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My name is Jake, I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada, and I had a pretty normal life growing up. My parents moved from southern California when I was 5. My dad and mom worked very hard to build their reputation in a new town. I would follow my older brother around and bother him all day long. Then he would beat me up for making him mad. I think that’s just part of being a little brother.

When I was eight or nine, I started playing hockey for seven or eight years until I hit high school. I was always busy and so were my folks. Weekends were either working, riding, or boating. We had desert a minute away, dunes an hour away, and the lake right down the road. By 12 or 13 I realized that drinking made me fearless. I liked the feeling it gave me. I just kept wanting to see what the next high felt like after that. Pretty soon, I had tried almost everything on the market. I never really hooked on anything though. When OxyContin came into the picture it was all over. I went from a kid who liked to party and have a good time to a full blown addict. Every type of prescription (OxyContin, heroin, meth, coke) I tried. All the things that I told myself I wouldn’t do when I was younger.

I was missing something this whole time. I had my family's love and support, but I wasn’t getting the bigger picture. This was not what life was supposed to be like. God had to have a better plan for me. Through the help of Adult & Teen Challenge, I have gained a relationship with Jesus. I have never felt better. The joy I feel is like a kid some days, just ready for what the world has next. I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to prove. I just have to make sure that every day I am taking that right step forward to keeping my life in God’s hands — to be willing and excited for what he has next for me.