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John Evans: From Addict to Mentor, “A Letter to Santa Changed My Life”
In many ways, John’s life was all mapped out; at least in his mind it was. An excellent student; good grades, athlete, good attitude, even perfect attendance in school.
The kids in school were always trying to get John high by offering him drugs. He managed to stay clear of drugs despite the peer pressure that permeated the air at junior high school.
Yet, the drugs were all around him. In fact, this part of Ohio has a bit of a reputation for addiction, drug dealing and the kinds of crime that typically come with a devil’s playground.
“I was that guy who said, I would never touch drugs, I’m going to play in the NBA,” says John. He was a big sports fanatic, playing baseball, basketball, football, he even ran track.
All of that changed one day when a group of guys; the summer before his sophomore year met at a friends house. There were about fifteen kids from around the neighborhood just hanging out, passing around weed while talking about sports and the summer break.
As the joint was being passed from hand-to-hand, one of the neighborhood guys who John did not know very well, passed the joint to him not knowing that he didn’t smoke. John shook his head no that he didn’t want any, at the same time his buddy said “Give it to me, he don’t smoke.”
That was the turning point; what John did next would change his life forever!
As he explains it “My ego was like, give it here,” he goes on to explain “I gotta be tough like everyone else.” John explained further that he felt they were looking down on him.
He took the joint, in what would become the first hit of many. It started with weed, and then it went into pain pills, narcotics, OxyContin; it became a $300 to $500 a day addiction. John Evans was out of control. As he says, “I would “steal, lie, rob, anything to get high.”
At 14 years old, John Evans found himself in a place he never thought he’d be – he was a drug addict. “Some people have an addictive personality; I’m just one of those people,” explains John.
Things got worse. John was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. No license. No insurance. A series of blunders with missing court appearances and related drug problems and John was sentenced to eight years in prison. After serving more than six of those years in prison; and eighteen months at an adult workshop; it was time to take his life back.
The Next Leap Forward
It was about after a year in prison when John received a letter in the mail addressed to Santa Claus from his 9 year old daughter. The letter was intercepted from her mother and sent onward to John. The letter said “All I want for Christmas is my dad.”
“That was my moment of truth; clarity,” explained John, “that’s the moment I stepped back and said, what are you doing?”
John Evans is now helping as many people as he possibly can through the power of social media. He has formed a group called RAW ADDICTION.
Every Saturday night at 9pm EST the group meets via Facebook, a live video feed for one hour. John refers to this as his version of Saturday Night Live. They have counselors who are available to help. They will help get people into detox recovery centers. Some people will ask questions; others will send direct message after the segment has concluded.
The goal is to build awareness to the drug epidemic. They provide the how and why, in what’s behind drug addiction. People call in from all around the globe.
There are big goals to open up centers and to assist those folks who need it the most. He is working on making it a 501c3. Raw Addiction groups are planting seeds to educate and bring awareness to the dangers of drugs.
Listen to the full story on podcast of John Evans and his journey from middle school as a good student with aspirations of being a professional sports player to a drug addict; the accident; becoming a prisoner; the letter, and the changes he has made in his life to now becoming the Founder of a group of professionals who want to chan…
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