‘I would steal your wallet then help you look for it’

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Breaking the Chains

Mike Marland

Breaking the Chains

Raised in a quaint New Hampshire town, you wouldn’t expect an honest, hardworking young man with aspirations to work in law enforcement to become a thieving, lying IV drug-using felon and addict.

What others call experimenting with drugs and alcohol, I call the beginning of my demise as a human being. I became a chameleon to fit wherever I needed to get my next fix.

I would steal your wallet then help you look for it. Sure it seemed harmless at first. Beer escalated to pills then I got into using heroin and cocaine intravenously.

It wasn’t a lack of intelligence or stopping power. It was a lack of belief in myself and of a higher power. I now know that what I have is a spiritual malady. My old solution was heroin and alcohol to make me OK.

This solution of use caused me to destroy my relationships with my friends, family and my two daughters.

Heroin was my only child now. I would rob, cheat and possibly kill for this child. As the monster grew inside of me, the less human I became with every shot of this poisonous concoction.

At this point I didn’t care if I lived or died. Eventually I entered a rehab in Dover, N.H., that saved my life. They introduced me to a fellowship and to God. As a self-proclaimed atheist, I had a hard time swallowing the God pill.

I gave it a chance and soon started to notice that life was getting better. I found the person that I wanted to be – without drugs!

My life has done a 180. I am 32 now and have things coming back to me that I had given away so easily during my use. I would have never thought a year ago that I would be in recovery, have a position in a sober house and be able to see my children whenever I want to.

Life is a miracle. Yet, I won’t sugar coat the truth. You will never be able to make an addict stop until they want to. So if you have a loved one with the disease of addiction you can extend a hand but you can’t force it. (Help not harm.)

Please believe me when I say there is hope!!    With love, Mark.


InDepthNH.org launched Breaking the Chains to give voice to people who are recovering from addiction.  Breaking the Chains also provides information about where to seek help whether your drug is alcohol or heroin or any other drug. Email nancywestnews@gmail.com to tell your story or to list recovery information. We use first names when appropriate for this column only. 

Information about recovery can be found at:

Southeastern New Hampshire Services
Heroin Anonymous NH 
Alcoholics Anonymous 
Statewide and Maine