Meet Rachel E., currently 25-years-old. Rachel’s sober journey started on September 6, 2017. Her past addictions included fentanyl and heroin. Her introduction to substance abuse started with alcohol at age 11, marijuana at age 12, and Percocet at age 12 or 13.
Rachel’s mom was a drug addict and a dealer. When Rachel was young, she helped her mom by packaging drugs and going on deliveries with her. As you might imagine, Rachel suffered from a lot of trauma as a teen and she used drugs to bury her feelings and to deal with her subsequent mental health issues, but she hid it from almost everyone else except the other people within her drug circle.
She finally concluded that her options in life were to die, go to jail, or become sober. She did not like the first two possibilities, so she decided to get help through the New Destiny outpatient program. One of the main things that helps her consistently choose sobriety is that she never wants to go through withdrawal again. As an outpatient, she has been able to utilize Suboxone to help curb cravings for opioids. Most people start at a higher dose and then decrease over time until they no longer need the medication. Rachel is currently on a very low dose and she believes she will be able to be totally off the medication later this year.
One of the things that Rachel experienced was a loss of her old friends because of her newfound sobriety. However, she eventually realized that those people were not really her friends; they were just people who used drugs with her. Her best friend was a positive sober influence in her life and she and Rachel are still friends today. She has also been able to become friends with other people who are supportive of her lifestyle.
Participating in both group and individual therapy has really helped with her sobriety. As she got further along, therapy became more meaningful to her recovery. Rachel reports that her mental health has really improved, even through the isolation of the pandemic.
When she was a user, death was an ever-present possibility. Now in sobriety, Rachel doesn’t want to die, and she likes experiencing control over her body and mind. She no longer has cravings, doesn’t surround herself with drug exposure, and drug use is no longer a daily thought. She has a structured, professional office job and her future, both professionally and personally, looks very promising.