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The 700 Club

From Heroin Addict to CEO

Ed Heath - 700 Club Producer

Shallotte, NC

“The first time that I shot up heroin and the rush came over me, it was like going back to when I was 13 years old.” Josh Torbich recalls. “And for the first time, I felt the alcohol euphoria fill over me. It was new, it was exciting, and it was something that once again made me feel great.”

From an early age Josh’s large size and trouble with school affected his self-image. He says, “I often times felt weak and inferior. Sometimes that translated into an identity complex for me that had me feeling like I was less than most people that I was around.”

So, Josh learned to put on appearances. For his parents he, pretended to enjoy church. At school he acted out, seeking acceptance from the popular kids.

He says, “It didn't take any time at all until my rebellious or my bad behavior started to come to the surface.”

When Josh was 13, a group of friends introduced him to alcohol. He recalls, “That inferiority complex seemed to slip away. I started to feel confidant. I set myself up to see the drink as the solution to fix the way that I felt, because it happened, man, it was like the most immediate and effective solution that I ever had seen to fix that feeling that I had.”

Soon Josh gained a new identity as ‘the party guy’. By age 16 his size had become an advantage because he could buy alcohol with a fake ID.

Josh recalls, “My life circled around, where's the party at? I started to become the go-to guy for alcohol and I felt like that that was somebody that everyone was attracted to, that could quickly move in and out of popularity circles.”

By then Josh was done with God, lying to his parents that he went with friends to their church.

He remembers, “If you really got to me and how two-faced I was and how fake I was and how quickly I would change the person I was, you wouldn't like me.”

Eventually, alcohol could no longer ease his insecurities, so his junior year of high school, Josh turned to prescription painkillers.

He recalls, “And I remember that I felt that same euphoric feeling. You know, like it did something inside to me to where I went. You know, like I just felt the relief that came attached to it.”

A year later, Josh, a senior, was a full-blown heroin addict. With no purpose and no plans for the future, he lived at home, and delivered pizzas to support his drug habit.

Josh says, “I felt so miserable. I felt so worthless. All of those feelings that I had felt my entire life about me were now just like reinforced. I remember sitting there looking at my life and what it had become, and that thought and that feeling came over me that said, this is the way your life is. This is the way that your life is gonna be.”

Over the next four years he got two DWIs and overdosed once. His family tried to help him, but Josh was convinced he had no purpose in life.  Watching his friends graduate from college, start careers, and marry, only made it worse.

Josh says, “And here I am stuck inside of this same, just really sinister cycle, haven't accomplished anything or done anything with meaning or purpose, and had just become okay with being a loser.” 

Finally, his family said ‘enough’ and held an intervention telling Josh if he didn’t go into detox they were kicking him out.

He recalls, “I was pretty bitter. I had become pretty good at lying my way out of situations, and there was always an excuse. And then my attitude transitioned into just worthlessness.”

At 23, with no other options, Josh went through 6 days of detox. Afterward, he enrolled in a small, Christian recovery center.

Josh remembers, “I'm sitting there and I'm looking around saying to myself, they're telling me that I can't live like this and I can't do this. How in the world am I gonna be happy?”

As part of the program, Josh began attending church and reading the Bible. He also began examining his life choices and started taking responsibility for his actions.

He says, “Slowly my perspective started to shift that maybe there is a place out there for me to where I can find something that has purpose and meaning, something that I would be able to wrap my arms around. And maybe Jesus is the way to get to that.”

Josh realized he needed to fully surrender his life to Jesus. So, after church one Sunday morning, he made his way to the altar.

He remembers, “I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins again. And I told Him that I wanted Him to be Lord of my life, and to lead me in the direction that He would have me to go. I got to experience the freedom for the first time in my life of what it is like to be a genuine person, to be the same person inside of every room that you walk into.”

After rehab, Josh lost all desire for drugs. He also found his purpose, staying on at the facility to help other addicts.

Today he’s the CEO and under his leadership and vision, the once small recovery center has grown into a multi-campus facility. He’s also married and hopes to start a family soon. Josh still loves to share how God takes broken lives like his and uses them for His glory.

He says, “I believe that He didn't want me to go through all of those things that I went through. But since I did, and I turned my life over to Him, that He's perfectly capable of using every single thing that I went through and that happened to me for His purpose. I don't just get the grace of Jesus Christ in my life, I just don't get the forgiveness, but I get the prosperity and the abundant life that He's promised to give to me today. Today you can find purpose, and you can find that purpose through the process of a surrender to Him.”

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