TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - President Donald Trump addressed the nation Thursday, Oct. 26, on the deadly opioid crisis that kills thousands of people every year.
Tucson News Now spoke with a man who struggled with addiction for several years and now works to be a light to those who struggle with the problem.
Patrick Hogan, 28, was an honor-roll student and had dreams to become an engineer. He said he was prescribed pain killers after getting his wisdom teeth removed.
He said the moment the first pill hit his mouth, he didn't know it then, but his life changed. Hogan became addicted and would later have to d rop out of college.
He battled for six years and bounced around rehab centers. Nothing seemed to help until he had a close call with death.
Hogan was at a Phoenix-area restaurant when he overdosed in the restroom. An employee found him lying on the floor motionless and jumped into action -- saving his life.
"It's just so sad that that was my life. I would've left behind my parents who love me, my brother and sister, but you don't see that when you're using. You only think about yourself. It's such a selfish disease," he said.
The New Jersey native eventually made his way to Tucson where he joined a rehab program at the Teen Challenge Center of Arizona. He finished the one-year program and was eventually promoted to store manager of the organization's thrift store Blessingdales.
"I was able to be brought back from the darkness into the light surrounded by my brother's here. And just loved on and brought back into health not only physically but spiritually. And I believe I'm a changed person today."
Hogan said he's glad the topic is being discussed on a national level. He hopes resources could come to organizations to help fight the epidemic.