I Thought I Would Be on Methadone for the Rest of My Life
“Before I came to Narconon Suncoast, my life was completely out of control. When I was 13, I started drinking and smoking weed. I would run away from home every weekend and party while my mom was out searching for me, praying I was alive. I would skip school every day and go hang out with the drop-outs and the addicts. I failed 9th grade 4 times because I refused to live by anyone’s rules but my own. I did not care about consequences. I didn’t care about myself. By the time I was 16, I was taking multiple 30mg Oxy’s every day.
“I continued to take pills for about a year. One day I was at home and a ’friend ’ came over to buy some weed. He asked if I wanted to trade a little extra bud for some heroin. I made the trade and after I tried it, I started buying it every single day. My boyfriend at the time tried shooting up. I was horrified. It scared me and grossed me out. But one day when I was withdrawing, I wanted to get the heroin in my body as soon as possible, so I tried shooting up. After this, everything went to hell. I never snorted a line of dope again. I was in love with the needle and what it did to me. It took away my pain. It made me numb. I felt like if I had this, then I would never have to deal with any of my issues.
“I now know that you can only put something off for so long before it catches up with you. After I had been shooting dope and smoking crack for about 8 months, I was 110 pounds and I looked like I was dying. I was only 18 and I looked 30. My arms had track marks on every vein available. I started to hate myself and I wanted to die. Dying was the only way out that I could see. One day I was feeling extra bad and I decided it was time to end it all. I had just turned 18 and I hated life, myself, and everyone around me. I got 2 grams of dope from my dealer, went into the woods, wrote a bunch of letters to my family, and I shot almost all of it up. When I woke up hours later, I was angry and bitter that I didn’t stay “asleep” forever. I called my mom and she came to get me. I detoxed in a hotel room with her for about 2 days and I decided that my best option would be to get on methadone. The next day I went to a clinic and signed my life away. I quickly moved up through the doses up to 120 mg. I went to the clinic every single morning. I wasn’t able to get “take homes” because I was still using heroin, coke, and benzos, so I had no clean drug tests. The methadone clinic did not kick me out though. They would always say my next drug test needed to be clean, but it never was. I was giving them my money and they were feeding my addiction.
“After a while, I caught a few charges. I went to jail and I was terrified because I thought I would have to withdraw from the methadone. When I got to the jail to start my first 9-month sentence, I found out that the jail provided methadone. After I was released, I was transferred to a different clinic. I wanted to try to lower my dose, but when I asked the clinic to taper me, they said that I had to have been out of jail for at least 6 months and have 3 clean drug tests. At this point, I am 20 years old. I have been on methadone for 2 years and I am still shooting dope. By the time I was 21, I met a guy and moved in with him. He sold coke. I started to shoot coke and heroin together. I was taking benzos and drinking almost every day; I was completely numb to life. Every shot I would do I would pray and hope that it would be the last one; that I wouldn’t wake up from this one. The relationship I was in turned into an abusive and deadly relationship. My boyfriend and I got into a really bad fight one day and it got physical. The fights with him went on for a few days until I finally got out of that house and my mom picked me up. She had been in communication with a rehab called Narconon Suncoast. She asked me if I would be willing to go. I said yes. I didn’t want to live like this anymore.
“I arrived at Narconon Suncoast the next evening. When I got here, everyone was so welcoming and caring. I wasn’t used to this. I was scared to death about going through the withdrawal. The Withdrawal Specialists here are unlike any others. They do everything they possibly can to make you as comfortable as possible. They truly care. I got through the withdrawal from methadone. I was amazed with myself. Still to this day, I can’t believe it sometimes. I thought I would be on it forever. I didn’t think I was strong enough to make it off, but I found out that I was. The next part of the program is the sauna detox—that gets all of the toxins and drugs out of your body. At the beginning, this was hard for me and I was very defiant as I wasn’t to a point where I could accept getting clean yet. After the sauna detox, I moved onto the Objectives Course. I have always had anxiety attacks and been a very anxious person. Objectives taught me that I was in control over feeling this way. I realized that I’m in control over my emotions and feelings. I used to cut myself and since objectives, I have not thought about doing this, not one time.
“I’m currently in the Life Skills portion of the program and I never, ever thought I would be the person I am today. I care about myself now and know that I am a good person who deserves to live and be happy. I used to have a lot of bad days and very few good ones. Now I have good days. If anything bad happens, I am equipped to handle it and move on. This program has given me so much. I didn’t think I had a life to “get back, ” but I do and I have it now. If you are out there reading this and you don’t feel like you would be strong enough to get off drugs and have a good life, just know that I have never felt strong before this program and now I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. This program is the reason I am alive.”
R.K. – Narconon Suncoast Student