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Second Chances: Safe Harbor's Tyler Rogers- Part 1

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 05 2014 05:15:58 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 05 2014 06:30:25 PM CST

He went from working on Wall Street, to living on the streets.

EASTON, Pa. -

He went from working on Wall Street, to living on the streets.

Tyler Rogers lost everything because of his drug and alcohol addiction.

But now he's helping others recover.

Before becoming the executive director of Safe Harbor Easton, Tyler Rogers spent close to $80,000 on drugs in six months.

The decision took him down a dark path that included being homeless, watching his friends die from drug overdoses, and he still has a bullet in his side after a drug deal gone bad.

The saying goes, 'Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.'

The path for Tyler Rogers has taken many twists and turns before he became the executive director of Safe Harbor Easton.

It started at the age of 14, when his mother died in a car accident after leaving a local bar.

"I knew addiction was a major thing in life and it was going to play a part in my life," said Rogers.

Rogers never drank or did drugs growing up in his white collar Allentown neighborhood.

He actually learned about stocks from his grandmother, and started an investment club in eighth grade.

As a freshman in college, he thought, "Hey it would be cool to go to Smith Barney and pretend that I was a senior at college and start an internship."

The internship turned into a job.

That job then led Rogers to drugs and alcohol.

"I would have a couple of drinks, I'm not even 21 yet," added Rogers. "And I am at the bar with other brokers."

Rogers says he thought drinking at work was part of corporate America, but the alcohol turned to drug use.

"Oxycontin was the main drug of choice that got introduced by a friend of mine he was a nurse at the time."

A year after starting work at Smith Barney, Rogers' addiction was so evident that people didn't want to be around him.

"We don't want you to come to work anymore," said Rogers. "We still want you to work for us. You stay at your apartment and you do work from home."

Working from home didn't help him kick the habit, It only made things worse.

"What started off as 40 milligrams a day ended up 400 milligrams a day," added Rogers.

Then he started shooting heroin.

The goal was to get clean eventually.

Rogers saw it done by his father, the man he calls a role model, and who is also a recovering alcoholic.

All Tyler Rogers had to do was go to rehab.

"I'm going to spend 28 days there like he did and I'm going to be clean for the rest of my life," said Rogers. "Come out, get married, have kids, and live my life."

Tyler Rogers says it took six years before the dream of rehab became a reality.

Once he got clean, Tyler Rogers started helping others.

We'll have that part of the story tomorrow night.