Drug use can lead to a life-long struggle, even if addicts know where to look, it can be hard to find help.
Don Hempel and his friend Martin met at age six. "We went and sneaked beers from his dad's place," Hempel recalled. But on a lone night in 1992, it went too far.
"Me and him was drinking together at a bar and he got so drunk that I was supposed to take him home and I wanted to take him home, he said no he could, that day he died,” Hempel said.
Martin died from alcohol poisoning, from there life spun out of control for Hempel, "until I quite my job where I was working at and then I just got into selling drugs."
Not only was Hempel selling meth, he was using it, heavily. "I was at 150 pounds when I went into prison; I’m a big guy,” Hempel said.
It finally took a stint jail for him to face the real threat of never gaining a foothold on his addiction. After getting out, that's when he met one of Kerry Wiles' therapists at Heartland Family Services in Council Bluffs.
"We know that over 80%, closer to 90%, [where] the research is consistent, clients with addiction issues that are coming into out patient treatment have complex trauma histories,” Wiles said.
And that, Wiles articulated, is the front line of addiction treatment, keeping others like Hempel out of already crowded prisons.
Consider this; two 2012 criminal justices reports say that in the metro, as taxpayers, for every one dollar we spend on treatment for meth addicts that number increases nine times if we send them to jail.
"Treatment is effective; don is a perfect example of his willingness to come in and just ask for help,” Wiles said.
"If you are willing to quit there is places out there that will help you and I will try to help anybody I can,” Hempel said.
Hempel is employed with a steady job; he now focuses on helping at risk youth with drug treatment.