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Former congressional candidate Chris Taylor talks about battle with addiction

Posted at 7:26 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 00:05:29-04

It is a second chance at life for former Safford City Councilman and congressional candidate Chris Taylor. The war veteran survived Afghanistan, but one of the biggest fights of his life has been against drug addiction, long after coming home from war.

Taylor almost lost his life after overdosing on Heroin right in the middle of an energetic congressional race, in which he was trying to unseat current congressman Rep. Tom O'Halleran, during the primary election earlier this year.

Taylor's campaign ended with him landing in the hospital, fighting for survival. At the time, Taylor had declined ABC15's requests for an interview, saying he wanted to focus on his recovery.

Now, saying he is eight months sober, Taylor is finally willing to share the story of his struggle with addiction.

"The last thing I remember is that I was going to die and that I was going to abandon my 5-year-old daughter and my 1-year-old son," said Taylor.

Taylor's first campaign for office was based on his success with battling addiction. This time though, the war veteran who has come close to death several times while serving in Afghanistan said, his PTSD combined with the stress of running for election, and serving as a firefighter got too much for him.

"My addiction blindsided me, and I relapsed after almost seven years of sobriety," said Taylor.

He said he turned to Heroin as he had many times in the past, and took the same amount, but he immediately knew something was different.

"It hit me like a lightning bolt. I tried to control my breathing. I knew that I might be about to pass out, I tried to calm down. My right hand started to involuntarily seize, then my leg started to shake violently. I knew I was about to go unconscious so I tried to scream for help for my wife to hear me. I was locked in the bathroom and before I could get words out, I fell backward and went completely black," said Taylor.

Taylor said he thought his life was over.

Now he wants to use his struggle to break the stigma surrounding addiction. Taylor said he wanted to help others who were battling the same demons he had.

Taylor is not ruling out a future run for office, right now his focus is on his health.

You can triumph over addiction, but it is a daily battle that you can win every day," said Taylor.