An emotional farewell on tonight's episode of Glee. Fans and the cast said goodbye to Cory Monteith, who played Finn on the show.
Monteith was found dead last July inside a hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The cause of death was an overdose from a mixture of heroin and alcohol. But tonight's episode didn't discuss his death or his addiction.
You're about to meet a man named Shane. He doesn't wish to share his last name but he did want to share his story. His path of addiction was very similar to Monteith's, and tonight was a reminder of the years he wasted abusing drugs.
Tonight the Glee cast said goodbye to Finn and fans once again felt the pain of Cory Monteith's death.
"That very well could have been me," says recovering addict Shane.
For 37-year-old Shane, tonight's Glee episode is a reminder of how lucky he is that he survived years of mixing heroin and alcohol -- the same substances that killed 31-year-old Monteith.
"There were several times where I did overdose, there were several times where I could have died."
This is Shane's mug shot from the last night he drank alcohol or used drugs.
"I attempted to take my own life and I was arrested that night and thrown in jail and I sobered up in jail for a while."
Now a husband and father, and the communications manager for NotMyKid, a Scottsdale nonprofit that aims to prevent drug use, it's hard to believe this is the same man who almost ended it all just 23 months ago.
"It's not even been two years yet and my life is 180 degrees from where it was."
But Shane calls himself the exception to the rule. He says less than five percent of drugs users who break addiction can stay clean. Even Monteith was in and out of rehab before his final days.
"Sadly I can't say it was necessarily surprising, I don't mean that about him as an individual. I mean substance is such a tremendous problem in this country and there are so many talented brilliant amazing people like Cory Monteith who are caught up in that world and a lot of times, they're hiding it from the people they love and the people that love them."
Shane hopes that tonight's Glee episode opens a conversation about drug and substance abuse.
He also said that after abusing heroin, meth and cocaine -- alcohol was the substance that scared him the most.