Infante was in the Los Angeles crowd on Nov. 17, 2016, when the U.S. Surgeon General issued his landmark report on addiction in America. Finally, the epidemic of substance abuse was being addressed by the nation’s top doctor. Addiction, the Surgeon General said, was a disease, not a moral failing. He called for urgent attention to the crisis, noting that 78 people die from opioid overdose every day in the United States. In many ways, Infante is today’s face of addiction – and realistic hope for recovery. As a teenager growing up in suburban Dallas, he got hooked on
prescription painkillers. That led to heroin and crystal methamphetamine – and a cycle of overdoses, emergency room visits, jail time and psych wards. Infante spent his family’s money on drugs and relapsed multiple times before he got clean in 2013 – during his fourth rehab stay. “I never felt satisfied while in my disease, I just wanted more,” Infante says. “Today, I have everything I’ve ever hoped for and more as a result of being sober. I see my life today is a direct result of recovery.”
Director of Marketing, Infinite Recovery in Austin, Texas
What I lost to addiction:
I lost my self-respect, my direction and focus, my family, friends, inheritance, multiple once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities, the list could go on.
Advice to my younger self:
You are good enough and capable, no drugs needed.
Rules I live by:
Ask yourself what you can contribute rather than what you can get.
What worked for me:
Listening to others and becoming transparent. For years, I hid behind lies and ego which separated me from everyone else. Since getting sober until today, I’ve remained open-minded and honest.
Best advice for newbies:
Breathe! It seems overwhelming, but it’s going to be okay.
What I learned about myself:
That God’s love is far greater than my self-deprecation in my addiction, that I am capable and worthy of love, and that I can best contribute to other people’s lives when I’m being authentic.
I get inspired by:
Watching the life come back into people who’ve seen the brink of death due to their disease.
Favorite recovery quote:
Don’t take yourself so seriously.
On my bucket list:
I’ve been very blessed to meet the love of my life and we’re getting married this summer. I’d love to travel across the Middle East and see Tibet.
Thoughts on relapse:
Sadly, it’s a part of the recovery process for many but it’s not the end of the road. As a chronic relapsing addict, I found those experiences helped guide me toward recovery and led me back to sobriety.
On finding purpose:
Today, my purpose is to help others and contribute. Before I got sober, I had no meaning in my life. Today, I see that I’ve been given this second chance to be of service and I must take advantage of that. Follow Infante on Instagram: @KyleInfante
Shed the Stigma:
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