Kyle's drug addiction rehabilitation testimonial - Portage Elora, Ontario
Fuelled by cocaine or oxycodone, Kyle’s skeletal-like body would log
exactly one hour and fifteen minutes on the treadmill each day. A full meal
might reach his parched lips once every three days while marijuana and
alcohol were daily supplements his body craved to bring him down from an
“I was drinking alcohol and doing drugs at the same time, battling
anorexia and bulimia, and stealing from my parents,” says Kyle, a
17-year-old high school student who spent six months at Portage Elora.
“I was out of control, super vulnerable, and I knew I needed help.”
Dying to fit in
Kyle’s history of drug abuse began when he was just 13 years old.
Following years of bullying in elementary school, he found new
confidence in high school, opening up about his sexuality, and finding
new groups of friends whom he eagerly wished to impress.
“I went from having no friends to many friends,” he says. “I started
hanging out with the really pretty, popular girls, who had long hair
extensions and fake tans, and who drank a lot.” At the same time, he
says he was introduced to the “gay scene,” which included late-night
parties with men in their early 20's.
It was here, that he began smoking marijuana.
“I was really envious of my friends. They danced well, wore nice
clothes, and could interact well on drugs. I thought that was the
coolest,” he says. “I just wanted to talk to people, and I thought I had
to have the excuse of smoking all day to sit down and talk.”
While too young to drink, Kyle would wait at his friends’ houses until
they returned home from the bar, smoking about 14 grams of marijuana
every other day. Within a year, Kyle’s habitual marijuana abuse
escalated to ecstasy.
Eventually ecstasy turned into cocaine, and cocaine turned into
oxycodone. His previously close relationship with his parents and
grandparents deteriorated as he began lying about his whereabouts and
stealing money to feed his drug addictions.
By grade 10, Kyle’s battered body became even more vulnerable when he
became anorexic and bulimic. “I was out of control,” Kyle says. “I
wasn’t doing anything with my life I was just trying to live up to this
lifestyle of older people. I got envious, and it went too far.”
Shortly before making the decision to attend Portage, Kyle told his
parents why he’d been stealing and lying over the last couple of years.
He moved into his grandmother’s house and tried to recover on his own,
but he says it was still too easy to leave the house and abuse
In January 2011, Kyle says he knew he needed to remove himself from the
situation, and moved into residential treatment at Portage Elora
Breaking his bad habits began by developing new, positive routines. By
7:45 a.m., he was up and sweeping his bedroom. Breakfast and lunch were
scheduled affairs that involved opening up about the root of his
addiction, and completing school courses was mandatory.
By learning to speak about his addiction in front of his peers, Kyle
says he began to recognise some of the deeper issues he had about
self-esteem and body image.
“It’s like someone takes a shackle off you,” he says of his experience
at Portage. “Even looking at people and objects while not under the
influence is like being in a different world.”
Kyle has been sober since he left Portage in May 2011 and has now completed grade 10 summer school, to help make up for two lost years
of his life.
“I learned that by being sober, I can do anything,” he says. “Before Portage, I had a lifestyle, and now I have a life.”