Alan Dawson’s recreational drug use during high school tailspinned into the abuse and addiction of methamphetamine, alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Dawson, 52, was imprisoned several times for incidents of theft and burglary. He lost jobs and places to stay from his drug habit.
“I thought I was a bad person,” Dawson said.
He found himself homeless, living under a bridge in Portland and working a part-time job doing yard work for money to “feed his addiction.” The job ended during the winter, and Dawson tried to overdose in order to end his life. His attempt failed, and the next day, he entered into a treatment program.
He stayed for 18 days at the Hooper Detoxification Center, named after David Hooper who was the last person to die of alcohol withdrawal in the Portland city jail.
During treatment, Dawson learned about addiction and the 12-step program, which offers 12 guiding principals and traditions to overcome addition. He is an active participant today.
He is a second-year student at the Walla Walla Community College.