Derrick Moore, a motivational speaker and author of “The Seven Steps of Sobriety,” hails from East Anchorage, Alaska. Once a star athlete with excellent grades and scholarship offers, Derrick seemed to have it all. However, his life took a dramatic turn after a fight at a basketball game. This pivotal moment set him on a path of addiction and eventual redemption, a story that is both harrowing and inspiring.

Derrick’s identity was deeply tied to athletics. After being kicked off the team, he sought a sense of belonging in the streets, where he found camaraderie and purpose. One night, he and a friend were driving around when his friend committed a robbery. Not understanding the gravity of the situation, Derrick was soon labeled the “six-dollar bandit” by the media, transforming him overnight from a promising athlete to a felon.

Growing up in a single-parent household as the oldest of three children, Derrick felt immense pressure to succeed, feeling like he needed to take on the role of man of the house from a young age. At 17, he had his first drink to cope with his insecurities. Following his arrest and felony conviction, his drinking escalated, leading to his imprisonment. Upon release, he turned to cocaine and other substances to fill the void left by his lost identity.

By 19, Derrick’s life had spiraled further out of control. He was using cocaine daily and consuming ecstasy multiple times a week. At 22, after another stint in jail, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend an audio engineering college. Living with family, he struggled to transition from hustling to being a broke college student. The death of his favorite uncle prompted his return to Alaska, where he quickly reverted to his old habits and caught another felony charge.

On the run from the law, Derrick found himself hiding in a hotel. A friend, drunk and high, was playing around and accidentally shot himself in the head. Derrick left the scene, unable to process the trauma. Turning to heroin for solace, he spiraled further into addiction, becoming homeless and a full-time criminal to sustain his drug use.

At 26, Derrick signed up for a seven-day detox program. Though physically improved, he remained mentally lost and committed a crime to get money. Feeling hopeless, he contemplated suicide. However, federal agents arrested him, marking the beginning of his transformation.

During his incarceration, COVID-19 forced Derrick into isolation. He began reading self-help books, including “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale, which introduced him to self-love. He started meditating, exercising, and taking accountability for his actions.

After the lockdown lifted, Derrick resisted the temptation to relapse. This moment marked a significant turning point. Today, he is a sobriety coach with his brand, Hardaway Learning. His journey emphasizes the importance of accountability, discipline, and consistency. Derrick advocates celebrating progress, no matter how small, and provides one-on-one coaching, currently free for the community.

Derrick Moore’s journey from addiction to sobriety is a powerful reminder that no matter how far one has fallen, it is never too late to change course. His story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of self-love and acceptance. Derrick can be reached on all social media platforms at “Hardaway Learning,” where he offers a safe, judgment-free space for those seeking help. This interview was an eye-opening experience, demonstrating that everyone’s journey is different, but we all have a purpose.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Derrick Moore @hardawaylearning