Springfield man goes from "dealing dope to dealing hope"
SPRINGFIELD - David Stoecker says he has lived a life of addiction in order to escape the pain of an abusive childhood.
"My first memory is being molested by a babysitter," Stoecker said.
He said, the abuse lead him to him to find a release. In seventh grade, he said, he discovered that alcohol and pills seemed, on the surface, to make things better.
"I found out that, if I stayed numb, not only did I not feel that, but nobody could hurt me," Stoecker said.
His addiction would grow as he got older, leading to serious consequences. Clinically, Stoecker said, he has needed to be brought back to life 8 times as a result of his addiction.
"Narcan has definitely saved my life on multiple occasions," he said.
His sister, Michal Stoecker, said there was a point where, "We didn't know if he was going to live or die."
David Stoecker crashed cars under the influence, overdosed and even attempted suicide.
"I ran out of hope and I slashed my wrists," he said.
"If he had been successful I don't know what I would have done," Michal Stoecker said.
David Stoecker said he lost faith in himself and began to hate the man he had become.
"I used to look in the mirror and see a junkie and a convict," he said
It wasn't one of Stoecker's near-death experiences that caused him to quit his addiction, instead it was what he saw in his rearview mirror one day.
"I was going to grad school and a police car pulled out behind me," he said. "I knew if he had pulled me over I would've gotten a DUI."
That's when, Stoecker said, he decided to get serious and traded in his old addiction for a new one, helping others.
"I believe in second chances, third chances, fourth chances, because dead people never find recovery," he said.
After sobering up, he was given a fresh start at the Missouri Recovery Network, working as the education outreach coordinator.
"I always say I've gone from dealing dope to dealing hope, and I like dealing hope a whole lot better," he said.
One of Stoecker's primary responsibilities is to travel around the state teaching others how to save lives with the same drug that once saved him: narcan.
He was also given a second chance at a family.
Julie Stoecker, his wife said, "David is a wonderful husband, a wonderful provider for our family, he's a wonderful dad."
His daughter, Addison Stoecker, said, "He does things with me and he always makes fun things."
David Stoecker said the life he has today would never have been possible if he had not seen that officer, and decided to recover from his addiction.
"I mean recovery is everything, everything positive that I do is because of recovery. Period," he said.
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Now that Missouri is entering the medical marijuana industry, two Democratic lawmakers from Kansas City want... More >>
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A 36-year-old woman who worked for a subcontractor at the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence admitted... More >>
COLUMBIA - Animal control is urging pet owners to keep their pets inside or in a safe shelter during the... More >>
COLUMBIA - The Salvation Army is providing food assistance for furloughed federal workers through their food pantry. Food assistance is... More >>
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Corrections and Governor Parson announced Friday a new plan to address staffing shortages... More >>
COLUMBIA - An individual has been pronounced dead after a house fire Thursday night at 1203 Lakeview Avenue. Firefighters... More >>
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri congressman has apologized for yelling "go back to Puerto Rico" at Democrats on the... More >>
KINGDOM CITY - Callaway County deputies arrested a juvenile in connection to a threat made against students at North Callaway... More >>
HILLSBORO (AP) — An eastern Missouri police chief has resigned and an officer has been terminated amid an investigation into... More >>
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that a former Missouri high school coach had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a... More >>
MONITEAU COUNTY - Deputies arrested a Tipton man Thursday in connection with a pair of burglaries from around the county.... More >>
COLUMBIA – Across Mid-Missouri, MoDOT crews are making final preparations to ensure they are ready to take on this weekend’s... More >>
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been charged with child endangerment after his 14-month-old son arrived unresponsive at a... More >>
COLUMBIA - The Route AC (Grindstone Parkway) bridge of U.S. Highway 63 will close for 60 days this summer. MoDOT... More >>