By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The last vacation he took before getting clean was a golf trip to Arizona. Unconcerned about drug-sniffing dogs or jail, he walked through airport security with a baggie of crystal meth tucked into his pocket.
Steve's recent family vacation was an experience he couldn't have imagined back then. As he and his wife got ready to leave the house in late July, she handed him a box. "Would you mind taking this test for me?" she said.
"Sure," he replied. Unlike two years ago, he doesn't resent her vigilance. Her random drug testing is just another safeguard against The Addict's clutches. There's nothing to hide, no drug escapes to plan, no shame.
Lounging on the beach and gazing out at the Atlantic, he's able to focus on his wife and children without being consumed by something else.
"Before, I'd be in the room with my kids while they were coloring, but now I'm talking with them, praising what they're doing, participating with them," he says. The days of covert drug deals seem almost like a bad dream. "Looking back, it seems so stupid—it's so great not to have to worry about all that, to be able to just hang out with everybody."