Adam Ellison’s Testimony
Unlike the majority of drug addict/criminals, I grew up in a very normal run of the mill American household. Our family had problems like most but for the majority we were a loving, wholesome family.
I grew up on Noccalula Mt. and attended R.A. Mitchell elementary school. I was definitely not a model student as I tended to dislike any kind of authority but I was fairly smart and made it through just fine. I had my first contact with drugs and gang violence at the gym beside the school one day when I stayed to play basketball. I was offered a chance to be beat in to the Crip (I later found out that you cannot be white and be a real member), I didn't really get it but thought it was super cool! Nothing ever came of the initiation but I was intrigued by "outlaws". I remember wanting to be a gangster like Bugsy Seagal and Al Capone when I was younger but was too busy with sports to give it much thought.
The first drug I ever tried was Darvocet. My buddy's mom was a nurse and also a "pharmacist" or doctor shopper. I only remember this because right after I took it, I was nauseous and thought I had been poisoned. The next encounter was hydrocodone and I would never be the same. It gave me energy, (I was already hyperactive) that focused my mind and made my whole body warm, like I'd been freezing my entire life until then. I felt like a million bucks and wanted to do everything! This dabbling continued until I was in high school. I had switched schools so I didn't really know anyone and wanted to be accepted and thought of as cool so badly that I would do about anything. I had ZERO self-confidence, but when I drank alcohol or did drugs, I felt like I could talk to anybody and do anything. I played baseball in 9th grade in high school and that was the last thing holding me on a good path. The guys on the team were some of the best people I'd ever known and made me want to be like them and they didn't do drugs. I still dabbled in pain pills on the side when I could get them without anyone knowing.
I went through high school getting more and more involved in buying and selling drugs, which was becoming more and more noticeable to everyone but me. My grades began to suffer and my attitude was abysmal. I started to care less and less about my future and more about doing drugs and getting high. I was suspected of selling Marijuana out of my car, which was not true, I was selling cocaine out of the bathroom. I had rolled the last joint in a bag to smoke on the way to school that morning. I threw the "empty" bag out the window and unbeknownst to me, it came back in. Long story short, they searched my car, I helped them thinking that there was nothing to be found but low and behold they found the empty bag with particles. I was charged with Possession of Marijuana 1st and some other junk. Spent some time in jail, got out and plead guilty to possession 3rd, did outpatient rehab and went about my business. I only lost a shot at a scholarship for soccer but no big deal right....
I left home before I graduated high school and after graduation, my drug use skyrocketed. I assumed, as most young people do, that I was unable to be killed. I tested this theory almost daily. OxyContin 80s came out when I was in high school and I loved them. The first time, I took half an 80 which people thought would kill me but alas, I did not die but built up a tolerance that would impress even the most senior pharmacists. I continued trying and mixing different drugs looking for the best combo for me. This trial and error led me to be at a party and believe that I was invisible to some degree. The police came, left their vehicle running in the front of the building where we were partying. I was just planning on hiding their car from them but got turned around and before you know it, I was on highway 77 in a police cruiser attempting to pull a lady over for swerving at me.... like I was a real cop. I got away but ended up turning myself in and doing some more time in jail. I never once thought about how my actions were affecting my family. Drugs make you into a SUPER selfish person. They turn good people into bad people and bad people into demons. I have been in and out of jail ever since high school and it never fazed me, I wore it as a badge of honor and courage right up until I "borrowed" a car and ran from the police in Whorton's Bend. I was taken to jail and stayed for right at 10 months. I got to jail weighing in at around 128 pounds...at 6ft 2in. tall that is juuuuuuust a bit underweight. Even though I didn't stop doing drugs then, that jail stay would change my life. I was introduced to SAPP (Substance Abuse Prevention Program) at Etowah County Detention Center by Chief Dr. Scott Hassell. The program they laid out would become the building blocks that my life stands on to this day. I got clean enough to join the Marine Corps after I got out of jail. I thought I had found my calling in the Corps, but I merely traded drugs for alcohol and adrenaline! The Marine Corps wanted me to be a radio operator (0621) but I wanted to be a Ninja, so I volunteered for RSAS (Recon Selection and Assessment School) and MARSOC. I passed the indoc and was sent to 1st MSOB Camp Pendleton California! I went to different schools and tried my best to control my drinking. I made it into Bravo Co Tm 2 and immediately got in trouble. I was put on barracks restriction for fighting but since I felt I deserved a celebration; we went out with 4 of my teammates and immediately got into a bar brawl. The brawl gradually made it outside where I was knocked into the street and hit by a car. I broke 6 ribs, my pelvis, my nose, and both wrists. I also crushed my c3 onto my c4 and my L2 and L3 are not off-kilter. The doctors immediately put me on Oxycontin 40s, Percocet 10s, and Dilaudid. By this time, I had a couple of tattoos and had no fear of needles as I had been shooting up Oxy since I was 19. This was just the excuse I needed to go back and GO BACK I did! That was basically the end of my military career. I stopped showing up for formation and started doing whatever I wanted. With 6 months left on my enlistment, I was separated from the Marine Corps. This was devastating but not enough to make me give up pain pills for good. I came home clean and got right back on drugs. I was up to shooting anywhere from 900 -2500 milligrams of oxycodone a day. I started stealing again and left home again. I ran out of town and moved back to California thinking I could escape my bad habit. It worked for a little while. I was homeless so I lived out in the desert for about a month and would walk into town every day to fill out job apps and look for work. Many things happened and I eventually sorta-kinda cleaned up my act enough to function in society. The final nail would come on Feb 7th 2015 when my little brother died. It's hard to explain the level of sadness I experienced when he passed away. I felt like I was somehow physically sad if that makes sense. I could think of nothing but my little brother not being alive anymore and it was maddening. My brother and I are only about 3 years apart in age so I don't really remember being alive without him. He was my very best friend when we were kids. We did everything together and when he died it felt like I should have been the one to go and not him. I quite literally lost my mind for a bit. I almost drank myself to death thinking I could kill the sadness but to no avail. I then used my own brother's death as an excuse to go back to drugs. I had quit doing drugs and become a personal trainer before he died but that all went out the window as I descended into a hell of my own making. I skipped all the preliminary drug use and moved right to shooting 120mg of oxycodone at a time, that lasted for a little bit until it wasn't enough. IT IS NEVER ENOUGH!! I would do anything to get money for drugs or drugs. I had run into a couple of older thieves in jail a while back and learned how to break into pharmacies. I put my learning to use and broke into a pharmacy late one night and relieved them of every single oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, oxymorphone, and hydromorphone they had. FINALLY!!! I would never run out of drugs again!!!.... until about a week later when I ran out of drugs. If you are an avid drug user then you know full well that there are not enough drugs in the world to satisfy you. Eventually, someone got caught and told on me as always happens and once again I was back in jail. This time though I was mad at everyone for some reason. I sold and did drugs in jail. I lied and swindled my way into people's good graces and then betrayed their trust. I finally made it out and stayed out for a couple of months and was right back in! During the time I was out, I had been picked up for a check scam I was running and made up an elaborate tale about some big gangsters moving some weight into Gadsden and told the cops that I would help them if they let me out. I bonded out and never looked back. That probably aggravated them so when I came back to jail, they stuck me in the Unit with Murderers and segregation. I was detoxing very badly and made some bad moves. Plus, a guy I had owed some money to was in there and didn't want to hear any excuses as to why I didn't have his money. I have always prided myself on being a good fighter even if I didn't always win, I would never give up as long as I was conscious. They popped the doors to the cells for breakfast one morning and as I normally do, I just rolled over and closed my eyes. The next thing I know, I am being punched in the face. I tried to get up but there were too many people. I got beat pretty badly and decided that day, that crime and drugs would have no place in my life if I ever got out of jail. I stayed in jail for 16 months waiting to go to court so I had a lot of time to reflect on my life and what I had done with it. I finally got out of jail in Feb of 2017. I was afraid to go out and be free where I could do drugs easily. I had come up with a plan before I left and decided to implement this plan! I had tried SUBOXONE before but was not really serious about quitting drugs, but this time was different. I went to a halfway house and stayed for 3 months, but before going there I was introduced to CLINIC 5 and their suboxone regiment. When I say that it SAVED MY LIFE, I am not exaggerating. I have been on Suboxone since 2017 and have never looked back to my old life. It has helped me clear the fog of drugs out of my mind. Clinic 5 has some of the sweetest most caring people in the world working there! They don't care about where you've been, only about helping you get where you need to be in life. Clinic 5 and their program has helped me to become a human being again, a productive citizen, a fairly decent Uncle, and a son who loves and respects his parents. Suboxone may not be for everyone and if you are using it to get high then you are doing the wrong thing. When taken properly under the supervision and drug testing of a good establishment, Suboxone could be the biggest leg up you will ever get on the road to being a recovered drug addict. It doesn't erase all the hurt and pain I caused and incurred; I still see people that I have to apologize to but I didn't do any drugs today and I don't ever plan to again. I haven't stolen a single thing since getting out of jail this last time, I haven't run a single scam, I have a bank account with actual money in it, I have a savings account with actual money in it, I have a truck and equipment that I paid for myself, and I have people who trust and depend on me. I was a horrible human being when I was on drugs, I still get shivers when old memories of who I used to be pop up out of nowhere, but today at this very moment, I am not who I used to be! I may still have a long way to go but I have come a long way to get to where I am today. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, so I decided to do something different and it has made all the difference in the world. Thank You all at Clinic 5, Adam B. Ellison