High-rolling drug addict back from brink:
“I started praying my a** off!”
By Doug Dowty
Will Abt had it all: drugs, girls and cars.
A Tipp Hill drug dealer, he was clearing $3,000 a day. He had two 70-inch televisions, a truck, two motorcycles and a car.
But that wasn’t all. Will was also an honors graduate from West Genesee. He earned an honest living in an auto shop.
He was living two lives.
He knew God existed: Jailed as a teen for illegal pills, he’d been locked up with inmates who yelled and screamed.
After a week of no sleep, he fell on his knees and prayed. Ten minutes later, a guard told him the news: he’d been released until his court date.
But years went by, and the dark side took over.
He began dealing drugs after getting hooked on painkillers after a motorcycle crash. He’d been robbed at gunpoint. He’d retaliated.
Terrified, Will went to rehab in Florida three times. The first two times, he relapsed the day he left.
But he rediscovered church in Florida. And God moved again.
“I threw my hands in the air, and started to feel a warm, comforting sensation,” Will says. “I felt a hand on my shoulder, and for a minute, I felt weightless. It was as though God was telling me just open myself up, make myself able to receive Him and he would make everything all right.”
The Florida church sent Will to the Syracuse Vineyard when he came home. But the demons continued. He’d worship and connect with God, but get high as soon as he left.
His third time in rehab ended in 2015. He got a job in Florida fixing up high-end cars, like Lamborghinis. But he relapsed again.
Back in Syracuse, Will got busted with drugs. He wound up in jail for months.
Will knew this was his last chance to make something of his life.
His dad promised to stop talking to him if he ever got in trouble again. His twin brothers, only 5, hadn’t really ever known him.
“I started praying my a** off,” Will says.
He pleaded guilty and got three years’ probation. With help from Vineyard pastors, Will got a construction job and started a group for parents with drug addict kids.