Étienne's drug addiction story: video

Transcript - Étienne's story

Transcript - Étienne's story

A photograph next to a guitar

Étienne: I got along very well with my parents.

A young boy holds a dog.

Étienne: I loved to play hockey and hide in a tree.

Several photos on a desk. We stop on a photo.

Étienne: I had a tree in my backyard. I played football too, I was not bad.

A young boy on a bike

Étienne: I would draw, skate, play basketball. I played all sports actually.

Outside with another young man

Jean Gabriel:  I've known Étienne since the second year of high school. He is more than a friend.

Étienne juggles outside.

Jean Gabriel: Etienne is like a brother to me. You know, I don't have a brother, but I consider him a brother. I would do anything for him.

Étienne sits alone in a kitchen.

Étienne: I was in grade 9. I was smoking weed, drinking alcohol, doing cocaine and that's when I got into prescription drugs. I was trying to get them as often as I could because I really liked them.

His friend juggles outside.

Étienne: Finally, I got caught. I felt like I was 100% losing control.

TITLE: Étienne's story

Étienne sits by himself on a swing.

Étienne: At one point, there was a guy who was taking prescription drugs for ADD. He told me "Try this, you'll see, you'll get a real kick out of it".

He swings back and forth gently.

Étienne: By the end of the year, I was starting to buy large quantities of pills from people who had prescriptions. At one point, I took too much. I didn't sleep for 2 days. After that, I lost all motivation. I quit school for the first time.

Étienne's alone in a kitchen.

Étienne: Actually, it was mainly psychological, but physical as well because I wasn't eating. I think I weighed 120 lbs soaking wet.

He lifts an eyebrow.  He smiles.  He pulls his hair back.

Étienne: I was really skinny. When I was taking drugs, it didn't seem bad because I had lots of energy, but when I wasn't taking drugs, psychologically, I had no motivation at all to do anything. I was totally depressed. I had no clue what to do.

Étienne's image becomes blurry.

Jean Gabriel: I don't think it was one significant event that made him decide to stop.

From his chair, his friend frowns.

Jean Gabriel: In fact, it was a sequence of events that led to a kind of overdose of everything that he had been taking up to this point.

We switch over to Étienne.

Étienne: I called my mother and told her, "Mom, I am ... I don't really understand what is going on with me. I am hallucinating, I have no clue what is going on. I want to go to the hospital." So I went to the hospital and there, they recommended I go into therapy.

Étienne writes in a large notebook.

Étienne: The way it works in therapy is that you find yourself in a place with many people just like you; with an addiction problem.

In a session

Étienne: You help each other, and you develop ties, and you kind of relearn how to be happy without drugs and find love, deep down love and self-confidence.

Étienne plays alone with his guitar.

Étienne: So I went through an important personal journey in relation to self-esteem and to the importance I had in life…

He plays guitar in a dining room.

Étienne: … in my life and in other people's lives, and in becoming capable of finding my place.

He reads the sheet music in front of him.

Étienne: I went back to CEGEP and this is the first time that I am completing my session and that passing all my courses. It is going very well.

At his friend's house

Étienne: Well, I play music in a band and we are recording an album and we'll do some shows this summer.

The two friends practice together.

Étienne: I'm actually finding myself in a new place filled with happiness and colours.

He plays with devil sticks outside.

Jean Gabriel: Before, everything was cloudy in his mind, I would say. It was difficult for me to understand. Sometimes, even for him, he must have been quite lost, but now he is clean. I am proud of him, that's for sure.

Étienne continues to play with the devil sticks in the forest.

NARRATEUR: Get the facts and talk with your kids about prescription drug abuse.
Visit Canada.ca/DrugPrevention
A message from the Government of Canada.

An end credit with thanks to: Portage au Québec

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