Brian Rinker Overcomes Heroin Problem to Graduate from College

May 28, 2014

CONTRA COSTA TIMES -- Brian Rinker is back on his feet. A 34-year-old Capitola native, Rinker overcame years of alcoholism and heroin addiction that dominated his 20s. He graduates from San Francisco State this spring with a degree in journalism and a place at a graduate program at University of California, Berkeley. He enrolled in City College of San Francisco in 2010 and took an interest in journalism. But the major helped to readjust him. The more he wrote, the more he enjoyed the major. He even garnered awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges for news stories and photos. He wrote about his addiction years, penning a column at San Francisco State’s student newspaper when he transferred there. Dramatic as it sounds, Rinker said journalism saved his life. “It gave me an important function in life,” he said. “In my early years of sobriety, it was important to have a purpose. I have other purposes, but this drove me in a personal and academic way.”