Breaking News
More () »

Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

Local man changes his life after battling a drug addiction

He has been clean for 4 years and is working to get back on his feet by restarting his own business.

TOLEDO, Ohio — John Drake has been through a lot.

Drake went through a tough divorce five years ago. After that, he started doing drugs as a way to get by.  

He's lived with friends. He's lived out of suitcases and in motels. He's even lived in sheds.  

"I've been homeless, off-and-on, three times for the last five years. I've slept in Home Depot sheds, park benches, picnic tables. I've gone without sleeping," explained Drake. "Hung out at 24-hour McDonald's, just to have a place to be warm."

He suffered through addiction and depression.

"I ended up doing a bunch of heroin, a bunch of crack. I ended up all going to the bar, blowing a lot of money on the bar, and I didn't plan on waking up the next morning," said Drake.

Then, he made a decision that changed his life.

"I woke up the next morning. I looked at myself in the mirror and I said I can't do this anymore and I went cold turkey."

Since then, he has been clean for four years and is working to get back on his feet. He restarted his business - a digital graphic design company called Nerdy Designs. It's something he has had a passion for since he was a child.  

Without an office, he worked out of McDonald's using the public Wi-Fi.

"I got to know the people there. They didn't have a problem. I would buy food and what not, but yeah, I started out of a McDonald's," explained Drake. "I didn't have a place to meet, I didn't have any there. It was just me and my laptop."

Now he has a place of his own - with a new home for his business.

"If you have dreams, you can follow them. It just takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication to do," added Drake.

Now, John Drake has a mission to speak up about drug addiction to help others that are struggling.

"High school - I was in National Honor Society. I was a nerd, I was a computer geek. Addiction can happen to anybody."

If you or anyone you know is battling drug abuse you can click here for help.

If you want to talk to someone and are not in immediate danger, Text '4Hope' to 741-741 to be connected to the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Crisis Text Line. There is no charge and the information will not show up on your phone bill.