Australian swimmer Daniel Smith says he hopes to inspire others after overcoming a drug addiction to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Smith was a talented junior swimmer and won a string of Australian Junior Championships, but in his late teens drugs pushed his life off the rails and he was soon living on the street.
“It was difficult, but I guess the pain that I suffered, the pain that I dealt with has actually put me in a position now to give back to others,” he said.
“That’s what my life’s all about now. I’m all about giving hope to the next generation and giving hope to other people who are addicted to drugs.”
Smith said his five-year drug and alcohol addiction not only affected his swimming career, but his family relationships as well.
“I destroyed my family and they’re still healing now from the whole situation,” he said.
“Back in the days when he was a [junior] champion we used to be so happy that he won everything and this time came along now we’re just happy that he’s alive,” Daniel’s father, Steve Smith said.
Stories like this provide hope for all parents with teenagers struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. At Daytop New Jersey, we see teenagers with so much potential, but who themselves have lost sight of their futures. And, we see lives restored and potentials re-discovered.
The true hero is him overcoming drugs this is just icing on the cake,” Daniel’s mother said. It is our privilege everyday to help each young person become a hero in their journey to overcome drug addiction.
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