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Trauma and Addiction — My Story

After a female suffers from addiction-related trauma, a program for drug and alcohol treatment for women can help change her life. I am 16 years old, and I escaped death.  As I sit here and tell you my story, I am reminded over and over again how lucky I am that recovery is an option for heroin addicts. I know the perception of a heroin addict is someone who’s been neglected growing up, someone without supportive parents and a loving home.  But that is far from the truth.  The majority of my circle of friends comes from affluent homes, with stay at home moms and successful dads.  Most of our parents baked the cookies for the class parties and volunteered for the field trips.  In short, we are the country club crowd, the upper middle class, cul de sac kids.

My Addiction Story — The Beginning

Teenage girls can be naïve; that’s just a fact.  It’s sad that some of us want so badly to feel accepted that we follow the lead of others.  Often times, before we are able to see the error in our ways, we are in too deep.  That’s exactly what happened to me—when I was 13. You heard that right, I was 13 years old, and I tried heroin for the first time. Not to sound cliché, but my addiction began just like most teenage drug addictions—I wanted to fit in.  I wanted that mysterious boy to notice me, and I wanted the cool kids to invite me into their circle.  It sounds like a crazy YouTube prevention video, or like something a health teacher would use during his anti drug lessons, but sadly, in my case, it’s the truth.  I now understand why the warnings are so cliché; it’s because they really are the warning signs…

My Addiction Story — The Middle

Eventually, I made my way into the crowd that people notice.  I was popular, and I was standing out in the crowd.  I got good grades, people knew me, life was good.  Then, I began getting invited to hang out with the older kids.  A few of us would go along with them on the weekends to parties that we knew were way too dangerous for us to be attending. Partying with the older crowd exposed us to things we’d never seen before.  When we were offered heroin for the fist time, we were all scared.  None of us, however, were willing to throw away the newfound acceptance and freedom we were experiencing.  So, we tried it.  Even as I write about that first experience, I am taken back to the feeling of euphoria and complete elation that I felt as the drug entered my veins; it was like no other.  I wanted nothing more than to feel that way.  ALL. THE. TIME. I spent the next three years of my life chasing that high.  There are some things I did that I am terribly ashamed of.  I stole from my family.  I stole from my friends.  I pawned irreplaceable sentiments for $10 stamp bags, and I didn’t think twice about it.  I got good at lying.  I lied to my parents, who had a clue I was up to no good, but had no idea to what extent.  I lied to my friends, who didn’t know how to help me.  I lied to everyone, and more often than not, none of them were any the wiser.

My Addiction Story — My Near End

I often think back to this day and wonder how it could have gone differently.  Then I look up and thank the lord that it didn’t. Like most kids, I didn’t heed the warnings that were going around.  Several people in the area had overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl, and heroin users were being warned to be careful.  But, when you are looking for a high, you don’t pay attention to those “anti-drug” people. It was Christmas Eve, and I snuck out the car to “get presents” for my little sister and brother.  I was really getting a gift for myself… All I remember is waking up and learning it was three days after Christmas—nothing more.  Apparently my siblings, in their excitement about receiving my gifts, went to the car to find me.  What they found was me convulsing and vomiting all over myself in a completely unconscious state.  My little brother and sister saved me from dying from an overdose. Let me tell you how hard it was to look at them for a long time afterward.  Let me further tell you that it is hard for them, to this day, not to worry when I leave the house. I have since found help and have completed a program for getting clean.  I go to meetings often, and I have been clean for over a year. But if I didn’t almost die that day, I know I would be dead today.