ADDICTION: Percocet (opioid)
STATUS: In recovery. Clean 5 years
In the late 1990s, Chrystal had her dream job as a dance teacher, teaching dance to 400 kids per year. Then she hurt her back and was prescribed 120 Percocets per week. “I could just walk in and pick up a scrip. What the doctor gave me only lasted so long, so I started buying it on the street. I learned I was addicted from the people I started getting it from … when I got sick, people said, You’re not sick, that’s withdrawal. You’re addicted.”
Chrystal was actively addicted from 1998 until 2006, but right after her daughter was born she entered a methadone clinic. She stayed with methadone until April 11, 2013, when she stopped. “I said, that’s it, I’m done with this.” Her family has supported her, allowing her to stay off work and be treated.
“I will always be an addict … at any time I could just slide back down. Complacency is the worst enemy. As the years go by, you sustain a normal life, but it always has to be in your mind, because if you forget that’s when relapses happen.”
“Addiction cost me my dream job, caused trust issues with my family, cost me friends, money, you name it. The methadone rotted my teeth. It takes a long time to get all that back … but you can, you can get it back. I have it mostly back, but not all. Some friends of mine, boyfriends, the hurt that I caused them was just too much.”
“When you’re in recovery, you want to give back. I want this story out there … I hate having my picture taken, but I want everybody possible to know about this. When you’re in active addiction, you don’t see people who are doing well … you see other addicts. When you actually become clean and start meeting people just like you, you realize it can be done, that there are tons of people just like you doing well in recovery, and if they can do it you can do it.” “I just want to be comfortable in assessing myself for who I am now., just accept myself for me. I’m going to turn this situation back to positive, and that’s what I’m doing right now.”