Brian and Samantha A
AGES: 29 (Samantha) and 35 (Brian)
ADDICTION: Percocet, then heroin
Status: clean for 1 YEAR
Samantha and Brian became addicted, reached bottom, and have climbed out together.
Samantha started on Percocet given her by family members when she had pain. Then, following gallbladder surgery in 2013, she ran out of prescribed Percocets. A friend supplied her with a large number held by her late mom. Samantha shared them with Brian, then tried heroin, and they were hooked. They stayed on heroin for 3 years. During that period the habit cost from $80 to $300 per day. They had good jobs at Amazon but spent their entire earnings on drugs.
Brian, too, started on pills which he “dabbled with” as a youngster. Heroin “snuck up” on him as he went from a “weekend warrior” to using 6 days in a row … which was when he realized there was a serious problem. For the rest, he and Sammy were in complete sync through the addiction and the grief that followed.
To pay for the drugs, they sold everything, pawned what didn’t sell, and bartered for the rest. While they still had their car, they drove other people to buy drugs and were paid in heroin. They lost the house, an apartment, both cars. ‘We were a hot mess” living in the unfinished basement of her grandmother’s house. She lost weight, they were covered with bruises, and personal hygiene was unimportant. She contracted Hep-C during this period. Protective Services eventually took the kids, who now lives with her father and grandmother.
Both Sammy and Brian entered treatment and have stayed clean for a year. They have earned back visitation rights for the kids and are on course to regain custody. They are moving to an apartment of their own. Brian has found a good job, so there is food on the table.
Her plea to others: “don’t be so quick to judge addicts. Listen to them. Give them a chance to be heard.”
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