Posted: Apr 16, 2013 8:07 PM by Erin Schermele - MTN News
Updated: Apr 16, 2013 8:07 PM
GREAT FALLS - Former MSU football coach Joe O'Brien, who was busted for meth 10 years ago, is telling his story to teens across Montana.
O'Brien was arrested in 2003 on felony drug charges after being accused of possessing methamphetamines with the intent to sell.
The former collegiate and NFL athlete served more than two years in prison as well as six years on federal probation.
During a regional leadership conference for student government at Great Falls High School on Tuesday, O'Brien spoke about the consequences of his poor decisions.
He says although he may have gone through the motions of being a leader, he wasn't using his support system to let people know he had a problem with drugs.
O'Brien said, "Because I was a good kid. I had a 3.75 in high school, I went to class, I did all the things that you were supposed to do. I was just struggling internally. I was struggling inside so I dealt with the pain in a very selfish way."
The message resonated with the teens.
Rachel Ehlers, a senior at North Toole County High School in Sunburst, said, "I guess I had preconceived notions about people who have been convicted of drugs and stuff, but I liked hearing his story from the actual source and knowing what he went through."
After his speech, students asked O'Brien about relapse and recovery.
He says although he has absolutely no desire to do drugs again, recovery is an everyday process.
O'Brien is now the head football coach at Simms High School.