Finding True Freedom from Drug Addiction
By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“It was just one day, about two blocks from where we are now, where I went to school. There’s a playground in the back, and it was recess time and we went out and we got high”
Smoking pot wasn’t anything 12 year-old Lee Vozel planned on or even thought about doing. But the first time he got stoned, he was hooked.
“I knew something wasn’t right. But it numbed the pain I had already experienced in life,” explained Lee.
Much of that pain came from watching his younger brother suffer from Muscular Dystrophy. And while his parents spent most of their time caring for his brother, Lee was on his own, partying with friends. At 14, he started selling drugs.
“By 15 or 16, I was making more money than my mom and dad working two full time jobs,” said Lee. “I thought I was invincible. I had cars. I had drugs. I had girlfriends. I had money. It was great.”
His parents had their suspicions but had their hands full with Lee’s brother, and looked the other way. Meanwhile, Lee’s drug use was getting worse. Now it wasn’t about masking the pain, it was about getting high.
“Everything escalated from that point into cocaine, into crack cocaine, where sometimes I’d smoke crack cocaine for 12 days straight,” said Lee. “Spend $20,000 dollars and get high the entire time.”
Then he started using a more expensive and even more addictive drug.
Lee said, “The next three years I’d end up IV using it. I’d use the needle. I’d use 50 bags of heroine for the final three years, 500 dollars every single day. I didn’t care about anybody else, but myself. By that point my brother had passed away and my parents divorced. I was just reckless.”
It didn’t stop there. Lee ran out of money feeding his addiction. Now, he feared for his life.
“I owed the drug dealers so much money that I wasn’t able to get any more drugs to sell and make more money. So by this time I was so far in debt. I was scared somebody is going to kill me that I had to pretty much hide out.”
Lee ended up living in an abandoned house in town. He survived from money he borrowed from his mom.
“I was so exhausted physically and mentally I couldn’t do it anymore,” recalled Lee. “I knew at that point that there was something was different that I wanted, but I wasn’t sure how to get out of the lifestyle I was living.”
Lee tried drug rehab 10 times, but it never helped. Finally his mother convinced him to enter a Christian based recovery program called Hope Home. There he met Pastor Brian Bolt, a former drug addict.
Brian said, “When I first met Lee he was struggling in life and Lee definitely didn’t want anything to do with God.”
Pastor Brian took Lee to the recovery home and sent him upstairs to unpack his clothes. He didn’t know Lee had a stash of heroine.
“I heard this loud thud, and I heard, ‘Pastor, Pastor, come quick,’ said Lee. “I ran upstairs and Lee’s laying on the ground and at that time, he’s purple. And I see a needle and empty bag of heroine next to him. And I told the guys call 911. I could tell he just overdosed on a bag of heroin.”
Pastor Brian continued. “He wasn’t breathing. I just began to pray, I didn’t know what to do because I knew this man was not right with Jesus. One of the paramedics said this and I’ll never forget it. ‘This man has been dead for 30 to 40 minutes. We’re going to make one last attempt to revive his life.’
Paramedics injected Lee with Narcan, a drug used to offset the overdose. When Lee arrived at the hospital, Pastor Brian was waiting.
“I said, ‘Lee you were dead but we’re all dead in our sins before Christ,’ shared Pastor Brian. “When we have Christ we have life and life abundantly.”
Lee said, “This day I confessed to Jesus with my heart and mouth and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I need You.’ And immediately He came into my life and delivered me from a 26 year addiction instantaneously.”
The next day Lee was on a train to California headed to another recovery home called Victory House. He lived there for 16 months and saw how Jesus Christ was making him into a new person.
“I was there maybe a week and the guy in the bunk next to me, I said ‘I’m starting to feel something on the inside,’ and he said, ‘if it’s on the inside it must be Jesus.’ And I said, ‘I like this Jesus thing,’ because it was a high it wasn’t a high that harmed my body.”
Since then Lee hasn’t touched a single drug. He’s now married and he and his wife Julia have a son named Titus. He’s thankful to God for his family, his life and his freedom from addiction that came through Jesus Christ.
“That day I no longer wanted to live the way I lived before. And it happened so suddenly. One simple sentence and everything has changed forever. I know what Christ did in my life and it’s simple and knowing that I know He can do it for another individual as well.”
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