substance abuse

‘It took an overdose to come to the conclusion I was not the young woman I was raised to be. Suddenly, everything began to click.’: Transgender man advocates for support in the ‘addicted trans community’

“I threw heavy flower pots through the glass front door and begged the police officer to shoot me. Sadly, the beast that is addiction took over. As terrifying as it was to unearth such a deep truth about myself, suddenly everything began to click. I began to recognize why I couldn’t stay sober for even an hour. I was not the woman I was raised to be.”

‘Do you have a son in Idaho?’ I instantly knew my son was gone. He took his life after a silly argument.’: Father says son’s death by suicide feels ‘unreal’ after his struggle with mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse

“I heard a knock on my door. I opened and saw a young policeman. He told me he had a phone number I needed to call. I quickly realized we had trouble. The officer claimed he didn’t know what it was about (doubtful). I called the number – it was answered by a person at the Boise morgue.”

 ‘I fell to the floor, grabbing at the carpet. ‘I want my brother,’ I screamed through loud sobs. ‘Lizzie, it’s true.’: Woman loses little brother to Fentanyl-laced Heroin, uses grief to create change

“A friend of mine randomly sent me this message: ‘I’m so sorry to hear about Randy. God Bless you guys.’ I had no clue what he was talking about. I quickly went to my brother’s Facebook page and saw ‘Rest Easy’ over and over again. He first smoked pot to ease the pain.”

‘How did I end up here?!’ I awoke in jail to the sound of a cell door slamming, no idea what happened the night before.’: Man beats life-long addiction, says ‘as long as you’re still breathing’ there’s hope for recovery

“I lost everything. I stepped out of jail with a few one-dollar bills and 3 cigarettes. I was missing a shoe, had blood on my shirt, and one of my fingernails was completely ripped off. I had taser burns on my arm and chest, and zero memory of my arrest. I faced the biggest decision of my life. I had to fight.”

‘I love you, sweetie. I’ll call you Friday.’ Those words will forever haunt me. I received a call from my mom when school ended. ‘This is the hardest thing I’ll ever tell you.’ I fell to the floor.’

“My heart sank. I could tell by her voice I had to get home. I still hear the words as she fought back breaking down. ‘We have to go. We have to get there!’ I remember having thought, ‘He seems better. He seems more like himself.’ My dad was back. Boy, was I wrong.”

‘Before I got out of the car she took a picture of me. ‘In case I never get to see you again,’ she said. She started crying. I was so sick of making my mom cry.’: Man finally gets clean after heroin, meth, crack addiction

“I ended up at a nearby Jack in the Box where my mom was waiting for me. I had made plans with her to meet, but had no intention of actually going. I instantly got an overwhelming sensation. The hair on my arms stood up. I felt a warmth crawl up my spine, and tears flowed down cheeks. I felt hope.”

‘Whatever. Clearly it’s the police officer’s fault.’ I crawled out the sunroof knowing my parents would murder me.’: Woman finds sobriety after 11 years of alcoholism, now ‘the person drunk me desperately wanted to be’

“Stressful day? Wine, please! Getting married? Drinks on me! Someone died? Dang, let me buy you a beer. Relationship problems? Shots! Sunday Funday. Manic Monday. Tipsy Tuesday. Whiskey Wednesday. Thirsty Thursday. 16 years old was the first of my many nights sleeping in a bathroom, remembering nothing. It didn’t stop for 11 years.”

‘My wife must regret spending her life with me. If she met someone different, she’d have perfectly healthy children,’ I told myself. ‘He is one of 34 people known to have this.’ My heart sank. ‘What? In the country?’ ‘No, in the world.’

“I remember thinking, ‘Maybe we just aren’t the best of parents.’ Little did I know my wife was secretly researching and had discovered a condition. One day, she showed me a video. My heart sunk. I felt dizzy. Straight away, I knew this was what our boy had.”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

‘I didn’t have a job or a house. My son was put in foster care. I lost everything because of alcohol.’: Father beats addiction after hitting ‘rock bottom,’ celebrates 3 years of sobriety

“I relapsed and spiraled downhill very fast. I stopped going to my drug and alcohol counselor. I started cancelling visits with my son because I was ‘sick’. I felt so hopeless and unworthy as a parent and human being. Then, my case manager showed up and reminded me I was in it for my son. I literally broke down and cried. I told her to leave, and she refused. ‘I will be with you for anything you need.’ She reassured me I had the potential to do this.”

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