BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) Nathan Harmon, as a child, was a good student with genuine friends.
He said it all changed when his parents called a family meeting and announced they were getting a divorce.
He said he discovered his father was an alcoholic, drug addict and an abuser. He said he launched into years of anger and blame.
He said he turned his back on his true friends and got involved with people who were into alcohol, pills and partying, who didn’t truly care about him.
He said he developed suicidal thoughts, an eating disorder and self-harming behaviors like cutting.
He eventually went to prison for 15 years for reckless homicide. He was driving a good friend to a party while drunk and under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a tree.
His friend died hours later of a spinal cord injury and massive injuries.
Harmon said he came up with five rules for living that he now shares with people all over the world: Transparency. Accountability. Hard work. Making good choices. Valuing people.
He said getting started with drugs, alcohol and a bad crowd at first was like adopting a small bear cub.
At first, it’s cute and fuzzy and fun, but eventually, it grows up and kills you.
Harmon is now married with two children, and he’s been sober and substance-free for 11 years.
On Monday, he spoke to hundreds of middle school students from all over Belmont County about his experiences.
He was brought in by the Belmont County Schools Staying Clean Club and the American Legion.
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