Central Nebraska is far from the bright lights of the big city. But, drugs are still a problem. The two central Nebraska men you are about to meet say drugs are as accessible here as about anywhere else.
Tonight, how addiction nearly ruined their lives. They share their story as our in depth report '5 Nights in the Fight against Drugs' continues.
"Cocaine, heroin, crank, meth," said Marcus Jones.
"The first time I ever drank I was like 12 years old," said AJ Shambaugh.
"Alcohol has been my biggest culprit," said Jones.
"The party never really stopped for me, everyday was a party," Shambaugh said.
"Shooting dope too. I used the IV," said Jones.
"I drank and smoked everyday, then I started getting into mushrooms, cocaine and just got worse from there," Shambaugh said.
AJ Shambaugh and Marcus Jones never imagined themselves as drug addicts or could have predicted what their addictions have cost them.
"I lost my wife, lost a lot of friends, lost getting to see my granddaddy before he passed away, my grandmother, lost a lot of respect in myself, that is something you really have to have," said Jones.
Marcus is homeless. At 46, he has been to prison 3 times, gone through several treatment programs and relapsed multiple times.
"When you do the stuff, the stuff I have done, I cannot imagine the pain and hurt, my mother, that my mother felt," said Jones.
It is what the men have not felt for years that has them both now seeking treatment.
"When I woke up it was the first thing I thought about doing, any spare moment I had I wanted to get high, it just gave me that numbness feeling so I did not have to feel anything," said Shambaugh.
When you think of a drug addict, you rarely think of a child, but Marcus and AJ were both experimenting with illegal drugs and alcohol before they were teenagers, regular users by high school.
"When I was 19 I got busted with cocaine, so I was facing a class 5 felony, I had to call my dad from jail and tell them I got busted, because they did not even know I smoked pot or did drugs," said Shambaugh.
After living at the Friendship house, a Grand Island half way house, AJ is proud to say he is clean.
"I am at a good place in my life, I am really close with my family, I have a good job, I have been clean for over a year," said Shambaugh.
For Marcus, staying clean is still a struggle. But he is getting help and seeking shelter at Crossroads in Hastings.
"I am lucky to be here, there is no doubt I am lucky to be here," said Jones.
Lucky and looking for a brighter future without drugs.