Cameron Kincaid is a Business Development Representative at Serenity House Detox in Houston. Originally from Pasadena, Texas, Kincaid describes his upbringing as normal, although he liked to “defy the odds.”
“I was 10 or 11 the first time I got blackout drunk,” he said. “I was in the 6th grade, and a friend’s mom brought out two bottles of vodka. We got drunk and started throwing up all over the place. That’s the stem of my addiction.”
Throughout his adolescence, Kincaid played football, baseball, and basketball, but on the weekends hung out with skateboarders who smoked pot. When he was 13, he broke his femur in a four-wheeler accident and was prescribed opioids for pain management. He didn’t use them all at once, but that changed during a party when he was a freshman in high school.
During Hurricane Ike, Kincaid and his friends threw a party. When they ran out of alcohol, none of the liquor stores were open due to the storm. With only a little pot left, Kincaid suggested that he and his friends take his old prescriptions.
“These make me feel really good,” Kincaid remembers thinking. And from there, his use became more frequent.
“It’s a progressive illness. We always get worse, never better,” he said. “I was in high school, playing sports, but everything started to deteriorate. I was just eating pills. I was going to school, but I was high all the time.”
His junior year, Kincaid dropped out. He earned his GED, but after getting kicked out of his parents’ home, he was staying on friends’ couches. His drinking and drugging continued. When he was 18, Kincaid ran out of pills and was experiencing withdrawal. He called a friend he knew who used heroin.
“He was like my heroin sponsor,” Kincaid said. “He loaded up a rig full of dope, and I knew I was going to do it, and I knew I was going to like it. From my toenails to my head, I felt every bit of that shot. I wanted to feel like this for the rest of my life. But of course, I never got that high again.”
By the time Kincaid was 22, he got his third DUI. After spending 42 days in jail, he was offered the opportunity to seek treatment. His day in court was on a Thursday, and he had until the following Tuesday to make it to treatment. He used the time in between to go on one last run.
“I remember every single day, just how painful it was,” he said. “I couldn’t get up for three days, and I had flu-like symptoms the whole time. I’m sober today because anything is better than those last couple of days of my last run.”
Kincaid remembers having a profound psychic change when watching other clients at detox – only a few more days sober than he was—playing basketball. He thought to himself, “I want what they have.” He has stayed sober since.
When he was 18 months sober, he was working as manager at a restaurant. His old IOP counselor called to tell him that Serenity House Detox, then unopened, was looking for Behavioral Health Technicians. Serenity House opened on March 1, 2017, and Kincaid has been there—in one position or another—since day one.
“Working there as a tech you get to see how much more impactful the intimacy of our facility is,” he said. “You don’t wait five days to see your counselor. The groups are smaller, so there’s more focus on what everyone is saying. We present the opportunity for everyone to get it off their chest.”
Now as a Business Development Representative, Kincaid says he’s kept in touch with many of the clients he’s helped receive treatment. Several of them have gone on to pursue LCDCs.
“We’re intimate on the inside, and we’re intimate before and after,” he said. “If I can be a small influence in someone’s recovery, I’m all for it.”