Life-gripping addictions knocked them down, but they’re back on their feet again

Published 11:12 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

One day, he got the call he’d failed: he tested positive for marijuana. He contends he wasn’t smoking it, but was hanging out with people who were. Drug court sent him to jail for 10 days.

“That’s when it hit me that my people, places and things needed to change,” Peeler said.

‘The worst of the worst’

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He didn’t learn his lesson, though. Addicts can be a stubborn group.

Peeler tested positive and violated probation for the second time. He was sent to the Lafayette County Detention Center for three weeks without any idea of when he was going to be released. When the three weeks passed, he was sent to the Delta Correctional Facility for 90 days.

It took this scenario for him to get serious about getting his life in order. Prison offered him time to reflect and plot a course of action.

“I sat in there, and that was where I realized this is where the worst of the worst come,” Peeler said. “This is a doghouse. Right there, I started writing a journal every day about how I am going to change my life.

“I started reading the Bible and realizing that when I get out of here, my life needs to change. I couldn’t keep doing all these same things and hurting the same people.”

His redemption story began there. He went back to school. He even started showing up for class and going to the library – lower case, library – not the local bar of the same name. And Peeler, a product of a wealthy family who never really held a job before, was working and paying off his debts.

He was also hitting the gym instead of the bar.

“I got everything squared away with drug court so I could start traveling out of state,” Peeler said. “All that productivity truly helped me. That’s when I started realizing where I am.