My First Study Abroad Experience

Hello again, it’s Ben. Thank you, reader, for coming back to read more of my blog.

In my initial post, I introduced myself and told you a bit about my life now. I am a licensed therapist with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and work remotely while traveling and seeing the world.

I used to be addicted to drugs, and my recovery gave me a purpose in life. I hope to inspire and encourage anyone who might be suffering from addiction right now. You can get better, and you can become even better than you were before as a result of your experience with addiction.

My story of addiction started when I participated in a study abroad program with my college in my early twenties. A group of about twenty students, including myself, spent a semester studying in England (well, I didn’t make it through the full semester, but I’ll tell you more about that later).

I had always loved to travel and had been on many road trips and flights around the states before the study abroad program, but this was my first time leaving the country. It’s funny to think of that because now I have more stamps in my passport than I can count, which I attribute to my recovery from drug addiction.

Our school schedule was much like back home. We were all staying in a little dorm building together with the boys on the top floor and the girls on the bottom. We went to classes each day and had several guided activities and tours scheduled throughout the semester.

I missed out on a lot of cool things in England by getting involved with drugs. I have since gone back on my own and experienced more of the town and culture to make up for what I missed as a student on drugs.

I should explain that up to this point, I would not consider myself as someone who had problems with drugs or alcohol. I have always been an adventurous guy. I’m always willing to try anything once. Normally, this is a great mentality that opens you to lots of new and exciting experiences, but when it comes to drugs, you should always say no.

I partied and experimented with alcohol and some recreational drugs (marijuana and mushrooms) in high school and college before this study abroad trip, but I didn’t consider it a defining aspect of who I was. I certainly hadn’t ever experienced cravings or withdrawal before, other than hangovers after a few nights of too many drinks with friends.

Keep reading to learn how my addiction struggles started.