- Associated Press - Sunday, December 3, 2017

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The present Carlos Mosley received for his 39th birthday wasn’t on his list, but it turned out to be the gift of a lifetime.

He was busted for aggravated driving under the influence on Jan. 10, 2016.

“I fell asleep behind the wheel on drugs and alcohol. I was on a three-day binge. When I got caught, I had just got probation for another DUI in Kankakee. I knew I was going to the penitentiary, no question about it,” he said.

He knew the drill, having been to the Department of Corrections before - five times, to be exact, for drugs, weapons and driving offenses.

So when the Chicago native’s lawyer suggested drug court, Mosley agreed to be evaluated, not exactly knowing what he was getting himself into.

He did know he was tired. “Enough is enough. Do right or be a criminal.”

Mosley now knows exactly what drug court is and has a clearer vision of what life is like without alcohol, cannabis, Molly and Ecstasy. After 17 months of sobriety, the 40-year-old husband and father is about to graduate from Champaign County’s drug court program.

Although he hasn’t had one setback since his clean date of June 26, 2016, Mosley is nervous about his future after graduation Wednesday.

“I tell the counselor, ‘That’s when my journey is going to begin - on the 29th.’ That’s when the real world is going to hit me,” he said.

He’s one of 11 graduates of the 37th class of the self-help court overseen since its inception by Judge Jeff Ford.

The proud papa boasts 277 graduates who have endured his tough love during the last 18 years.

“What really made me know Judge Ford wasn’t playing was when I first went, I saw a guy get locked up for drinking a can of beer. I said, ‘They lock you up for that?’ And they might send you to the penitentiary,” Mosley said. “Right then and there, I knew drug court wasn’t nothin’ to play with. I did inventory off the other knuckleheads.”

A street-wise drug dealer who also enjoyed using drugs, Mosley admitted that the 25-year-old version of himself wouldn’t have been ready for drug court.

“There was no time for Prairie Center four times a week. When I was selling drugs, I loved the money,” he said.

But after crashing his car into a ditch while high on alcohol and Ecstasy on his birthday bender weekend, Mosley was ticked.

“When I woke up, I’m like: ‘How could you do this?’” he said. “I was so upset with myself. I was almost home. I just wanted to eat and sleep.

“The police found me instead.”

Ecstasy wasn’t his first love. It was Molly. Both are forms of the synthetic drug MDMA, which alters mood and perception.

Mosley had been in prison for several years when he was released in 2013.

“Everybody coming in and out was telling me about Ecstasy and Molly and how they make you feel like Superman. I said: When I get out, I’m going to have to try that. I knew better because I hadn’t done drugs in so long,” he said.

Still, after his release from parole and with money in his pocket from a decent job, Mosley went from “moderate” weekend drinker to being a regular user of Molly.

“I loved it. I never felt that way in my whole life. It was a feeling out of this world. I was so relaxed and so comfortable with myself,” he said, the opposite of his usual self-image.

“You could talk and be so friendly. You got $10,000 in your pocket. The next morning, you got nothing in your pocket because you gave it away being so nice.

“After that, I was off to the races chasing that same high I couldn’t ever get from that first day,” Mosley said.

Because it’s a synthetic drug, Mosely said, “you don’t know what you’re getting.

“People are in the kitchen throwing up anything. You could buy a bottle of bath salts, and they would tell you it’s Molly,” he said.

A particularly bad experience with the drug changed his mind about Molly.

“I stayed in the basement three to four days. I couldn’t move. I was just sitting there, not eating. After the third day, my wife took me to the ER. They shot me with morphine. That made me feel like me again. I went to sleep. No more Molly,” he said.

But his next bad choice was Ecstasy, a drug he said made him feel much more aggressive.

“You can be in the mood to chill and party, then somebody might make you mad, and once you go there, you ain’t coming back. I was violent most of the time,” he said. “It would take 15 to 20 people to hold me down.”

It was Ecstasy he was using when he crashed his car on U.S. 45, leading to his arrest and his eventual sobriety.

Mosley is now working through a temporary agency at a warehouse job, which he hopes will become permanent in a couple of months. He’s also pursuing his life-long passion for music by starting up his own deejay business.

With the money he’s not spending on drugs and alcohol, he bought a laptop computer, a mixer, microphones, lights and speakers. He’s just getting started but has performed at a few events.

Recognizing that at special events with music, there is often drinking and drugs, Mosley plans to not book any holiday gigs.

In the meantime, he’s trying to figure out how to be a father and a husband. His two children, 16 and 13, tease him about his current obsession with working out. Being fit, not drinking, eating right and getting proper sleep are a lot different from the binges of Ecstasy and Molly that kept him awake and not eating for days at a time.

As for his wife, she’s a bit nervous and learning how to live with a new person making decisions for himself.

“I took my wife through a whole lot,” Mosley said, noting he was in prison for a good chunk of their married life. “She knows I’m doing good. She is so used to me depending on her.”

Mosley is also ready for others to depend on him. He’s moving his elderly grandmother from Chicago to Champaign so he can take care of her.

“That’s a big responsibility. She’s like a newborn baby,” he said. “That’s going to help my recovery.”


Source: The (Champaign) News-Gazette, http://bit.ly/2AcHnTC


Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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