From Drug Addict to Family Man (2)

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In the previous article, I wrote about Milton who lived most of his life as a drug dealer, drug addict, and a drug gang member.

I have already written about his difficult childhood, his anger to his violent father, his love to his mother, and about how he escaped from the boarding school and lived on the street for many years. About how the street changed him and drew him into the abyss of drugs and violence that he alone was unable to rise from.

If you have not read Part I of his story yet, I recommend you read Part I first. Click here.

Milton’s Story

Milton longed for peace. He wanted to abandon this dangerous and destructive lifestyle governed by the need for drugs. What is more, he wanted to start a family. He was twenty years old and felt that the time has come for a new chapter in his life.

I wanted a family

His desire to change lead him to return to his mother’s house after a long while.

“Of course my mother accepted me and I lived at home for the next five months”, Milton told us.

“Indeed, I lived under the same roof as my father. He was insensible and unkind to me. He despised me. As a matter of fact, not much has changed at home. Even all my brothers still lived with my mother.”


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But Milton did not care about his father. He gave up all hopes that their relationship would improve. In addition, his first love entered his life at that time.

This is how he remembers it:

“One day, I was standing in front of a high school and smoking marijuana which was as natural to me as smoking cigarettes. There was a girl looking through a high school window, smiling and waving at me. I wasn’t even aware that I was smoking pot in front of a school where everyone could see me. When she came out, we introduced ourselves to each other, and then spent the rest of the day together. We liked each other.”


The girl was 17 years old. Unlike Milton, she regularly attended school and studied. She lived a normal and settled lifestyle with no drugs and no other addictions.

“For a long time, she knew nothing of drugs, my addiction, or my earnings from car thefts. Surely she was interested how come I have some much money, but she simply believed that I these were my savings. She thought that I had a regular job, though I was always secretive about it.”

Their relationship was soon mature enough and Milton decided to introduce her to his mother. After a year, they married.

“It was really cramped. There were only two rooms in my mother’s apartment while thirteen people were living in it. Still, we managed to make the best of it and we even got a baby.”

Under Pressure

They lived this way for two years. Milton was still secretly dealing drugs, because he needed the money to buy cocaine. But he was not involved with the gang anymore. He even took drugs in secret, which is why he was often away from home.

But eventually, he came under more and more pressure. Ever more often, his wife wanted to know what he was doing and where does his money come from. Her pressure was so strong that he finally decided to find a decent job.

The Forces of Evil

But the force of evil is always looking for a soft spot in the person, especially when the person wants to change. This force of evil intervened in Milton’s life again and prevented him from making a step forward.

“When I was out on the street one day, I met one of the former soldiers who used to steal cars and deal drugs with me. He convinced me to go the border again. This time, it was different.”

On that day, things got really complicated. While Milton and his companions were robbing and stealing a car, a fight broke out. One of Milton’s companions shot at the car driver and killed him.

This was the first time they were chased by the federal police.

“It was every man for himself, a shoot-out broke out, and we were running from the police. I caught a bullet in my leg while running, but I still managed to get behind the wheel of a stolen car and escape to Santa Cruz.”

Everything He Built Broke Apart

The police could not identify him and the rest of the gang managed to get away with it. Yet, the little good things that Milton was able to build in that time quickly started to fall apart.

“I paid for the leg operation and recovery in the hospital myself. The treatment was successful, but everything else went to rack and ruin. My wife visited me in the hospital. When she found out about the gun wound, I couldn’t hide anything from her. She was disappointed and desperate. She left me and soon moved to Spain where she still lives today.”

Yet, she also left three children that she gave birth to at that time; the girl was four and the boy was five, whereas the baby was only a couple of months old.

His mother was also disappointed with him. From then on, Milton’s children lived with her, but she did not want him under her roof any more.

Cocaine – His Loyal Friend

“I was at the beginning again. I lost everything: my wife, my children, my mother; everything I cared for and the place I felt loved. The drugs did this to me. But I still did’t have enough. Although everyone left me, my desire for drugs still clinged on, harder than anytime before,” explained Milton.

“I joined my gang of former soldiers and went to the border again. I was different than before, more desperate and even bolder. I only saw myself and the drugs. Cocaine became the only thing that I was interested in. It was the only thing that helped me survive and kept my confidence.”

Only Me

Because the cocaine was expensive and Milton needed a lot of it for himself, the partnership became an obstacle for him. He started thinking about how he could deceive his companions and keep the stolen money for himself.

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Milton’s gang continued to steal cars in Sao Paulo in Brasil and smuggle them across the border to Santa Cruz in Bolivia. In Santa Cruz, the cars were traded for cocaine (by the way, Bolivia is the largest producer of cocaine in the world. The use of coca – plant – leaves is allowed, whereas the production of cocaine is, of course, forbidden).

At the border, the drugs were sold to the dealers who smuggled the cocaine back to Sao Paulo. Such deals brought the gang a lot of money, sometimes more than 2 million USD.

Stole the Money and Bought the Drugs

The entire business was based on trust and everyone trusted Milton. The first time he crossed his partners was when he took the money earned at the border and cashed all of it for drugs – for himself – instead of taking it to the gang house at Santa Cruz.

“Nobody knew about the stolen money except for a friend with whom I shared this secret. He was my confidant,” Milton told us.

“I spent all that money to the last boliviano for cocaine. I’ve never consumed so much drugs before. That was the time when my mother died of cancer. I was so depressed that I even didn’t want to live anymore. Certainly, cocaine was my cure. I wanted even more, so I wanted to repeat my fraud. I didn’t care, I didn’t like my life. In fact, I wanted to destroy it by using drugs.”


After Milton’s mother died, his brothers and sisters who still lived in the mother’s house took care of his children. Meanwhile, Milton spent more time planning his fraud than caring about his children. This time, he was planning it together with his confidant.

But, did Milton really have a good sense of who he can trust?

In the next article, I will talk about how strongly wrong was Milton about choosing his confidant and how he finally fell to the rock bottom of his life where he had no choice but to make a crucial decision: to die or to rise up.

If you want to be notified when Part III of Milton’s story is available, enter your e-mail address into the form above.

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