Mark Deaville, co-founder of VIP was himself once a heroin addict, but it didn't begin there, "We started to drink, we started to smoke, and that's really the beginning of where I started to get involved in substance abuse. My story is not just about drugs, I had a lot of other stuff going on in me life; my parents had been through divorce. There were alot of problems at home. I found my release and my pleasure and my comfort within my group of friends. From an early age it was more about acceptance and just being wanted and feeling that need of being loved.
When I was 18, I started clubbing. . I was taking ecstasy and amphetamines every weekend. I did that for the next two years. I started to sell my family stuff. I got kicked out. I did somepretty bad things to my family because of drugs. I ended up in a hostel in Hanley, homeless."
After a failed rehab attempt, Mark began selling drugs, it turned out he knew some guys who were selling gear. So I got involved with him and I started to sell gear. My heroin addiction, my habit, got a lot larger at this point. I was getting myself in a really big mess you know. The police would comeevery four weeks and that was pretty much timed. After nine months, I got caught outside the property. I had 8 wraps of heroin. They took me to hospital and examined me internally and found the heroin. And I got remanded in custody. They had had surveillance on me for months and I got remanded straight away. Three years nine months I got for eight wraps."
God began to break into his life. "Mybrother was coming into prison while I was there and telling me about God, and God's got a plan for my life. A few years later, I met Dawn and thought this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. So we got married. Now, I worked with people with drug problems for four years. I've not taken one single drug.
Life's been amazing and I've been truly blessed in everything in my life.It is better now without those things in my life. That's pretty much my story."
"My biological mother would take off her high-heel shoe, and throw it at me, to where the point of her high-heel shoe would get stuck in my forehead," said Dr. Morris. As a young boy, Morris lived on the cold streets of Chicago. Not by choice, it was punishment. "Forced todrink urine, forced to drink bleach as a 7-year old, 8-year-old because you say you're thirsty," he said.
The family that treated him that way finally made the separation permanent by leaving him on a Tupelo, Mississippi street. He was 13. "I was the one that they picked out as, 'You're the cause of all of our problems." 12 years later, Morris became a son, once again, this time for a mother whonurtured instead of tortured.
"The beauty of it was that I was there and I was happy to give him the attention he needed, because I guess I needed it, too." "Yeah, I call her Mom, she's my mom," said Morris. By the time she adopted him at the age of 25, Morris had turned education into a mission.
He had left a childhood on the streets, for an adolescence in foster care, then to an adulthoodin school--earning several degrees, and landing a job at NASA--now working to get man back on the moon, and then onto Mars. "I'm not going to allow my circumstances to define who I am. I'm not going to allow these negative events to tell me how my life is going to be."
The physical reminders of his past life will likely never leave. At the age of 8, he needed more than 20 stitches after hismother beat him against a steel radiator. "She always told me that I was stupid, I was ignorant, I would never amount to anything."
Morris leaves his knowledge with many these days, teaching others how abuse can harm, and how it can motivate. "The children who go through negative events--especially early in life--they still have a choice. It's a message he shares across the country--and at home,...