In a tender moment of embrace, Monica Adolph pours her heart out to her son, Nathan, whispering, “I love you all the time. I love you.” This expression of love has been the driving force behind their extraordinary journey to overcome the devastating grip of fentanyl and other illicit drugs that plagued Nathan’s life for years.
Nathan candidly shares, “I didn’t care if I was alive. All that mattered was the next high.” His addiction consumed him, shattering dreams and leaving a trail of despair in its wake. Yet, amidst the darkness, his mother’s unwavering love and determination became his lifeline.
But it wasn’t just love that kept Nathan alive—it was also the power of NARCAN. Monica, who had to learn how to use NARCAN herself, saved her son’s life on numerous occasions. She vividly recalls the urgency of the moments when Nathan’s face turned blue, gasping for breath. With every episode, she fought to revive him, not willing to stand idly by while his life slipped away.
Nathan acknowledges the pivotal role his mother played in his survival, affirming, “It is true. I wasn’t going to just wait there for paramedics while his face was turning blue. You know he’s not breathing. What would you do?”
His addiction was a multifaceted battle, encompassing a wide array of drugs, from methamphetamine to heroin. Each substance offered a temporary escape from reality, numbing his pain and troubles. However, it was fentanyl that ensnared him with its alluring and intensely powerful high.
He recounts the first encounter with powdered fentanyl, confessing, “I’m not going to turn down free drugs. So, obviously I took it.” Unbeknownst to him, that decision would forever alter his path. The allure of fentanyl’s intensity eclipsed all other substances, including heroin, propelling Nathan into a relentless pursuit of an even more profound high.
Days blurred into a perpetual cycle of intoxication, with Nathan resorting to desperate measures to fund his habit. Selling drugs became a means to feed his addiction, plunging him further into a world of crime and darkness.
But then, the devastating consequences of fentanyl addiction struck hard. Nathan’s life hung in the balance, teetering on the precipice of irreparable damage. Monica found him unconscious, his lips turning blue, his breath nonexistent. Desperation took hold as she administered NARCAN, employing chest compressions with every ounce of her being.
Reflecting on those terrifying moments, Monica confesses, “I just figured I just gotta pump and hope I didn’t break anything.” Her unwavering determination saved Nathan’s life on that fateful day, but the battle was far from over. Overdoses continued to haunt them, pushing Nathan further into the depths of despair.
Eventually, Nathan mustered the strength to seek help, recognizing the urgent need for change. On January 11, 2021, he made the courageous decision to check himself into CRI-Help, a renowned rehabilitation center in North Hollywood. It marked the beginning of his transformative journey toward recovery.
The fentanyl crisis looms large, affecting countless lives like Nathan’s. Clinical Director Gary Horejsi of CRI-Help emphasizes the severity of the situation, observing that the crisis is worsening, with lives being claimed by this deadly substance, not just among hardcore addicts, but even among those experimenting for the first time.
Now, Nathan has become a beacon of hope and resilience. Working at CRI-Help, he dedicates himself to helping others on their own path to recovery, serving as a sober companion and coach. In his newfound sobriety, he has learned to love himself and confront the pain he inflicted upon his mother.
Looking ahead, Nathan stays committed to his recovery by extending a helping hand to fellow addicts, recognizing the profound impact he can have as a guiding light on their arduous journey. For him, this is the addiction that truly matters—the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Etched along his arm, a powerful reminder reads, “God never said it was going to be easy… just promised it would be worth it.” In the face of immense adversity, Nathan’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, the unbreakable bond between a mother and her son, and the transformative power of love, faith, and unwavering support.