GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - David McKenzie lives on $15 a month. He's told when and what to eat, when to sleep, and when to go to the bathroom.
"I tried something four years ago that I will pay for for the rest of my life," he said.
McKenzie spoke at a community drug forum at Garfield Heights High School Wednesday night. It's the same school where the former athlete graduated in 2007.
But on Wednesday, he wore orange prison clothes and shackles as he warned current students about the dangers of drug abuse.
"I lost my job," he said. "I was kicked out of my mother's home for stealing from her and my step-father. I was living on the streets and slept wherever I could."
McKenzie's heroin addiction started when the prescription pain killers he was using daily no longer satisfied his hunger. At one point during the addiction, he overdosed and almost died.
According to Garfield Heights police chief Robert Sackett, heroin is highly addictive but very inexpensive.
"Heroin is the most popular drug going right now," he said. "Most of the crimes we arrest for, burglary, B&E, robbery, thefts, it's kind of rare to arrest somebody who's not a drug user anymore when they're committing these property crimes.
McKenzie is now serving a two year prison sentence for attempted burglary. He hopes his story will help keep other young people off of drugs.
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