WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Dermot Gibney says his American dream ended up in a swamp in Okeechobee, Fla., at a drug and alcohol treatment center.
His addiction to alcohol landed Gibney in rehab, but now he is helping keep dreams alive for people who were once in his position.
An Ireland native who came to Wilmington in 1993 on a soccer scholarship to UNCW, Gibney spent 11 months in that Florida treatment center and on Wednesday afternoon's WECT News Now, he discussed what led to his substance abuse problem.
"Drinking was my solution. Reality, life was my problem," said Gibney, who is the men's program coordinator at Christian Recovery House in Wilmington. "We make a lot of mistakes in understanding this thing. ... Drugs and alcohol or whatever it may be is quite different from the pain they're running from."
Congressman David Rouzer hosted an opioid symposium in Wilmington on Monday night and WECT's Frances Weller was the moderator.
Weller also interviewed Gibney during Wednesday's News Now and when discussing the effects of addiction, Gibney said they extend beyond the person who is addicted.
"The damage of addiction really isn't seen in what you're putting in your body," Gibney said. "The real damage is in relationships. Most guys who come to our house, their relationships are just in tatters."
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact Christian Recovery House by clicking here or calling 910-386-1355.