I just prayed and I said God I want to do this man but you need to guide me, I need some help. He led me to a meeting and I got reunited with my sponsor and never looked back,” Troub said.
Cortes hasn’t looked back either. She went to rehab in Florida where she became clean. Now both share their stories with others battling addiction to help save lives.
Cortes works as a case manager and Troub works as a behavioral technician at Bridges of Hope, a recovery center in Anderson. He also organized the event Walk for Hope, raising awareness about addiction and helping connect users to resources.
“I know what it feels like to be out there for so long and after I got into recovery there’s hope. I mean my life has changed. And if it can change for me I know it can work for anybody,” he said.
If you or somebody you know needs help, you can find more information at SAMHSA’s national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).