My parents came to the hospital once I had been identified. Ever since they had kicked me out that day in anger, they had been looking for me, but I hadn’t wanted to be found.
They stood over me in the hospital bed, looking older than I’d ever seen them look, and afraid. The doctors told them what had happened to me, and about the heroin in my system. They said I was lucky to be alive and that I needed treatment for heroin addiction right away.
Once I was cleared to leave the hospital, my parents took me straight to a rehabilitation facility. I was ambivalent. I felt like I had no other choice, but if I wanted my life to be better and be with my family again, this was my only option.
Detox was awful. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I was shaking and vomiting, and my whole body hurt. I would compare it to the flu, but the flu doesn’t make you anxious and depressed and make your body and brain cry out for heroin. Therapy was severe, but by far the hardest part of rehab for me was the detox process. I am thankful for it though because now that I know how painful it is, I know there is no way I could have detoxed from heroin on my own.
The facility gave me Suboxone to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which helped a lot. I did hours of therapy every morning with a counselor, and hours more in the afternoon with a group of other addicts. I was uncomfortable at first, but soon grew close to the others in my group and learned a lot from hearing their stories. The counselors helped me recognize why I had fallen into addiction in the first place and helped me see how I could change the trajectory of my life if I stayed sober.
Now I am in my twenties. I got my GED and finished college with a bachelor’s degree in business management. I bought a portion of Vincenzo’s from my parents, and I now run the restaurant. I also speak at my old high school about my addiction struggles during the time I was there.
I have turned my life around and made myself and my family proud, and so can you. Keep reading for more information about heroin addiction.