SADDLE RIVER, N.J.– Christian Alecci of Saddle River stood on the roof of his five-story apartment building gazing at the starry sky. Strung out on alcohol and prescription pills, he didn't know whether to step back or jump.
Then his phone rang. It was his father, whom he hadn't spoken to in weeks.
"I waved the white flag. I wanted a better life," Alecci, 30, told Daily Voice. "I was done blaming everyone else around me."
Today, Alecci is a personal trainer and published author .
After locking himself in a hotel room for two weeks to detox, he checked into a Connecticut treatment facility.
Alecci, who believes he was born an addict, has been sober since October 2011. He recently self-published a book, " Avon: The Storms of Change, " which he describes as "a literal battle against my addiction" as told through characters he created in his darkest times.
"I started escaping into another world. I created this world that was even worse [than his]," he said. "It was a place to escape."
Alecci was adopted at nine months by two financial professionals.
At 14, he downed half a glass of vodka, thinking he was he was filling a void.
“I blamed my parents for my issues when I was the problem," he said. “I wanted to live life how I wanted to live life.”
Before long, Alecci was using Xanax, Percocet, cocaine, and Ecstasy, while getting into bar fights and alienating those closest to him.
"I turned into a monster," he said. “I’m amazed that I haven’t flipped my car.”
At 20, Alecci was working alongside his family at a major financial institution. But, he said, “I screwed that up so bad [the company] forced me out of there."
Unable to pay his bills, he lived in an apartment with no electricity. He charged his phone and bathed in the sink at a local Starbucks.
Then came the critical rooftop moment one night in Hackensack.
After getting treatment, Alecci turned to working out. He dropped 20 pounds and two waist sizes and became a personal trainer.
"I made a complete change from the person I was to the person I am now," Alecci said with a smile. “If you can get over addiction, there’s no reason to sweat the small stuff.”