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Recovering heroin addict shares survival story 9 months after near death

Wesley Storts was released from a drug rehab program after 9 months on Monday when he said he hit a road bump with nicotine. He started a new job two days later. (WSYX/WTTE)

A young father finds success in recovery after the Hope Over Heroin Columbus event last summer.

Wesley Storts was in bad shape last August. His leg had an open wound and he had used heroin the night before. His mom urged him to go to the event at Dodge Park. Storts calls that day a game changer and never looks back.

He uses motivational words on the playing field with his son, which also can apply to the life Wesley has now.

"I've died and overdosed three times and I was on the way to destruction and God saved me for a reason," said Storts. "I'm not ashamed of my past it's just made me stronger," said Storts.

Storts started using drugs at age 12. He said heroin took over at 18.

"I've been clean for over nine months," said Storts.

He first opened up to ABC 6/FOX 28 at his weakest point.

"I need help. I'm ready to get off just need the help," Storts said during an interview at Hope Over Heroin Columbus in August of 2016.

Storts had an abscess on his leg from shooting up. Storts was broken, homeless and at death's door.

"I probably wouldn't be doing this interview. I'd probably be dead right now," said Storts.

Storts credited his mother for encouraging him to go.

"God was really watching over us there cause everything fell into place," said Marie Storts.

He said Joey Moats, a former addict, steered him toward a faith-based program called The Refuge Ministries.

"The Refuge taught me about God and Jesus and that worked for me. I believe if I can do it anyone can do it," said Storts.

Storts doesn't look back.

"Jesus is my drug now. I'm addicted to hope," said Storts.

He lives in the present wanting to play ball with his eight-year-old son Mason.

His mother had her doubts that Storts would survive addiction.

"I am very proud. Our whole family is so proud. He's come a long way," said Marie Storts.

Storts said he has a long road ahead, but believes he was saved to help other addicts find their way.

"You can beat addiction, but you've got to work on yourself. You've got to change your heart," said Storts.

Storts said he used a couple more times before starting the program at The Refuge.

The Refuge offers a 13-month program to addicts. They said the longer an addict stays the more likely they'll see success.

Storts was released Monday after nine months when he says he hit a road bump with nicotine.

He started a new job two days later.

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