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Letter of hope: How a Saratoga County man beat heroin addiction after it nearly killed him

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CBS 6 is committed to tackling the opioid crisis. You'll be seeing stories on the epidemic right here every Monday and Thursday.

After years of staying silent, the subject of our next story e-mailed us to share how he battled addiction and won.

He told us he wants people to know heroin stories can have a happy ending, even if gets this bad.

“I could no longer keep a driver's license, I could no longer have a car. I just assumed this was going to kill me,” Byrne said.

Brian's from Clifton Park, he's close with his family, works in IT, and has a great relationship with his boss.

He says he'd used drugs and alcohol before, but his intense addiction to heroin began with prescription pain pills for a sports injury.

“When that would kind of run out, I started buying pills off the streets and then when that got really expensive, heroin was really close to me proximity-wise and was a lot cheaper,” Byrne said.

He was trying to get help.

“I would literally google "how do heroin addicts not do heroin",” Byrne said.

But just 7 months into his addiction, Brian was forced to move back home, which may have saved his life.

“I literally got to the point where I thought everyone in my life would be better if I wasn’t here, so with heroin and pills I had a suicide attempt. My mom found me on the floor in my bedroom and called 911,” Byrne said.

From the hospital, Brian says his family got him into a California treatment center, and he didn't have much of a choice.

“It was supposed to be 90 days but it took me 5 months to complete, and then I stayed in a recovery community for two years,” Byrne said.

When he came back to New York, Brian's boss offered him his job back, and has been a major advocate in his recovery process, even celebrating his milestones.

6 years sober, Brian is engaged and decided maybe his story could bring someone the ounce of hope that could save their life.

“Those that are using don’t know that we're here. I just figured I had to do something, I had to reach out,” Byrne said.

Brian went through the recovery coach academy at Healing Springs Recovery Center in Saratoga Springs so he can help those struggling with addiction one-on-one.

For more information on places to turn for help head to cbs6albany.com and look for the Dose of Reality tab.

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