A lot of people have that core group of friends that they imagine will be with them their entire lives, through all of the important events: weddings, childbirths, graduations, retirements, etc. When I was 15, my parents sent me to prep school and that's where I met the group of guys who were supposed to be with me forever. We were all slightly different from everyone else and that was enough to form what we thought would be a life-long bond, however short some of our lives turned out to be. There were four of us, and we did everything together: played basketball, dated girls and eventually started using cocaine.

My introduction to cocaine came in my sophomore year when I was 16 from my friend Charlie who was a year older than the rest of us. He started doing it out of boredom and curiosity and quickly became a regular part of his daily existence. At first I was reluctant to try it but eventually we all tried it because we thought if we didn't, it would violate this unspoken "all-for-one" pact that we had. During that second year at my prep school it was like we were all in heaven on earth. We figured out a way to set up our own very small distribution network, so we could make a little money and supplement our own habit all at the same time. My parents were miles away, and nobody at my prep school ever suspected a thing.

But then towards the end of my junior year (which was Charlie's senior year) Charlie all of sudden starting to lose control and would get very violent about really stupid stuff. It all finally came to head one day towards the end of the year and very close to his graduation day. This older male teacher was in the middle of chewing him out after class for appearing to be high during his class (of course Charlie was very high on cocaine during class) and Charlie lost it and literally beat the crap out of this guy. When the police came they also found a large amount of coke on Charlie. The judge took one look at the teacher's face and combined with the charge of possession with intent to sell and sent Charlie away. Instead of graduating from our prep school Charlie graduated into prison life. We learned a few months later that they found Charlie dead in his cell from an apparent suicide and he hung himself, but none of us believed it.

Then close to the end of the following year (our senior year) one of our other close cocaine buddies Glenn, suddenly dies when his heart somehow explodes inside his chest. As soon as everybody's parents hear about Glenn (and put it together with Charlie from the previous year) they all went into panic mode and started the cocaine witch hunt. Naturally, it was not long before my parents found my own cocaine stash when I was home for my 18th birthday party.

My parents confronted me about it and gave me an ultimatum that I either immediately go to this luxury drug rehab program they found or they cut me off forever. The only thing I knew about treatment was that I wouldn't be able to do coke while I was there. But I also knew that I didn't want to be penniless and be out on the streets looking for a job either. I choose to go to rehab in Palm Beach and it turned out to be the decision that probably saved my life.

Upon graduation from drug rehab I was able to graduate from high school and today I am a freshmen in college in my second semester. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my friends Charlie and Glenn, and what they might have been, if they were still alive today. I think to myself there but for the grace of god go I and count my blessings that my parents made me go to this amazing treatment program and got me off cocaine.