An inmate's story

Drugs and jail often go hand in hand.

A high percentage of inmates are behind bars because of drugs or what they did to get them.

KPLC's Rhonda Kitchens went behind the walls of the Calcasieu Correctional Center for a candid discussion with abusers behind bars.

Being in jail is not the life 22-year-old Michael Torres dreamed of as a child.

Michael Torres: "I'm somebody who should be, you know graduating college and having a great job."

But Torres, like so many others, became addicted to prescription drugs.

Torres: "It hurts my family a lot. As a kid growing up I had all of the potential in the world for some reason I chose to throw athletics and academics away to do drugs and sell drugs."

It's a cycle he says that was too powerful to break.

Torres: "Nobody wants to look in a mirror and say I'm addicted to pills or I'm a drug addict."      As he sits talking with us, the former high school football and baseball player, is well spoken and sensitive to those around him. A person he says you would never recognize under the influence of drugs.

Torres: "I was waking up in jail and having to ask the guards what am I am in jail for? What did I do?"

The list he says was long and it includes everything from armed robbery and assault to second degree battery.

While he's now serving an 8 year sentence, Torres knows he's living on borrowed time.

Torres: "Since I've been in here for 15 months I've had four of my friends, friends I grew up with, friends I played sports with, die. One just here lately in the past week. The people that I'm talking about that are on these drugs, they're not bad people, college students, you know, they have nice families."

But he says for some the tempatation is just too strong.

Torres: "Everybody wants to be cool. Everybody wants to have a lot of friends. Everybody wants to get a good looking girl."

While he used to think of drugs as the answer, he wants others to know there is a better way.

Torres: "I would tell them to stick with school, sports, if you can. And listen to your parents. I tell my mom I'm going to make you proud of me, I am."

Torres is also the father of a 7 month old baby that will be in kindegarten by his projected 2012 release from jail.