Khalil’s case was really intense as he wasn’t only addicted to heroin but also crack cocaine and because of this, he was only weighing 49kg.
There have been several stories of people suffering from drug addictions and how they were able to come out of it to start living a normal life, but, none has been as inspiring as the story of Khalil Rafati, a homeless drug addict.
This man had a bad history of addiction and had been knocked down too many times by overdosing on heroin. His life took a turn around after he overdosed and knocked down on heroin for the ninth time. As always, the paramedics desperately tried to save his life after they used a defibrillator to give him an electric shock.
Khalil’s case was really intense as he wasn’t only addicted to heroin but also crack cocaine and because of this, he was only weighing 49kg. The worse part of it is that his whole skin was covered in ulcers.
“I was arrested more times than I can remember [for drug offences]. I was completely messed up… I was always in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep.” Said Khalil.
He mentioned that he had tried to get out of it before but he couldn’t. However, when his ninth overdose happened, he knew it was time to get out of his mess and then he went to a rehabilitation centre where he spent four months. He had been drug-free ever since then.
Khalil started juggling jobs to make a living and that included him working at two rehab centres in Malibu, washing cars, walking dogs and doing gardening work.
He said when asked that
“I was able to save money. I worked hard, seven days a week, 16 hours a day.”
He then met an old friend from Ohio who taught him how to make vegetable and fruit juices and he soon became obsessed with doing it. For him at that time, he just needed anything to distract him and also make him happy.
In 2007 Khalil rented a house and also opened his own rehab centre, Riviera Recovery. The patients were paying $10,000 a month to stay at the facility.
Khalil starting exotic juice blends which he called Wolverine for the residents. The juice was a mix of banana, maca powder, royal jelly and pollen.
Soon, the reputation of these drinks spread beyond the building and in no time, people started calling in to buy them.
He then realized that there was enough demand to set up a separate business. So, together with his best friend and his girlfriend at the time, he launched Sunlife Organics.
He used his savings to fund the business with the first branch opening in Malibu. Khalil says it was an instant success, with a sales of $1m in its first year.
Today, he is the millionaire founder and owner of fashionable Californian health food business Sunlife Organics. This company is said to have an annual sales of more than $6m (£4.8m) from its six outlets. The outlets combine juice bars and cafes, and they also sell the firm’s clothing line. Asides this, the company is preparing to use its website to expand to 16 other US states and also into Japan.
For a child who grew up in the US Midwest with a Muslim father and Polish Jewish mother, Khalil was quite problematic. He got arrested severally for vandalism and shoplifting. As a matter of fact, he had to leave school without any qualifications.
When he was 21, Khalil moved to Los Angeles with the dreams of becoming a movie star. His acting career never took off as such and he moved on to playing in local bands. He was also cleaning cars for Hollywood stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Jeff Bridges, and Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash.
For some reason, he slid into drug addiction and in no time, he was sleeping in cardboard boxes beside other junkies and dealing drugs to help him fund his habit.
There are a lot of drug addicts dealing with how to get out of it and also worried about what their life would be after they seek help.
Seeing this story of Khalil Rafati, it is pretty certain that they can be whoever and whatever they want, if they make that move.