Addiction can turn life upside down. In most cases, people fall into destruction because of it. However, there are also those people who admit their addiction, yet they took the courage to seek help and get out of it. In fact, there are those who serve as an inspiration to others, setting as an example and helping them better understand the effects of drugs and how it can change one’s life.

Former drug addict helps others using his experienceFive years ago, Wes Hurt struggled with addictions to cocaine, opiates, and alcohol. Today, he runs a company that helps others recovering from addiction. In 2014, Hurt founded CLEAN Cause, an Austin-based yerba mate tea company, to help people recovering from addiction by allocating 50% of profits to sober-living scholarships. He said he not only wanted to be an entrepreneur but also have an impact.

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Hurt said his addiction started in high school, when he began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. In the span of 20 years, Hurt went to six rehabilitation centers and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. After realizing he was truly hooked, Hurt said he continued postponing the recovery process like a New Year’s resolution.

“That was one of my more difficult realizations about my life,” Hurt said. “I knew there was going to be a long battle back.”

It wasn’t until Hurt was dismissed from his former company, had no money left and lived in a warehouse after his wife kicked him out that he realized he wanted to change.

“CLEAN is the product of that extremism in a healthier way,” Hurt said. “It speaks to something bigger, which was an explicit purpose in life that gave my actions reasons (to fight) for recovery.”

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