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In an exponentially growing world filled with billions of people, we as humans have the tendency to believe that we are unique, that we are an exception, that we can beat probability. More often than not, we are wrong. In reality, the truth is that we are just like everyone else and could fall off our paths and into addiction. This is the story of Rick.

Just like many of you reading this, Rick grew up in a quiet neighbourhood with a loving family, plentiful opportunities, and a bright future ahead of him. However, in an instant, everything changed. When he was nine, Rick’s mother was murdered. This traumatic event was as devastating as can be for any child in Rick’s shoes and left deep emotional scars in his childhood. Ever since then, the nice and quiet neighbourhood was eerie and constraining and his family was no longer a comforting presence. At the age off 22, he left home, hoping to find inspiration and fulfillment to somehow feel whole again.

Before moving to Vancouver from Edmonton, Rick had never experienced or sought out drugs as an outlet, but in his words “it doesn’t matter your background or willpower, you spend enough time in the Downtown Eastside and you will fall into addiction”. And that is exactly what happened. Like the rest of the community, Rick began using drugs and despite multiple attempts at rehabilitation, was unable to maintain sobriety. Even after finding a place in the tight knit community of the Downtown Eastside, it is the last thing he wishes for youth that are also facing crossroads. He hopes that instead of letting trauma drive you off your path, he advises that you use it to motivate yourself to achieve your goals despite your past.

©2020 by Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment. 

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