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Man wants people to join walk to raise addiction awareness

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 10 2012 10:00:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2012 06:54:43 AM CDT

Man wants people to join walk to raise addiction awareness

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

He hit rock bottom.

Now one Bethlehem man is trying to help people learn from his mistakes as he continues on the path to recovery.

Brian Smith is also hoping others will come out this weekend and walk to raise awareness of addiction treatment programs.

"I was homeless for 18 months." said Brian Smith from Bethlehem. "Nobody trusted me, nobody believed in me, nobody wanted me around."

That was the life Brian Smith had just three and a half years ago.

The Army veteran bounced between jobs and eventually became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

It was a dark time in his life

"Attempted suicide three times," said Smith. "Didn't stop me enough. Going to the hospital with irregular heartbeats, didn't care."

Smith checked himself into a drug rehabilitation program in Coatesville, Chester County.

"April 9, 2009, it will never be forgotten," added Smith.

He's been drug-and alcohol-free ever since and now he's mentoring others like 16-year-old Carlos Rodriguez, who is also dealing with drug addiction.

"He tells me all the time," said Rodriguez. "I want to catch you before you fall."

Now Smith is trying to get people to join an Addiction Awareness Walk on Saturday morning at the Allentown Rose Garden.

The event is hosted by New Christian Harvest Church and part of the money will be donated to Gaudenzia addiction treatment and recovery centers.

"What we can do for our community for those who don't know what is going on, and to educate them about what's going on," said Smith.

Brian says he will continue to help those in recovery like himself.

"I don't want to relapse," said Smith. "I know that recovery, without it, I cannot be who I am today."