Chris Carberg: A Prescription for Addiction
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CBN.com --“I was afraid to go to school every day. School was not a safe place for me. When people treated me that way, for no reason, it really hurt.”
Because he loved theatre and the arts, jocks picked on Chris Carberg. Bullying was an everyday part of his world -- a world he wanted to escape but never could. When he graduated from high school and went to college, he found his escape the day he took two prescription migraine pills instead of one.
“I didn’t expect the feeling I got from it. So when I took my first two pills together, it was the first time I experienced a high.”
Chris began taking more and more pills. He began to shop for doctors, and made up symptoms to get the medication.
“I felt like I had control over my surroundings and I couldn’t be stepped over and stepped on anymore. I felt like I had power. I wanted to feel that every moment of every day. And to keep it up I’d have to take more, and more and more pills.”
During his sophomore year in college, Chris was up to 60 vicodin a day. He was barely functioning.
“I first knew that I had a problem when friends began to ask me questions if I meant things that I said. They would say ‘Chris, did you mean what you said to me last night?’ I honestly had no clue what I said. I also knew I was starting to have a problem when I started having physical effects. I started nodding off in public. I’d start to almost fall asleep standing up.”
In a matter of months, he blew through $20,000 of savings from his parents and opened up credit cards to pay for his habit.
“All the pills were delivered by one of the shipping companies. I’d be waiting for a delivery. And I’d nod off and fall asleep waiting for it. And then realized I’m missed it. And there were numerous times I’d chase down FED-EX trucks and UPS trucks all over town trying to find the one that had my shipment in it.”
One day Chris went to an Internet cafe. He logged on and passed out. When he woke up 4 hours later, he discovered the employee had called the police. The officer discovered Chris’s stash of prescription drugs.
“I see the police officer calling in for something in on his radio. And I started to get nervous and I started to try and get up. And he comes over to me and says, ‘No you stay there’. The next thing I remember I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and then I passed out again.”
Chris woke up in the hospital. His parents were there and told Chris that he had nearly died.
“The moment I decided that this was going to be over was when I saw my father cry. He looked at me and said, ‘Ya know. I didn’t think I’d have to deal with this kinda stuff with you’. And it was the first time I cared to really say, ‘Look what I’m doing to the people I love.’”
He went to detox, committed to regular rehab meetings and stayed off the meds. But he was miserable.
“There was still a feeling that something wasn’t connecting for me. There was still a feeling of loneliness and still a feeling of hurt. I felt there was still something missing.”
Then a friend introduced Chris to young women who had something in her life that Chris wanted.
“I had never met anyone in my whole life like Jenna. She was smarter, stronger, balanced in so many ways for such a young person. I was leaving college as she was leaving high school. Yet she had this strength that I had never seen in anyone. I knew Jenna was a Christian without her saying a word.”
Chris started going to church with Jenna. After a few months, Jenna invited him to speak to her father, Scott, a Sunday school teacher for 20 years.
Scott says,“When I first met Chris I was impressed by his intelligence, by his inquisitiveness and, oddly enough, by his humility.He truly was looking for truth. He was looking for what he should be doing as a person. He was taking everything that we talked about and absorbing it, and he was asking more questions.”
Chris says “Scott began to talk to me about God. And I spent 4 or 5 hours questioning him on his faith. Scott personified Christ to me by how he acted."
Chris says he went home after he talked with Scott, and prayed to accept Jesus Christ into his life.
“I wasn’t accepting Jesus because of Jenna. I wasn’t accepting Him because of Scott. I accepted Jesus for me. I read the whole Bible front to back. I did not want to stop knowing Him better and better. I would go to church with Jenna, but it was for a different reason. I go to church now for Jesus. All of the things that I felt that I was different, or I felt that people didn’t love me or like me or I needed to earn their love; all of that changed. He loved me without me doing anything.”
A few months later, Jenna and Chris married. Today Chris is an online social media director, and has launched a website called Holypop to help others get the answers about Christianity.
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