Recovering synthetic drug user shares addiction story
SAN ANTONIO - It's an addiction that's so new, the state of Texas doesn't have numbers for it.
Ryan McBride is a baseball player from Sherman, Texas.
"I played pretty much my whole life," said McBride
When he was at his best, he threw in the low 90's.
"I was a pitcher and played right field," he continued.
At his worst, Ryan McrBride was a drug addict.
Curiosity led him to pot when he was 14, and later cocaine and pills.
After an arrest for Xanax when he was 17, it was legal drugs known as diablo or pure evil.
"It was a like a different ball game with synthetics."
Synthetic drugs are man-made with chemicals designed to mimic the effects of the original drug but still legal.
One of his favorite parts? They don't show up on drug tests.
"Then another chemical crops up, so if it's a new batch, you really don't know what it's going to do to you," said McBride
He loved not knowing.
Some days he would find himself just driving somewhere high, no idea how he got there.
Other days, he would find himself in a numbing, desperate search for his next dose.
"I would literally undo the screws in my car that was holding the chair in, vacuum, and take the chair out and see if ii could find any pieces. And while I’m doing this, my family is just watching me, like, what's going on,” said McBride.
He did too, after a simple act of staring at his door one day.
"I couldn't figure out what it was, had no idea what it was. I didn't know how to open it. Then I started to reflect, like, wait what?"
The now 24 year old first went to rehab in 2011, and then again in 2012.
He didn't get better, but worse. He was smoking meth, trying whatever he could get his hands on all to fund his habit, he even sold his dead grandparents jewelry.
"If there was a hell, it felt like I was going there. Like absolute emptiness on an emotional level,” said McBride.
He had two options, get better or give up.
"I was either going to work or I was going to put a bullet in my brain,” said McBride.
Today, he's been sober for about two and a half years after a successful 12-step rehabilitation at the Starlite Recovery Center in Centerpoint.
The Kerrville area recovery community taught him not how to be sober, but live sober.
Now, he passes that message on.
"Working with people who dabbed in synthetic drugs because it's such a different thing to combat,” said McBride
"Something that needs to be instilled is that the people that are still suffering in the moment, know you can get out of there," he continued.
Ryan McBride is a father now to a 17-month-old daughter and plans to get married to her mom, Becky.
"The thing I would instill in my daughter is, like if there's anything that's going on, whether it's addiction, whether it's around anything else, feel free to talk to, like me or mom," said McBride.
Because the stakes are higher now than they've ever been.