Until 10 months ago, I used substances for 40 years. I grew up poor and started using crack cocaine when I was a 12-year-old kid because my stepfather was a big time drug dealer and used to bring 10 kilos from Miami every week. We would steal drugs from him and snort them and I became addicted at a young age because they were there for the taking. Then my mom put us in a home, also around when I was 12, and there were drugs there too. I was young and had easy access and it made addiction easy.
I’ve been in and out of treatment programs my whole life. Before this past time I was down and out and sleeping in the street. My life was all about drugs and I got into stealing and it was just bad. I just finally gave up and knew God wanted me to get help. I was using like $200 a day in drugs and brought myself to the Episcopal Hospital psych ward because I wanted to kill myself. I was using too many drugs and having thoughts that weren’t me. Once I began getting help the thoughts of killing myself went away and I knew I needed to stop using drugs. My faith was a big part of helping with sobriety and accepting help when it comes or else I would have kept living on the street.
My insurance suggested I attend a long-term program, so I went to New Start II and served there for 6 months and stepped down to New Start 1 and completed 4 months there. So I’m 10 months clean and also stopped smoking cigarettes 7 months ago. I don’t live a life that involves drugs anymore; that’s all behind me. I am very grateful for Pathways the program and all the people who came into my life to help me. My goal now is to focus on sobriety, keep my apartment, and surround myself with positive people.