Kate was young, attractive and almost elfin. She had a pleasant briskness to her movements and spoke quickly and clearly. She was once again studying marketing and graphic arts after a lapse of several years since her last days in college, now planning to use these skills in her new job. You would never think that she had spent several months living in her car, shooting heroin and trying to stay warm in a Wisconsin winter before she finally found a rehab program that would provide her with lasting sobriety.
Her first use of an addictive substance was eight years before, when she was 13 years old. A disruption in her family provided her with an excuse to abuse cold medication. She followed this with steady drinking and marijuana use. Her mother finally found out about the drug abuse and confronted Kate with it. The only result was a physical fight between Kate and her mom, after which the substance abuse continued — indeed, expanded to include Ecstasy, mushrooms, cocaine and OxyContin.
A year later, Kate was shooting heroin. Because Madison, Wisconsin is close to Chicago, there was plenty of heroin available in the area.
By the fall of 2008, Kate had been abusing several drugs for some years and had been abusing OxyContin daily for a year. She realized by then that she was fully addicted. At first she was working two jobs but later, to support her drug habit, she learned how to steal small items to get the money. Eighty milligrams of OxyContin were needed each day to keep the addiction going.
But in many areas, heroin is cheaper than OxyContin, which explained the switch. Shooting heroin gave her a bigger kick than snorting OxyContin too, so she figured she got more for her money. By this time, she was 17 years old.
She was going to an alternative high school. She says that all the other kids in the school were also drug users so they all got along well.
In 2009, she began to be kicked out of her home, so she started bouncing back and forth between friends’ homes, her grandparents’ home and her parents’ home. She tried to get clean by going to a methadone clinic for a few months but that just kept her taking opiates.
In the summer of 2010, she began living in her car, having no other choice. She kept stealing items to get her drug supplies and without any of the usual facilities of a home, would go months without bathing or brushing her teeth. She was so high all the time that she didn’t care.
After seven months, it was a Wisconsin winter and she was forced to find someplace else to stay. She finally found a friend who did not mind her opiate use who would give her temporary housing. But after a few month at the friend’s house, her friend said she refused to come home and find Kate dead of an overdose. She’d already lost friends to heroin overdoses and didn’t want to go through that again. So Kate was out on the street again, just as she was planning to start up at the methadone clinic for the second time. This time, she didn’t even have a car to get to the clinic and home again.
Her mother, looking for a final solution to this difficult and persistent problem, found the Narconon program on the internet. Over the years, Kate had been to a couple of short-term rehabs and had even been prescribed Suboxone for awhile. None of it helped her get sober. The Narconon program turned out to be different for her.
Gradually, as she progressed through the Narconon program, the numbness of all the years on opiates began to wear off. It was challenging to go through all the changes required to recover from the addictive lifestyle but she stuck with it with help from the staff and supervisors. The Narconon New Life Detoxification flushed the residual drugs out of her system, helping her feel more alive again and preparing her to make progress from the rest of the program.
She learned about the people in your life who can be damaging and identified the people in her past who had not been good for her. The anxiety she had suffered from much of her life — that had been obscured by the opiates — finally faded away. The life skills component of the Narconon program provided her with a way to let go of old, painful experiences, helping her heal and start looking forward to the future.
Now, she’s using her college graphic arts skills, doing photography and learning page design. She’s looking forward to perhaps going to school again. She’s a hard worker now, earning her way instead of relying on theft like she did when she was a heroin addict. “The Narconon program is just phenomenal,” she said, noting the extreme difference between the homelessness of just a few months before and her sober lifestyle now.
If you know someone who is suffering from addiction to heroin, OxyContin or any drug, contact an Intake Counselor at a Narconon rehab center to find out how they can find help. Call 800-775-8750 today to get all the details on the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.