SEAFORD, Del. - 47 ABC spoke to a former addict who has turned his life around and is helping others through a support group system, as he is able to create a sense of community in Seaford.
Drugs and alcohol was the environment Brian Laurenzi grew up in, as Laurenzi says his mom was on multiple drugs and his dad was a hardcore drinker.
Laurenzi tells 47 ABC that he never got any attention growing up and started to focus his attention on drugs at the age of 14.
"I got into crack cocaine right around that age and I was actually doing it with my mother. I dropped out of 8th grade, after my third year of 8th grade because there no consequences at home and to me this was a norm," Laurenzi explains.
And that norm led him to 11 years in prison.
At 27 years old, on April 23, 2012, Laurenzi was released from prison and he decided to celebrate.
Laurenzi tells 47 ABC, "We got some bags of heroine, my mom was a bigger lady and I ended up shooting her up with heroin. So she ended up as they would call it nodding out, she was high, she was sitting in her little chair."
But this celebration of life turned deadly, as Laurenzi saw his mother lifeless. She had overdosed.
"I grabbed the ice cold glass of water and I throw it in her face and she didn't budge. So then I went over there and I tried to smack her and she was hard as a board. So she had been dead for 6 hours," Laurenzi tells us.
We are told for years, he blamed himself. At that exact moment, his life changed, but for the worst as he really got into shooting heroin.
He says he didn't have any purpose in his life, "If you don't have a purpose, you're not going to fear consequences."
A few weeks later, Laurenzi met his girlfriend and the mother of his kids, Amanda Lofland.
Lofland ended up in jail as she gave birth to their daughter.
As Laurenzi took care of her, he was busted at a hotel with a few bags of heroin and the state took their daughter away from them.
After Lofland left jail, Laurenzi says they were both homeless, helpless and jobless.
They ended up in a tent and at the beginning of living there, Lofland found out she was pregnant, as she says, that was their wake up call.
After being in the tent for 5 month, their baby boy Braylen was their wake up call.
This time, they sought help, got jobs, and got their lives back.
Laurenzi was even inspired to start his own group, called Reclaiming Your Life, in order to give back.
The program will be held at Connections CSP, short for community support programs in Seaford.
This program isn't just for people consuming drugs, it's also for families who want to learn about addiction.
Laurenzi says this is a great support group program. They encourages anyone to come, who is dealing with any kind of addiction.
The group sessions will be an hour and a half, the first half hour focuses on fellowship and the rest will be based on education.
Laurenzi tells 47 ABC that this is not AA or NA, but this is an educational support group for the community to come and get insight.
The first meeting will take place May 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. and then will be held every other Friday.
Additional information on Delmarva's opioid crisis and how others have started a path to recovery can be found on 47 ABC's Opioid Crisis page.
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