September 23, 2021
Overcoming the Far-Reaching Impact of Drug Overdose

Ricky Lockhart knows all too well what drug overdose looks like. Back in 2010, the Columbus native watched his best friend die from an overdose on heroin. Over time he estimates that 13 of his friends have had their lives taken from drugs. Ricky has even seen his own father fall out of a chair due to a drug overdose.

“These were the days before Narcan. Fortunately enough, some cold water and some pretty hard slaps to the face and I was able to bring him back.”

Ricky also knows what a drug overdose feels like. For a while, he was a user of heroin and OxyContin, often sharing the drugs with his father.

“You could probably count on two hands how many times my father has carried me in the hospital praying, telling the doctors please save my son.”

Ricky’s life was always saved, but for years, neither he nor his father could be saved from their addiction. It wasn’t until what Ricky labels as some real “wake up calls” did he and his dad make progress towards recovery.

For Ricky, it was a two-year jail sentence that gave him the time to reflect. For his father, it was his last overdose that was the final straw, which happened in front of his grandkids when he was charged with babysitting duties.

As of August 2021, Ricky has achieved 10 months of sobriety and his father, 15 months. Ricky now is finding meaning in his life, working a job in landscaping and has life goals he’s aiming for. What’s made all the difference in his sobriety is the support system that keeps him in check every day.

“For a long time, I wasn’t used to being able to trust someone. But now I have people who I see have recovered helping me. I think, if they can get sober, I can definitely do it. Having a strong support group of guys that I can count on has been the biggest help.”

Ricky always had the support of his mother. He recalls how hard of a time his mother had with his drug use. After years and many methods of trying to help him quit, she didn’t know where to turn.

“I would call her from jail and she’d tell me she was more comfortable with me there than on the street.”

Sober in prison, Ricky’s vision was cleared, allowing him to see the burden he had become to those around him. He says some of the tough love he received was a positive difference-maker.

Ricky knows what it’s like to not feel like he needed help. He says it’s common for the ego to tell one they’re doing just fine. But for those still living with addiction, he urges people to give recovery and a support system a chance.

“Just give it 30 days. That’s it. And if they’re not happy, they say misery is always refundable. They’ve got to find people who can show them they’re not different. And there are so many people out there willing to help. I’ve been there and I know, and life is 120% better now.”

September is National Recovery Month. If you or someone you know is living with drug addiction, help is available. Visit to find professional treatment services in your area.

Treatment works. Recovery is possible.

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