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Former athlete reflects on drug addiction and recovery

Posted at 8:42 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 22:42:30-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Andrino Garcia is the recovery home director at Victory Outreach Tucson. But way before he found his true calling in life, Garcia went through a rough time in life.

“I used to party on the weekends and it slowly rolled into Monday and slowly rolled into Tuesday, until I got tired. But once I started doing pills, it was a whole different aspect because once you start doing them, you need them. You become dependent on them. and if not, then you’re sick. And for a while, it was pills. But money started running dry, you go to the next cheapest thing, which was heroin,” said Garcia.

His addiction began after he realized his picture perfect life wasn’t so perfect.

“I was looked at top 50 players in the state, I had a 3.8 GPA, everybody knew that I was going to do something with my life, Garcia said.

But he says, “you come to a place and everything you’ve been working for isn’t exactly what you feel like it was going to be.”

He went to multiple rehab facilities to try to get help.

“I’d go there to get right with the family or just go there to get sober, not really understanding that I needed to change on the inside,” Garcia said.

But then he went to Victory Outreach Tucson.

Garcia said, “when I came in the home, I really felt loved. I really felt accepted. I had another person that was just like me with his family and I saw what they had and I wanted what they had.”

Now a father of four boys, Garcia and his wife have dedicated their life to the cause.

“So my kids, my wife, we all intertwine. We show them and are able to model to them what a home serving god looks like,” said Garcia.

He is now helping others recover from addiction and get a second chance at life.

Victory Outreach Tucson is actually not too far from his old life. “This is actually my neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I used to get high next door,” said Garcia.

He says, that’s what keeps him on the right track, saying, “that’s where the passion comes from, because I know what it’s like to be out there and I know what it’s like to be in here.”

He’s hoping his story helps inspire others to get the help that they need.

“I never thought I could be a good father, I never thought I could be a good husband. I never thought I could be a blessing to someone who was in need because I was a selfish person. So to have a second chance is priceless,” says Garcia.