From the July 2010 magazine.

RAILROADED

Talked into service, a reluctant teen meets the AAs who convince him to stick around

MY sobriety date is April 7, 1986. I was 17 years old in 1986. I'd had my first drink at age 8 and started to use drugs at 9. I now have a life I believe would have never happened if it weren't for Alcoholics Anonymous.

When I first came in, it was difficult for someone my age to feel accepted and to want to be a part of something so big. I went to a treatment center first, but was introduced to AA the first night there. There were no adolescent centers at the time.

-- SHAUN G.

Manteca, Calif.

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