The following is an excerpt from a recent article by The Buzz Magazine which features our very own Austin Berry.
It’s 3 a.m., and Memorial High School junior Austin Berry is passed out behind the wheel from a night of drinking, foot on the brake, car in drive.
“Get out of the car,” orders a Hunters Creek policeman.
Austin stumbles from his Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had come to rest in the middle of the road fronting Hunters Creek Elementary, the spot where he slipped into alcohol-induced oblivion.
“You’d think it would be a sobering moment,” says Austin, “but it didn’t really faze me. I was arrested and taken to the Bunker Hill jail till my dad picked me up, really pissed. But hell no, I’m not thinking I have a problem. This is a fluke.”
Austin’s tangled journey of addiction began as a teen and progressed into adulthood, with cocaine and prescription pills the likes of Xanax and the narcotic OxyContin keeping company with booze.
“That was my existence,” says the 28 year old, now sober and a regional marketer for The Last Resort Recovery Center in Smithville, Texas, a 90-day clinical treatment and recovery center for young men.
“Growing up in Memorial, it was just part of the culture,” Austin explains. “Kids don’t have to work; they have plenty of money. It’s easy to get drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol made me feel like I fit in.”
Karen Berry, who had a front-row seat to her son’s nightmare, puts it bluntly. “I think we’re looking at a whole generation that has entitled their kids. We worked hard to get our first cars and put ourselves through college. We wanted to give our kids something better. We did them a huge disservice. We gave them too much.
“I can’t tell you how many funerals I’ve been to, young adults in their 20s,” she says. “I can’t fathom it. My heart breaks for those moms because their kids didn’t make it.”
You can read the entire article here.