Society sometimes can be cruel and judgmental. Condemning everyone who made wrong choices as if it is eternally impossible to reform and transform back into a decent, responsible and productive member of society. I and many like me are perfect examples and living proof that there is hope in recovery. From a hopeless law-breaker to an exemplary Role Model… Here is the inspiring story of JOHN GABRIEL “JG” LASQUITES
I am John and I am a person in recovery from drug addiction.
I am an only child and was raised by loving and responsible parents. As a child, I was taught with the right values and went to a Catholic School here in Cagayan De Oro. I was an achiever at a young age. I was a consistent honor student and was a scholar. I was well rounded and treated everyone around me with respect. My parents had very high hopes for me because of the potential they saw in me.
Then I met drugs.
I started using drugs when I was 13 years old and it progressed rapidly. Just 1 year after I started using drugs, I lost my scholarship. The next year, I got kicked out of school. Not once, but twice. I eventually graduated High School after being transferred to 3 different schools. I was becoming a problem to my family at a very young age. At 16 years old, I almost died after I got into a car accident. I was drunk and high from drugs that time. I became my parents’ worst nightmare.
During college in 2007, I was given a chance to study in Cebu. I wasted time and my parents’ money because I never took my education seriously. All I cared about was getting high. I quit school and worked in the BPO industry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep a stable job because of my drug use. I lied, cheated and manipulated people just to get my fix.
Me and my girlfriend at that time had a daughter. I became a very irresponsible father and partner. I took their needs for granted and only focused on how to get drugs daily. I could not support my own family. To sustain my drug use, I had to get involved with the wrong people. I sold and bought drugs for other people. I put my own family at risk since different people came in and out of our house.
They realized that I was becoming more of a danger to them, especially to my own daughter. Eventually, they left me and I got separated from them. No matter how many times my parents supported me, I couldn’t sustain it because of my drug use. I could not go a day without using. I lived to use and used to live.
Very soon after, I lost everything. I found myself walking and sleeping on the streets. Very few friends helped me. I was able to experience eating left over from fast-food chains because of intense hunger. I became a bum. I jumped from one drug den to another hoping to get drugs. Doing work for them just to get high.
I almost lost everything to drug addiction. One day I found myself under a bridge and realized I had enough. I hit rock bottom. I realized that I did not want to die an addict. I was emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually bankrupt. I called my parents and they rescued me. On March 1, 2015, I was brought to Pathway to Recovery Foundation to get treatment for drug addiction. That is where I met the 12 Step Program of Narcotics Anonymous. That is where I found recovery. Rock bottom became the solid foundation that helped me build my recovery.
In surrender, I became victorious.
Recovery gave me a second shot at life. When I finished treatment, I became a volunteer at Pathway to Recovery. After a year, I went back to school to finish my studies. I also started to attend trainings from the Colombo Plan aiming that one day I can become an internationally certified Addiction Professional and Recovery Coach. Recovery gave me a chance to restore the broken relationships because of addiction. The trust and confidence of my family was restored too. I may have lost a few friends in the process, but I gained genuine ones as well.
My recovery is not perfect but it gave me the chance to fully live my life one day at a time. Enjoying and facing life without the influence of drugs and alcohol. To live each day as if it is my last and waking up each morning, making the same decision not to go back to living in hell. Recovery did not open the gates of heaven for me but it opened the gates of hell so I can get out.
Today I am in my 6th year of sobriety trying to become the best version of myself as a son, a father, a friend and an active member of society. I graduated from college in 2020 and I am now an International Certified Addiction Professional (Level 1) and Recovery Coach. For 6 years, I am still an active volunteer and outreach worker at Pathway to Recovery Foundation and I am currently the Head Facilitator. I am an anti-drug abuse advocate and I always believe that there is hope for my brothers and sisters suffering from the deadly disease of addiction. That is why we are here. That is why we are ready to help.
Recovery saved my life. It can save others too.
CDO – Pathway to Recovery Foundation Inc. Indahag Road, Ilocos St., Aluba Subd., Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City Tel No.: (088) 857 – 3653 Jason Paul Butron Program Director 09164815434 John Gabriel Lasquites Head Facilitator 0995 497 2308