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My experience with drugs-and recovery

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My experience with drugs-and recovery

My name is Trisha. I am currently 25 years old and in three days I will be celebrating 18 months free from heroin addiction. I want to share my story so that it may help someone else, so I am going to be very honest about how my addiction progressed. These details may be disturbing to some, but I feel it is important for me to share them because so many women who are addicted to drugs end up in these situations and I don't want it to happen to you. My first experience with opiates was at age 17 when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I developed an infection and was prescribed two bottles of pills. I liked the way it felt and even gave a couple to a friend of mine. We took them together and had a good time. After?some time passed,?I experienced several other medical issues for which?opiate medications were prescribed. Around this time I also began smoking marijuana and taking benzodiazepines?(prescribed by my psychiatrist). Eventually,?things got to the?point where I was completely unable to feel pleasure without drugs of some?sort. If the dealer was out or?there was no money to get anything, I was?totally miserable, mean and moody.?I would spend money on drugs that I needed to use to pay bills and this ultimately led to me losing my place to live. Right before that, however, I got introduced to heroin. My "buddy" that got it for me wasn't very specific about what he was getting for me. He said it was the same as Oxycontin but only cost $10 and came in a capsule. It was much cheaper than any of the other prescription opiates available on the street, so I decided to try it. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. After?the first time I used it, all I could do was think about it-how good it felt, how cheap it was, thinking about when I would be able to use it again. I now recognize this as having cravings for the drug, but I didn't back then. After I lost my place, I stayed with my boyfriend's sister's family for a little while. Having to move had separated me from my connection, but I was sure I would soon find another-and I did. At that point I began using heroin regularly via the intranasal route. My boyfriend was using with me. We used heroin every day, as much as possible. It was great for awhile, but soon we began having withdrawl symptoms if we didn't use. We moved back and forth from a few places and ultimately became homeless with no car. It was not a good situation. I did the only thing I could think of the secure shelter and income: I became a prostitute. Prior to this, we obtained money from various schemes and crimes. He sold his mother's jewelery and stole cash out of his sister's house. I sold some jewelry I had inherited from my grandmother and stole some things from my mother. When things got desperate, he would go to retail stores and steal things like video games and bluray discs to sell to a pawn shop. Before I contine with the rest of my story I want to tell you that neither of us would ever have done these things if we weren't addicted to heroin. The withdrawl symptoms from heroin are very severe, in fact, they are the worst thing I have ever been through in my life. Words cannot fully explain the efffect this has on you. It is like being in the worst discomfort of your life and knowing that there's something that you can get that will take it all away. When you think of a prostitute, you probably think of a streetwalker. I ran an ad on the internet. Men called me and then came to my location for the transaction. This was very difficult for me to deal with and at this point I began injecting heroin. I wanted to be numb when I was with these men. I made a lot of money, and the amount of heroin I did rose steadily. Being a prostitute was very damaging. I was beat, raped and degraded. My boyfriend had a especially difficult time watching all of this happen. I'll never feel the same about men. My life seemed unsalvagable. I made hundreds of calls looking for treatment, but didn't find much. I wanted to kill myself every day. I couldn't get high anymore-I was paying thousands of dollars a week in an attempt to feel normal. I never felt safe. I had resigned to end my life-and I was ok with it. Before I was able to do so, I was arrested for an old charge and spent about four weeks in jail. Its really rough detoxing in jail. They don't give you anything. I was still sick when I got out. I tried to wait it out, but after being in withdrawl for 3 months I was ready to kill myself again. I started Suboxone, and it has made such a difference in my life. I only wish I could have gotten on it sooner. Suboxone has alleviated all of my withdrawl symptoms and cravings and enabled me to move on with my life and I know I never would have gotten where I am without it. Methadone is the other alternative, but if you can, try Suboxone because it doesn't require daily clinic visits. My deepest wish is that the government would make treatment more accessible-or try court ordered treatment instead of jail or prison. I also think it is very unethical for someone to have to detox cold turkey in jail.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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