Étienne's drug addiction story: video
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.
A message from the Government of Canada.
An end credit with thanks to: Portage au Québec
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