I was a slave to drugs

Addiction that destroyed health and relationship was finally broken

Mauro and Cecilia with children
Mauro and Cecilia Nemi with their two children

Angered by the unfaithfulness of his father to his mother, at eight years of age Mauro Nemi entered an addictive trap of alcoholism and smoking to vent his pain.

Then living in the little town of Santiago del Estero in Argentina, Mauro remembers, “I thought I was living life to the fullest; I was cool because I smoked and drank, I was still in school, and I partied on the weekend.”

Hanging out with the wrong crowd, Mauro watched his friends fight at the night clubs and rob people in the streets. His mother had to get him out of jail many times.

Then, much to Mauro’s surprise, his mother fell in love with a police officer.

“This man told me that he loved my mother and he loved me, and he showed it by kissing me goodnight on my forehead while I pretended to be sleeping,” he recalls.

Mauro was so impressed by this man’s affection he decided to become a police officer also, but there he sadly encountered corruption among off-duty officers and became addicted to hard drugs.

“By the time I realised what was going on and tried to quit, I was dependent and enslaved. I had to have it every day, all day,” he says.

His addiction became so out of control that, at age 23, he was sentenced to four years in prison, where, strangely, he found it easier to obtain drugs.

Given parole for good behavior, he was released to the confines of his family’s home and was still taking drugs when he spotted a pretty girl in street outside and asked for her number.

After sending sentimental messages to a fake number for five months, Mauro met a totally different girl who had never smoked and, being in love, she believed his lies.

“Neither my love for Cecelia, nor the fact that we were expecting our first child, Thiago, was enough to stop me doing drugs,” Mauro admits.

“I would break out with fever, panic attacks and convulsions and, when I had a cardiac arrest, my family told Cecilia what she had gotten into by dating me.

“I thank God that He put His hand between life and death.”

Mauro recovered, but his repentant pleas to Cecilia were short-lived, as he began injecting cocaine which led to frequent hospital visits due to heart problems and convulsions.

Tired of treating him, doctors could only give him pills that made him drowsy, while psychologists and psychiatrists had no answers either.

Now in a pit of despair since Cecilia had already left him,

Mauro says that he sought help from God.

“I remembered that my grandmother and my aunt attended a Christian church, so I sought them out and Pastor Ariel Carini visited me.

“He told me that the church couldn’t do anything for me, but that he wanted to tell me about Jesus Christ, God the Son, who loved me so much that He died on the cross for all of my sins and wanted to forgive me, cleanse me and give me eternal life in heaven with Him.

“That afternoon I understood my helpless condition before a perfect and just God and I embraced Jesus as my personal Savior.”

Ariel recommended Mauro go to a Christian rehab centre. On June 15th, 2009, he began this live-in abstinence program, “seeking to allow God to change me and transform me,” as Mauro recalls.

“I was tired of failing time after time, so I decided to surrender all to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“My lungs deteriorated by five packs of cigarettes per day, nose destroyed from snorting cocaine, heart weakened, liver and kidneys failing — I thought I would never be free from this slave-master, but the next morning my body felt different.

“After only 25 days, I returned home because I no longer felt the urge to consume drugs.”

United to his Saviour Jesus Christ, Mauro wanted to know more about Him every day.

“I went to church, had Bible studies with the pastors, was instructed in Christian living by my uncle and I never touched drugs, alcohol or cigarettes again.”

Mauro was also careful not to expose himself again and always sought to be accompanied by another Christian.

“My desire to know this God who has saved me motivates me to read my Bible and stay away from those things that harmed me for so long,” he says joyfully.

Four months after leaving the rehab, Mauro and Cecilia reunited and were married in November 2009.

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