Zackariah Hopper

"Addiction Took, God recovered"

I was raised in a home with a sober mother and stepfather who identify as alcoholics, fortunately for me I have never seen them take a drink. 

My birth father on the other hand had an extreme case of alcoholism, eventually succumbing to the illness in 2001 dying of sclerosis and ruptured spleen. Over the years doctors have suggested that the disease of addiction may be hereditary. I believe I have had this since a young age. My parents saw this in me, and have made me aware of the dangers that come with not be able to stop after the first drink. Unfortunately I didn't listen.

Growing up without a father I was an extremely angry young man. I found athletics at a young age. My outlet became football, hockey and other sports. That was until I found marijuana and alcohol. This was an escape that I could get into. I started smoking marijuana heavily and in short time was extremely addicted. I drank and partied on weekends but my first true love was pot. By the age of 16 I was no longer attending classes in high school and was hanging around with the wrong crowd. I was caught breaking into a house with a couple other young men while skipping class and had the police bring me back to the school. The principle reprimanded myself and the others, and I found out I was being expelled. 

I went from a top notch high school to a secondary program where most kids would attempt and hope to get their high school equivalency, just like me. This was an extremely rough school for a 16 year old. I went in with a Bachelors in Marijuana and graduated with a Masters Degree in Cocaine. Cocaine and other drugs quickly consumed my life. My parents were extremely worried and had the idea at age 19 to send me to a rehabilitation centre. While I was in treatment for a one month program my best friend was struck by a car and died while under the influence of alcohol. 

Alcohol had taken another person away from me. 

Shortly after that a few other friends were taken victim by the opiod crises, overdosing and resulting in death. I still couldn't see the major effects that drugs and alcohol were having on my surroundings. Booze and cocaine were the only solutions I had for my spiritual malady.

I continued in my addiction with brief stints of sobriety and grew apart from all my family and friends. My only friend became the temporary release I received from alcohol and cocaine. It got to a point where anyone who knew me would not want to be around me if I was in active addiction. I was a mess. They say that alcoholism is a progressive disease and I can truly attest to that fact.

Life progressively got worse for me, and the things that I would do under the influence still blow my mind to this day. I crashed my sports car on the highway in the fall of 2017 while intoxicated. Then in January of 2018 I was arrested for possession and two counts of assault. This brought me to my knees. I was nearly homeless and spent my 27th birthday in a detox centre on Montreal Road. I was near the end of my rope. 

While contemplating suicide in detox a man informed me of a faith-based treatment centre here in Ottawa. It was a glimmer of hope. Through an odd series of events that can only be described as divine intervention I got put on a waiting list for the Jericho Road Ministries men's treatment facility.

A month passed after detox and I was admitted to the Jericho Road discipleship house. This place was everything I had been praying for where all my needs were met, and I truly encountered God. By surrendering my self will, and building a conscious contact with Jesus, through Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve steps, I became a new creation in Christ. I recently celebrated 9 months of continuous sobriety. The longest single term of sobriety in my life. 

The gratitude I have for Jericho and and for all the blessings and goodness they put back into the world are endless. If you truly want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, there is a solution.