Profiles in Recovery: The Damon West Story


It is very hard to imagine the kind of celebrity that is created in the state of Texas for a winning high school quarterback. While Hollywood has attempted this with movies like Friday Night Lights, and the television series by the same name, that state’s high school football culture remains one of the most extraordinarily American phenomenons in the history of sports.

And that is one of the reasons that Damon West story about addiction recovery is so compelling because he was one of those superstars.

With the entire city of Port Arthur, TX (population 40,000) behind his back, Damon led his high school team to championships as well as a starting position with the North Texas University football team. He was adored by that community, and had the good fortune of being the son of one of the most respected sports reporters in the state. In short, very few people have are blessed with such extraordinary gifts and opportunities, And yet, fate and biochemistry had another plan for West.

Fast-forward in 2008 and Damon West is arrested in one of the biggest busts in Dallas history for organized criminal activity for his role in the burglaries to fund his Meth addiction.

The consequences of his drug addiction and dealing led to a severe prison sentence, resulting in a 65-year prison term with very little chance of early parole. He would reentry society as a 93 years-old.

It was under these circumstances the Damon, against these seemingly terminal conditions, began his recovery with the full knowledge that he may be experiencing this new life only within a prison for the rest of his life.

The Spy caught up with Damon at the Bullitt House as he and Jefferson County criminal investigator Marcelo “Mo” Molfino were in the middle of a two-day tour of Talbot County schools to tell local students this remarkable story of recovery. The program was sponsored by Baird, St. John Foundation, and Best Western Plus.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. Damon West does not represent AA in this interview. For more information about recovery programs on the Mid-Shore, please go to the Spy Recovery section here


About Dave Wheelan

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