From Heroin Addiction to Recovery: One Student’s Journey

heroin addiction“Michael” was a typical North American student. He worked hard to achieve good grades and away from school he enjoyed spending time with his fellow students and friends. Like most students, he struggled with money and decided to find a roommate to help him pay for the monthly rent of his apartment, a short walk from campus. His story of heroin addiction began the day his new roommate moved in.

From Trying Heroin to Jail

Michael became close friends with “Chris”, his new roommate, and soon began to try many of the activities Chris was involved in. One night, Chris convinced Michael to try heroin and experience the effects for himself. From there, Michael’s life began to unravel. It wasn’t a fast journey to addiction. It was a journey that involved occasional hits at parties or that one hit after class to get his head in the right place to relax. But soon Michael realized he had no life outside of his heroin addiction. With little money available, he resorted to shoplifting to buy the drug he craved. After his fourth time stealing from a local mall, he was arrested and sentenced to a month in jail.

Heroin Hell

Upon his release, Michael was shunned by most of his family, except his older sister, Christine. Christine would call Michael every day to check how he was feeling. Michael’s addiction had only worsened during his time in jail and Christine realized he was unwell. At one point during a conversation, it dawned on him that he’d eaten only one small meal in the previous seven days. This realization (and Christine’s shock and confusion) was the turning point at which Michael’s journey became one of a personal struggle for survival.

Gaining the Courage to Begin Heroin Addiction Rehab

Michael, along with the support of friends and his sister, decided to begin a rehab program. The first stage of rehab began with Michael as a patient at a local facility. There he was given methadone by the specialist in charge of his recovery. He was also placed in a group counseling program that allowed him to speak with and hear from other addicts also in recovery. Over time, the methadone began to quell Michael’s urge for heroin and, slowly, the dosages of methadone he was required to take were decreased. Michael began to feel more clear-headed, less nervous and better able to communicate with those around him. It was a process that took several months spent both inside the facility and in home care.

Now, three years later, Michael has taken great interest in cycling. He recently bought his first “athlete’s bike” and will soon be taking a trip across his home state to take in the sights and experience a life of freedom that he had once never thought possible.

The Path to Recovery Begins with Personal Courage and Loving Care

Stories such as Michael’s tell us two important things about heroin addiction. First, they tell us that addiction can affect anyone at any time. Second, they tell us that, by working with loved ones and gaining personal belief, understanding and courage, an addict can recover from a serious drug dependence problem.

 

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