WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s a story we all know too well; a person had a bad childhood and wound up addicted to drugs. But there are some people in the Ohio Valley who are reversing that stigma.

There’s no doubt that Josh had a rough childhood. His parents were both addicted to drugs and felt their only way out was to escape from Chicago where Josh grew up. That left him searching for not only answers but a place to call home.

Josh grew up knowing nothing more than searching for a place to lay his head at night. And with that brought stress, depression, and eventually addiction.

I just ended up crashing on friends’ couches and, you know, drinking and smoking weed.  My parents—one of them wasn’t there, and the other one wasn’t there. She was off with someone she fell for. I was just couch surfing, doing drugs. And it got worse from there. I was hanging out with older people. I was doing hard drugs. It snowballed.

Joshua Wilt- Recovering Addict

But it was a pain in the roots of his teeth that lead him to his darkest moment yet. And soon enough, his saving grace leads him to the root of all evil.

At first, they were prescribed, but I immediately started going to someone I knew for a long time that was getting quite a few of them and buying them in excess. And that got way too expensive. So, my friend said he could get me some Oxycontin and then came back in the car with some heroin. I did it. And that was it.

Joshua Wilt- Recovering Addict

Heroin. A drug that users often develop a tolerance for. Which means they need higher and more frequent doses of the drug to get high. A drug so hard to come down from, that it takes an army of support to do so. Something Josh didn’t have.

I had done a lot of cocaine, and my girlfriend was like “you need to stop.” Alright. “You need to stop drinking.” Okay. “You need to stop using Heroin.” Mmmm. That’s tough. It ain’t as easy as just turning it off. You can’t just “Okay I’m going to stop.” You need a lot of help.

Joshua Wilt- Recovering Addict

But it wasn’t until his girlfriend got pregnant that he got clean for the first time. Then he found himself homeless again and moving in with a drug addict. Years later when his daughter’s friend saw him living on the streets Josh realized she was left explaining to her family who he was. And that forced him to get clean once and for all.

Well actually, I went to the bridge to jump off it first, then I went to the hospital. I was like “I’m doing this. I’m getting clean come Hell or high water.” I wouldn’t have done this just for me solely. That little girl is my whole life We’re best friends. She means everything to me. And that kind of relationship is a big weapon against getting clean.

Joshua Wilt- Recovering Addict

If it weren’t for him moving to Wheeling, and finding Northwood Health Systems, he says he wouldn’t have the strength to do this. Now, he has the strength to revisit the streets that got him addicted without feeling like they have power over them. Josh is a warrior, and now a Face of Recovery.

Josh says that if you know someone who is an addict, continue to love them by showing them the help that is out there. So, if you or someone you know is addicted and ready to get clean, you can call these six help centers.

The Mary and Martha House for Women

The Lazerus Home for Men

Serenity Hills Life Center

The Unity Center, Ohio Valley Recovery Inc.

Help4WV Hotline

WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital- Breakthru Unit