Matt Nally was a star McQuaid High School athlete. The college offers poured in. Then his senior year, Matt tore his ACL.
"Sports took up a significant amount of my time. It was very defining for me," said Nally. "Once it happened, I started smoking pot and using and it all spiraled out of control from there."
Nally said it started with pot and alcohol, then for years was prescription drugs and eventually heroin. He maintained a job through his addiction, and found himself doing the drugs not to get high, but just to get by.
"It went from $20-$30 a day, to hundreds. It got to a point I was stealing money from my parents, my wife," said Nally. "I was living in the car periodically."
Nally was sleeping in his car April 16 when his mother called. She had been in Boston watching Nally's cousins run the marathon when the bombs went off. She was calling, asking to meet Nally at his counselor Kathy Conti's office.
"I just wanted to see my Mom," Nally said. "I came in here, and she was here. My Dad was here. Kathy was here... and I walked into an intervention.
I was morally a shell, physically a shell of who I was. At that point, I just threw my hands up. "
Nally spent eight painful, horrific days at his parents house going through withdrawal. He then checked into an inpatient clinic, and now is an outpatient again at Unity's Chemical Dependency facility in Brighton.
"Probably one third of my group and sometimes as much as half my group is opiate dependent, and it can be pills, or it could be heroin," said Kathy Conti, Nally's therapist. "It's astonishing the increase and prevalence for opiate addiction in last few years, and also the deaths from opiate addiction."
Getting someone with drug addiction to take those first steps to get help can be the hardest part of recovery. Conti said the support group for families, Al-Anon, is a good place to start.
"You have to stop enabling them and you have to take away everything that is helping them continue to use," said Conti.
Nally said he's getting his life back on track. He's going to school, hoping to one day be a counselor for others like him, and he's rebuilding his relationship with his parents, brothers and wife.
"I would like to think she knew she married a good guy. I was in there somewhere. I had been consumed by something I never wanted. You don't wake up and say I want to be a drug addict."