Herb Stepherson was born in Jonesboro, Georgia. He is the middle child of three boys. He is thirty-one years old and spent his youth like most young boys in central Georgia, riding bikes and playing sports- baseball in particular. His family relocated to North West Indiana in 1997, when he was twelve years old. He attended Valparaiso High School until 2002, and since then, has been involved in the fight for his life. He has been battling the nightmares of addiction for the past fourteen years. His first drug use was at fifteen, which was alcohol and from there quickly progressed to prescription pain medication and ultimately cocaine and heroin. Heroin and cocaine took him to the absolute edges of humanity. He ended up homeless, eating food out of dumpsters, and strung out in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Chicago, in the dead of winter. The winter months are brutal in the Midwest with temperatures plummeting down towards forty degrees below zero. Herb slept in abandon buildings, airport terminals, and under bridges clinging to two basic needs: more heroin and to be numbed from the wreckage that this drug was creating in his life. All the while trying his best to keep hope alive that maybe one day he would finally be able to conquer this demon of addiction and recover.
Jails, institutions, and death. Herb experienced them all. He’s been to the bitterest of ends, and reached a point in his life where suicide became the only real option for relief against this thing called addiction. But, God intervened and delivered Herb from the death grip that his self- induced death sentence had on him. He writes his story at junkboxdiaries.com and his book “Junkbox Diaries” – A day in the life of a heroin addict is a stark, dark, and gripping account of what life is really like for the addict trapped in active drug use.
Today, Herb celebrates life as a young man in recovery! He is an intervention coordinator, a budding young writer, a loving and active father to his eight-year-old son, Lucas, he is soon to be married now with 4 children, and speaks on behalf of numerous agencies in his community hoping to shed some light on the true battles with heroin addiction.
His book is available on sale now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Recovery is Possible
I started this venture, which is Junkbox diaries in January of 2016. In hopes of shedding some light on what addiction really is and how it actually affects people.The stories that I tell are real and raw.Sometimes too raw. They are experiences, rarely opinions. Addiction is ugly, it’s a family and a community disease. Although it may dwell in one person in particular, it widely affects many people; the family, the neighbors, the community. Everyone from the police officers who have arrested me, to the innocent patrons of local gas stations I have pan handled from. Growing up in the 1990’s and 2000’s, the war on drugs and the prevention and awareness campaigns sounded like “Just say NO’, Scruff McGruff, D.A.R.E, G.R.E.A.T, and “This is your brain on drugs” as a young man fried an egg in a hot iron skillet. Very rarely was there ever a vivid and real picture painted as to what kinds of things would actually unfold in the life of an addict. Jails, Institutions, Death. Overdoses, homelessness, dereliction, theft, lies, manipulation, fear, guns, and hopelessness.
My aim is not only to paint a picture of what addiction is, by sharing my nightmarish experiences, but to share some hope to anyone who might be struggling out there. A true to life miracle is happening for me and many other addicts world wide. The miracle of recovery.
All can, Some will, None must- Recovery is a decision made of desire. An addict will ultimately change and recover when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same. Desire is the key word of recovery. Recovery is a program of choice and willingness. And I have come to find out that only when we are beaten do we become willing.
“An addict, any addict can get clean, stay clean, recover and find a new way of life” Recovery IS POSSIBLE.
Welcome to Junkbox Diaries.
Herb is available to help with intervention, treatment assistance, family and peer coaching or just an ear to listen. Herb is with Addiction Treatment Group (featured on A&E and TEDX) and a nationally certified family recovery coach. No question too big or too small. For treatment, most major medical insurance is accepted and there is immediate care and attention with helping you or your person find a bed! You can also reach out here for speaking engagements and workshops!