People often assume that to successfully overcome a drug addiction the affected individual must go through rehab treatment; however, this is not always the case. Although rehab treatment does help many people across the world, it is not the be all and end all when it comes to beating an addiction. It depends entirely on what works for the individual and what motivates him or her to become sober. In some cases, it is the thought of losing loved ones, a job, a home or it can even be religion that spurs the change. One example of this is a former drug addict and dealer called Ryan Longmuir, who only managed to overcome his addiction once he had found God.
Abusing Drugs to Feel Normal
Thirty-seven-year-old Ryan Longmuir from Cumbernauld was battling a severe drug addiction where he would abuse drugs every single day just to feel normal. As well as taking drugs, he was dealing them also and at one point he was almost charged and handed a hefty prison sentence.
Ryan first took drugs at the age of twelve out of curiosity, and because he had fallen in with a bad crowd. He said, I tried everything cocaine, Valium, ecstasy, speed, heroin. I’d go on benders for two or three days at a time, and I’d take five or 10 ecstasy tablets in one night. From the age of 15 to 20, I took drugs every single day.
Changing his Ways
Ryan left school when he was sixteen, and just four years later found that he was dealing drugs worth thousands every week; he said that had this continued, he would have become a big time gangster drug dealer. He decided to set off for New Zealand in 2000 to change his ways and overcome his addiction; however, just two weeks after he arrived there, customs in New Zealand discovered a package of 100 ecstasy pills that Ryan had sent to himself from Scotland. At this point, he faced jail time and did not know what to do; he made a phone call to one of his friends in Scotland who said that she would pray for him and that he should pray for himself too.
Catalyst for Change
Ryan said, I thought, you’re off your head, but I decided to try it, and I got down beside my bed, and I said, I don’t believe that there is a God, but if you’re real then show me that you’re real and I’ll believe in you.
He was released on bail but still had every intention to continue abusing the drugs. The turning point came when he met two hitchhikers who bought him lunch. They then took him to church and eventually allowed him to move in with them. Ryan said, That was when I thought there was maybe something to this because why would two complete strangers do that? That was the catalyst for change.
Ryan explained that as soon as he discovered his faith, the change was instant; he no longer wanted to take drugs and disposed of all his drugs by throwing them into the sea; he has never looked back. He went on to say, “I know most people who have been taking drugs don’t have that experience. Most people do okay for a bit then they relapse. Everyone’s journey is different, but that was mine.”
Ryans life changed completely once he found his faith when he was 20. Now 37-years old, he has been sober ever since. Once he turned 24, he set up his own business, Regis Banqueting, which allowed him to get his life back on track. The business has now been operating for thirteen years and has many prestigious clients including Bentley, O2 and JP Morgan. He explained that the first three years were challenging, with him receiving a salary of just £6,000 in the first year but things quickly expanded and contracts got bigger. The company now employs 65 staff and has an annual turnover of £1.3 million.
When he thinks about the drug-fuelled binges in his younger days, he realises that his life could have turned out extremely different to how it is today. This is what spurs him to provide support to others who have dealt with poverty and addiction; for example, he employs former addicts and ex-offenders to give them an incentive rather than abusing drugs. He is currently considering forming another company as well as his current business Regis, which will include casual dining restaurants in Glasgow. He hopes to expand his business across Scotland and the UK initially, and then internationally. Ryan said, I say to my wife sometimes that its amazing how were making more money than a doctor or lawyer and were making sandwiches.
Range of Treatments
It is evident from Ryans successes that rehab treatment is not the only way to overcome an addiction, although, for most people, professional help is necessary. Although Ryan did overcome addiction alone, it is important to point out that he is in the minority.
If you are worried about a loved one, or even yourself, and you do not know what the next steps are in regards to overcoming a drug addiction, then contact us here at UK Rehab. We work alongside many treatment centres that offer a range of treatments to suit the needs of anyone suffering from the illness; if one treatment does not necessarily work for you, then we will keep trying until we find one that does. If you require any additional information or have any queries, then contact us today.
Source: The former drug addict who found God and built a successful business (BBC)