INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An IUPUI student is now on the road to recovery after years as an addict. His story has impacted other students and just recently was selected to serve on a national student board through the Association of Recovery in Higher Education.
Ryan McGlinchey was exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age. His father and grandfather were both alcoholics.
“Nothing was ever enough,” he said.
Hard drugs and alcohol used to be a part of the 22-year-old’s daily routine. He used to use before and after school. The college student became sober 18 months ago.
“I knew I was a drug addict and alcoholic by the time I was 17,” McGlinchey said. “Just because the way I craved it was not normal.”
Realization hit McGlinchey when he missed the chance to say goodbye to his sick grandfather. He was high and never made it to the hospital.
“I stopped going to class and I just wasn’t doing anything,” the college student said. “I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
When McGlinchey turned 20, he went to an outpatient treatment program. It was enough, so he moved back to Indianapolis, got a sponsor and enrolled at IUPUI.
“I’m an alcoholic,” he said. “I can’t drink. I can do whatever I want in the world except drink and do drugs. There’s no limit on what I can and can’t do now except those two things.”
IUPUI Health and Wellness Promotion Director Eric Teske helps organize outings for the more than 20 students involved in the Collegiate Recovery Program.
“Maybe four or five outings a semester,” he said. “But then in between there, the students are eating lunch together on a daily basis and getting together for like hangouts on the weekends and stuff. I don’t have to create every hangout opportunity because they like hanging out together and that’s the best part.”
McGlinchey will attend a national conference at the end of June with other sober students across the country. He wants to share how the recovery program has helped put his life and so many others on a positive path of success.
“When we’re struggling, we share stories,” he said. “We’re all pretty much alike. We’ve all gone through the same things just different people.”
Not only has McGlinchey’s story impacted other students, but even his father. He is now sober thanks to his son’s drive to have a better life.
“That’s what we did on Father’s Day, was go to a meeting together and that’s so cool,” the former addict said.
With a brighter future ahead, the 22-year-old says it’s time to make something of himself.
McGlinchey will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Human Resources Management. Last semester, he was accepted in the Kelley School of Business.