But for the Grace of God and my inpatient drug treatment in Florida

I can’t stress enough that heroin knows no stereotype. We’ve been conditioned to believe that this is a drug for people who are living on the fringes of society, with seemingly little or nothing to lose; but it’s much bigger than that. I was high on one sort of drug or another-whether it was pot, pills, acid or anything else-for my practically my entire childhood and twenties. I never met a drug I didn’t like, and heroin was no exception. At first I didn’t think it would ever go that far, but somewhere along the line, I realized I was just one of those people that could “party” all night and rise and shine the next morning. I started to test myself: first with the pipe, then with the needle.

My first time shooting up was like a religious experience. It was a euphoria the likes of which I’d never felt, and knew in the back of my head was unnatural and came with a price. I stopped doing all other drugs and started doing heroin exclusively. This time, however, it became impossible for me to function in a regular life, as I’d been able with other drugs I’d taken. My body started to react very harshly to withdrawal. I was never in as much pain in my life as I was during my ill-advised attempt at self-detox in my home. I’d also see things and people that weren’t there, sweat gallons, and throw up constantly even though it was impossible for me to eat after a while.

By this point my practice was falling down around my ears, my chest always felt like there was a 50-pound weight on it. My boyfriend of six years then broke up with me and my life really went down the proverbial toilet. When I hit rock bottom I no longer feared death anymore and I started to actually think that I might prefer it to some of my darker withdrawal periods. What I feared the most in my mind was thought of winding up in a permanent vegetable like state and being trapped inside my own body. To stop this morbidly obsessive thought process I finally decided to attend a very well recommended Florida inpatient drug rehab facility.

During the first day of my heroin detox at their facility, the doctors were really helpful and did all they could to make me comfortable. As each day of my detox passed it thankfully got much easier. After I completed my detox, I then started on the behavioral health aspect of rehab with their therapists and began to explore my pathology of self-destruction and why I’d felt the need to be high and always physically test myself. This intensive behavioral therapy eventually got me to a place of self-realization that I could never have gotten close to at the outpatient rehab I had attended previously.

I knew if I leveraged my career and everything important in my life in the interest of getting well, it would pay off. I’m now 13 months sober and have re-established my practice and rebuilt my professional reputation. I even do pro-bono work for indigent addiction patients, provided they enter a facility after their legal troubles are resolved. The heroin addicts you picture suffering and emaciated in dark alleys often get there from a place of prominence and privilege. The only difference between them is the grace of god and being fortunate enough to attend an excellent inpatient drug treatment facility in Florida.

Gail C.
Verona, NJ