The story below was originally posted in April of 2019. We want everyone to know about Debra and her story of overcoming a lifetime of addiction and health struggles, to create the life she always wanted.
A Hard Start
Debra had a hard start in life. She was born addicted to heroin, her parents were both users before she was born. At the age of 13, Debra decided she was going to try heroin. Debra asked her father to shoot her up. He begged her not to. Debra told him, that if he didn’t give it to her, she’d go find someone who would. So he shot his 13-year-old daughter up with heroin. Debra had been addicted for decades until she began treatment at Therapeutic Health Services.
Treatment and Recovery
Debra has been a patient receiving Medication Assisted Treatment (methadone) at Therapeutic Health Services’ Shoreline branch for two years. For the last year, Debra has been completely clean from heroin for the last year. Her cravings being managed by her medication-assisted treatment and she is exploring the underlying cause of her addiction through regular meetings with her counselor.
Recovery has opened a new door for
Debra. She was recently cured of Hepatitis C. Debra had been trying to get the
cure for quite some-time after the treatment was released. The problem was she
was frequently relapsing into heroin use and would have to continually restart
the treatment process. She remembers feeling frustrated with herself and her
condition. Debra had a path to being free from the disease, but her addiction
was a barrier. Finally, with the help of Medication Assisted Treatment and her
counselor, Paula Wolf, Debra was able to complete the process and is now 100%
Hepatitis free. Debra fought hard to overcome this horrid disease, which claimed
the lives of both her parents.
Loss of her Husband
The last year has been incredibly challenging for Debra. She
lost her husband in April of 2018. He died from complications from methamphetamine
use. As she puts it “he was putting it in his morning coffee each day.” Debra
was devastated and it was this pain that helped her commit to becoming clean
Having sold her and her husband’s
home, she found herself without a place to live. Living with addiction for most
her life had a negative impact on Debra’s relationship with her family. With no
other place to go, she showed up at her son’s house and said, “I know I haven’t
always been good a mother to you. I know I wasn’t there for you when you needed
me,” He welcomed her into his home without hesitation and she’s been there
Today and Tomorrow
Debra is now living each day as
best she can. She’s involved in her church and has been trying to find ways of
being helpful within her faith community. Her hope now is to find a way of
using up her time. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” she said. Debra knows
the key to preventing her relapse in the future will be working hard on her
treatment plan goals, staying involved, and finding pro-social activities that
support her recovery.
Recovery can be a long and
challenging road. There is no cure for addiction and like most chronic
illnesses, it needs to be managed for life. Care at Therapeutic Health Services
recognizes this. Our team understands that patients need time to heal and move
past their addictions at the pace that’s right for them. Now that Debra is
clean, she can start working on finding herself, discovering who she is when
she’s not using heroin. Our team is there with her, every step of the way.
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