LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man is taking steps toward helping addicts and alcoholics. Eric King has been sober for the past seven years and is recovering from the same addictions some East Texans are currently battling. The doors of a local sober home were once closed and now King plans to open them back up for those in need.
King's alcohol addiction began at the young age of 13.
"I left home at a young age, also. It was through some of my experiences as a child and as a young adult that I began to become an avid alcoholic," King said.
Throughout the years he was charged twice with driving while intoxicate, but it wasn't until he was 31 when he received his wake up call.
"DWI third or more is when you've had three DWI convictions on your record," King said. "I spent 24 days in jail and I didn't have an opportunity to bail myself out. I was also in the middle of a divorce."
King spent six months in rehab and agreed to 10 years probation.
"It was when I got out, and got on probation, and started trying to stay out of trouble that I realized life was a lot simpler; things did get easier," King said.
This month makes seven years of probation for the once alcoholic. He's grateful for the support his family and friends have given him over the years.
"It's an everyday battle. My success is based on the people that are in my life,' King said. "Everybody is on the same page as far as whether or not alcohol is ever an option for me."
King's recovery success has given him the opportunity to help other addicts and alcoholics in Lufkin.
"In the last few years, I've become active with addicts in their own recovery path once I got comfortable in mine to be able to give back," King said.
Two years ago, the sober house in Lufkin was going to close its doors but King was given the chance to keep the home open. He's currently in the process of renovating duplexes in Angelina County to open a new sober house.
"Greyson's Place was actually named after my adopted son Greyson," King said. "By the grace of God we were able to adopt a child even with some of my history."
King is currently involved in the Recovery Operated Systems of Care group. He said giving back to the community reminds him of how far his has come.
"You make the decision for yourself, and then you move forward. A lot of times we think that there's not going to be help," King said. "We don't see it coming when we think we need it. It's when we make that decision that people come to our aide."
King is hopeful to finish remodeling Greyson's Place by mid 2014 and will be able to house up to 20 men at a time. He said he hopes to one day open a place for women, too.