Heather J.

AGE: 34

ADDICTION:  Crack cocaine, then meth

Status:  clean 6 weeks

Heather’s addiction started with physical pain.  In December, 2016, she was experiencing severe joint problems.  A friend said he would help. When he came back, he said “no pills.  But this should help.”  This was crack cocaine.  Heather says, “If you’re hurting really bad, crack helps. It is the most intense high you’ll ever experience but 5 minutes later it’s gone and you crave it again.  You want more and more and more and it’s never enough.”  By the end of January, 2017, she would spend $100 to $200 per day on crack.

After a trip to Vegas in February 2017, her marriage was on the rocks. She stayed in the house for a month to avoid the temptation to do crack.  Then she gave up. She went out and got high, and met Mark, her current companion. They did meth together. At the end of May, 2017, she started drinking.  She was out drinking with the guy who introduced her to meth – and blacked out. The guy traded her to his dealer, for his personal use.  When she came to herself she had no idea what had happened – until a friend of hers on Facebook forwarded a video of what she’d done.

She asked her husband for help to get her to a doctor.  He agreed first, then refused. Heather says, “so the depression got worse and worse.  And the using got worse. And the chasing [the dragon – the illusion that the initial high can be recaptured] got worse.”

Finally, she moved in with Mark. They continued to use drugs. Moving from North Carolina to Middletown, OH, they tried living with her father, but Mark got arrested. He served 19 days in “the dungeon,” Middletown’s underground jail, where they are in lockdown 23 hours a day.

Heather has been robbed repeatedly and has had two cars stolen. Even the dog was taken.

Mark got clean while in jail. Heather was also arrested and put into a diversion program and a mental health program.  They have now been clean for 6 weeks and are determined to stay that way.  Heather’s comment on addiction: “It doesn’t have a face. I am well-spoken and well-written. I look OK.  But my brother has scabs all over his face, never gets a haircut.  We’re both addicts. Addiction can be anyone, anywhere.”


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