"I Should Have Been Dead"
Jeremy Lind didn't start out trying to destroy himself. He was just a curious kid, tempted by the thrill of something forbidden. But by the time he was in high school, that temptation had turned into a dangerous addiction—one that nearly killed him.
Jeremy is now 21. With his clean-cut good looks, he blends right in at his Christian college. He looks like he's never gotten into a bit of trouble in his life. Maybe that's why I'm staring at him in disbelief as he tells me about one of the many times he should have died:
"I was driving home after partying all night and I was on a huge acid trip. There was some highway construction going on ahead of me and the flashing lights just flipped me out. I stopped right in the middle of the highway and got out of the car. I didn't know where I was, and I didn't know where to go. There must have been other cars around, but I didn't notice them. I just stood there on the highway. Finally I got back in my car and made it off to a side road."
I can't help but ask if he was scared. He shakes his head, saying, "I drove drunk and high so many times, that kind of stuff happened a lot. After a while, you think nothing bad can happen to you."
And to think it all started with one drink.
"I grew up in a Christian home, went to church and Sunday school," Jeremy says. "But by junior high, I thought the whole Christian way of life was boring. I wanted to see what else was out there. It didn't take me long to find out.
"I was in 7th grade and staying at a friend's house. His dad had a bunch of liquor sitting out. It was so tempting to try it. The moment I drank some, I knew it was for me.
"When I first started drinking, I was scared to have more than one beer at a time. But before long I was up to four beers. And a few months later, I overdosed.
"One day a bunch of us were at a friend's house. His parents were out of town and there was all kinds of alcohol around. I just kept drinking and drinking and drinking. Eventually, I passed out and someone called an ambulance.
"When they got me to the hospital, my blood-alcohol level was two points over the toxic level—the level that should have killed me. They told my parents I was going to die. I was in a coma for three days."
Until then, Jeremy had successfully hidden his drinking from his parents. Obviously, he couldn't hide this. But after recovering from the coma, Jeremy convinced his parents it had been a one-time thing—typical teenage rebellion. He promised his parents he'd never drink again. That promise lasted three weeks.
And while Jeremy's drinking may have started out as "rebellion," he's the first to point out that his "rebellion" soon became an addiction—to alcohol and a whole lot more.
"I started smoking cigarettes when I was 12. By 14, I was smoking pot. Eventually, I did just about every drug there is—acid, crack, cocaine, crank (synthetic cocaine)—everything except heroin. By the time I got to high school, I couldn't get through the day without being high on something."