Faces of Recovery

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

This week in our Faces of Recovery series — where we feature local individuals who have overcome addiction — we spotlight Dominic Carton of Pineville.

Carton first started experimenting with drugs at the age of 18 by trying things occasionally.

“I started using drugs to escape reality. I had let my parents down and my close loved ones down by destroying my football career shortly after winning a state championship in 2008. Depression set in, and I tried to fill a void,” said Carton.

Carton stated that he was “influenced by the power of persuasion” and noted that the drug and alcohol industry have a way of making their products appealing to those who may want to use.

“Some would call that weak minded, but I couldn’t say I had a strong mind at the time. I was self-exploring and curious because living in a small town it’s all you see. I was seeking acceptance from all the wrong people. I was rebellious against any good thing that came my way,” Carton said.

Carton stated he was an addict for around five years.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an addict. I have addictive behavior. I haven’t recovered from anything but a seemingly hopeless state of mind, body and soul. I’ll always be recovering. The disease (addiction) is only sleeping within you. We refer to it as “the beast,” and it can be awakened at any time,” said Carton.

Carton described his rock bottom as having a basement.

“I was young and rebellious. I was on a self-destructive suicide mission. I knew I was at bottom when my family and close friends cut off all ties with me. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Carton. “I was miserable and discontent with life. I hurt or harmed anyone that came into my path simply because I was hurt. The only good thing about rock bottom is that it can’t get any worse.”

Carton stated that recovery was a shock to him at first. He was restless and irritable. After time had passed and he witnessed others recovering and going on to live a healthy life, he was drawn to them and wanted to experience the freedom they had.

“That all these people were like me and had the ability to recover made me strive for my personal recovery,” he said.

Carton completed his 12 steps and decided to stay to become a mentor to other addicts.

“That’s when I learned more about myself than ever. The fact that I was useful again and could reach people that other people weren’t able to reach was a blessing,” he said.

Carton has been clean since Feb. 19, 2016. He stated that he is most grateful for his daughter and all of the family and friends in his life that stuck by him during his time of need.