“I’ll take a water,” Nick Morgan said after sitting down at Oliver’s Bar & Grill in Bradley. The 24-year-old had just come down from his hotel room wearing a shirt that said “Crush the Epidemic” after speaking earlier at Brandon House.
After three stints of rehab, Morgan is almost three years clean from drugs and alcohol. In addition to speaking at Brandon House, he shared his story last Tuesday night at Life Compass Church in Kankakee and with local police chiefs Wednesday morning at BrickStone Brewery & Restaurant.
“It’s emotional,” said Morgan, who grew up in Marion. “Almost three years ago, nobody wanted anything to do with me. Nobody trusted me. I don’t blame them. Now, families put the lives of their kids in my hands for me to help.”
It’s all part of Morgan’s recovery from an addiction to opiates and alcohol. He is about to start a recovery tour with motivational rapper Tw1tch, trying to — as the title of his Facebook page states — crush the epidemic.
Morgan was adopted at a young age. His father was an orthopedic surgeon and his mother was a registered nurse.
Morgan started smoking weed in seventh grade. He also drank alcohol and got kicked out of school for fighting. In eighth grade, his parents sent him to a boot camp for 11 months, hoping it would straighten him out.
“I was wasted the whole time,” he admitted. “When I got that diploma in the mail, I thought my life was complete. So, I started touring the country, going to music festivals and having a good time. That’s where it began. Some people can have a good time and stop when they become adults. I wasn’t one of those people.”
Morgan fell into a depression. He saw his friends getting jobs and starting families. Meanwhile, he wore a tie-dye shirt and “shroom” necklace.
“I was 150 pounds soaking wet and doing psychedelics every day,” he said. “I was going nowhere, and it was depressing.”
Clean and helping
Morgan started documenting his recovery through Facebook. He shared a video that now has 1.7 million views. He also started the Crush the Epidemic Facebook page, which he uses to connect with hundreds of addicts every day.