Saving Ryan: After detox, heroin addict goes into sober living facility

10:23 PM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- We have an update on Ryan, the 21 year-old heroin addict whose rapid decline has been documented by reporter Andrea McCarren and photojournalist Joe Martin for the last several weeks.

Today, he pleaded guilty to a theft charge and had other charges put on hold in exchange for his entering a drug court treatment program.  

The last time we saw Ryan, he had a black eye, was skinny, and had all but given up.

Today, Ryan has changed drastically after two weeks in detox and treatment.

"It's 100% different.  I don't have to wake up every day sick. I don't have to worry about where I'm going to get my next fix. I don't have to worry about what I'm going to steal. Who I'm going to get money from," he said.

Ryan shared his devastating downward spiral of addiction so others would not follow his path.

"It's really like walking through hell when you live like that," said Ryan.

As part of the drug court program, Ryan will be required to attend treatment, get drug testing and report on a regular basis to his case manager.

We asked Ryan how he feels about his life and future right now. 

"It's going to be a lot of work. But it's better than what it could be. It could be a lot worse right now. A lot worse. I'm just going to embrace it and take it one step at a time."


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