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While spending six days in jail after his second arrest, Hepler started writing "Intervention." He said he put the first 20 pages to paper while behind bars.

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Marietta Conference Center, 500 Powder Springs St. SE.

Marietta resident details recovery from drugs in new book

The event, which is open to the public, draws treatment center staff, therapists, doctors and other professionals in the recovery field.

"That started the recovery process," Hepler said. "It was very effective. I was sober for about nine months."

"Me being me was miserable," Hepler said. "I wanted to get high or drunk to not feel me."

Hepler said he was finally able to put the partying life behind him when he transferred away from his college near Athens to Kennesaw State University, where he earned a degree in psychology.

"Part of the problem with a lot of recovery and sober living facilities is there's no regulation," he said. "GARR has a set of standards that have to be met in order to be part of the organization. This gives us a level of expertise and accountability."

Hepler, who lives in Marietta, said his road to recovery started at age 17 when his parents woke him up in the middle of the night with an escort team in their Duluth home. They took him to Montana, where Hepler took part in the inpatient program at the Wilderness Treatment Center, a facility located on a working cattle ranch. It combines rehabilitation with activities like backpacking and cross country skiing.

"I had the eye opening epiphany moment and said, 'I have had enough of this.'"

The fourth annual Recovery Fair is part of National Recovery Month, said Kelly Moselle, program director for HERO House, a sober living facility for college students in Kennesaw. Air Force Max Cb

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But the college life proved too much for Hepler's recovery. He fell back into substance abuse while a student at Gainesville State College.

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It took a second arrest for driving under the influence for Hepler to finally clean up for good in 2008.

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party vibe isn't there," he said of Kennesaw. "It still goes on, but not like it does in other towns. I was able to focus on school and my career and my life."

He said he was sentenced to a state ordered outpatient recovery program that includes counseling, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and mandatory drug testing.

MARIETTA Chad Hepler said his downward spiral started when he tried marijuana and alcohol at age 14. From that point on, his drug use quickly became out of control.

GARR provides standards for rehabilitation services in the state, Bremmer said. The organization makes sure that facilities are functional and safe and offer proper treatment.

Hepler said the subtitle, "Anything But My Own Skin," which was released last year, came from the hatred he felt toward himself.

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"I speak about addiction and what it can do to you," Hepler said. "It gives me a high that's so much better than the life I had before."

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"Trying to be sober (at college) as an 18 year old who is socially awkward just isn't going to work," he said.

"It brought me something that I needed, so I kept going with it," Hepler said. "What I kind of discovered over the years was that I liked the feeling. Sept. 30 at the Nike Air Force 1 Size 3

Hepler, Air Force Knit 25, is now working toward becoming an addiction counselor. He speaks to students across Georgia about his challenges and is writing a second book.

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