Ex-drug addict now registered nurse, plans to become doctor

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2019 07:37 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2019 07:38 PM

Ryan Cabrera Villareal passed the nursing licensure examinations earlier this month.

A former drug addict has fulfilled his dream of becoming a registered nurse at 23 years old.

Cebuano Ryan Cabrera Villareal, who at age 13 was hooked on drugs, said he thought he would never have a life after his addiction.

It came to a point where he would sell and pawn items from their house so he could have money for drugs. 

"Tungod to sa barkada, na-influence para mo belong," he said. 

(It was because of my friends, I was influenced so that I felt that I belonged.)

He was addicted to shabu for 7 years until his parents asked him to enter a rehabilitation center in Talisay City. He is now 4 years and 5 months clean.

After the program, he decided to pursue a nursing career so that he could proceed to medical school. 

Now that he is a registered nurse, Villareal said he would continue his plans to become a doctor so he could help other teenagers who were once like him. 

"Gi-require ra gyod willingness to accept the program, ug unsa man ang gi-agian ninyo nga kapaet ba, the best is yet to come," he said.

(It requires willingness to accept the program and that whatever you are going through, the best is yet to come.)

Villareal said he sees addiction as a public health issue and should be addressed properly. 

While waiting for the start of medical school, he serves as a resource person for the Department of Health and other drug rehabilitation centers.