Opioid Prevention Toolkit

OPIOID & HEROIN AWARENESS TOOLKIT A Prevention Guide for Families

A Local Story Love. This is the one fundamental thing every human being desires, and the one thing that everyone desires differently. I grew up in a home where that word was greatly misunderstood- we all desired it, but no one knew how to give it. My birth father had left when I was 5, and my mother was left to quickly marry a man she had just met when I was 9. He

adopted me, and from the day they got married they were trying to figure out how to get a divorce- leading to a lot of fighting, verbal abuse, and abandonment. My mother eventually moved to Massachusetts and I stayed with my new father. He did the best he could with what he was given. Thus, I ventured on my own journey where at the age of 14 I found that ‘love’ in a group of kids a few years older than me. They liked me! And, they actually wanted me around! Desperate, I began doing what they did in hopes that

“I didn’t understand how this could have happened ..”

they would show me more attention. A cigarette, a can of beer, marijuana, and pills. I liked the pills so much I ended up pretending that I had the disorder in which they were prescribed for, and got a prescription from a doctor for myself. Not shortly after, I got caught for selling them, still at the age of 14 and had my first consequence with the law. Things were still so chaotic at home that I found it easy to get away with more and more, and the counselor I had been referred to often fell asleep while talking. So I went on my merry way, seeking what I now know as love in the wrong places. This proceeded to go on throughout high school. When I was 17, I met a guy who really liked me. He also really liked the harder drugs; which I secretly liked too, I had just never met anyone who liked them as much as he did. I resisted the needle for a few months, but eventually gave in. This relationship resulted in abuse, a devastating heroin addiction, and an unplanned pregnancy. I saw things I wish I hadn’t, done things I wish I hadn’t done, and saw people who I desperately wish were healed as I am today. Life was quickly a mess. I wanted out. Eventually he went to jail, and social services entered into mine and my daughter’s life. They told me I needed to get sober, or they would take my daughter. I told them that I agreed with them and that I desperately, desperately wanted to. For the next year however, I didn’t. I took multiple outpatient/medication treatments; in one I relapsed four times until they permanently discharged me from their hospital and forced me into inpatient treatment. There I lasted four days until I couldn’t handle the withdrawals anymore and left. I went to another outpatient treatment in another city; got my beautiful daughter back, but only to have her taken by social services again after having yet another relapse. I so badly wanted permanent sobriety! It was the hardest thing I have ever encountered. I would get a random thought about using (such as ‘I want a donut’ or something, except it would be ‘heroin would make me feel better right now’), and I would attempt to overcome it, talk about it, or force it out, but it would just grow. The thought would grow into an obsession, where I would crave the drug nonstop. They would grow until I would use, resulting in nothing good – ever. I couldn’t string together even a few weeks of sobriety and I came to the point of not wanting to live anymore. What was the point?

“I desperately, desperately wanted to.” (get sober)


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