In Monroe, Wash., a bedroom community just outside Seattle, everyone knew the Curcio family. But after Sept. 30, 2008, Anthony Curcio, the family's golden boy, would become infamous.
Curcio's father was a former star wide receiver at the University of Idaho, and he and his wife ran a successful landscaping company. Following in his father's footsteps, Anthony Curcio excelled in basketball and football, breaking all receiving records at Monroe High School.
"Catching a touchdown pass, that's a true feeling. It was everything that I wanted to be, it was falling into place," Curcio said in an interview with "20/20."
He was popular and talented, and he was even dating his school's cheerleading captain, a girl named Emily. He was the life of every high school party. "The first time I ever drank, it's like, boom, I light up like Vegas," Curcio said.
Beneath the golden boy image there was a monster lurking -- addiction -- that was on the brink of being unleashed.
After graduation Curcio received a scholarship to play football at his father's alma mater. During practice one day, Curcio tore his anterior cruciate ligament, ending his promising college football career and introducing him to the powerful pain killer Vicodin.
"I was insecure about not being the best athlete," he said. "I was insecure about not being good enough, about throwing away my football career. And I was insecure, really, just about being a failure. Vicodin took that [insecurity] away from me."
When his prescriptions ran out, Curcio, craving the waves of euphoria that the pills brought, began forging prescriptions or injuring himself to get prescriptions, stealing from friends' medicine cabinets and doing almost anything he could to get high.
To fund his habit, Curcio stole furniture from the university and sold it on eBay; he also counterfeited prized baseball cards and sold them for thousands of dollars.
Curcio was living a double life. He had married his high school sweetheart, Emily, and they had started a family. Yet in secret his addiction was getting stronger. Four rehab attempts failed.
"What happens in my mind, or in an addict's mind [is], I forget. I forget how bad the withdrawals are. I forget how much pain it causes. What it does to my mom, worrying. What it does to Emily. What it does to our relationship. What it does to me, as a person, putting another hole in me. I forget everything. All I remember is that moment, after I take pills, and feeling like the man again, everything's cool," Curcio said.
After college, Curcio saw an opportunity for fast cash in the booming real estate market. He began flipping homes, using his profits to buy beautiful waterfront properties and fancy cars while desperately trying to keep up with his nearly $15,000-a-month addiction. Vicodin graduated to cocaine, then to crack.
"On the outside, here I was, this confident person, when we moved into this nice, brand new house. I have this beautiful wife. Got into real estate, everything's great, on the outside. But on the inside I had no control," Curcio told "20/20."