My journey from NYC nightlife to Inpatient Drug Treatment

I was blessed with beauty, smarts, talents, and unfortunately addiction too! Growing up in upstate NY was nice. I had a normal family who taught me the importance of culture, education, and health.

But when I was 15, I started taking the train to NYC and discovered the beginning of the NYC rave scene. I spent every free moment I had in the city and during this time I discovered my love for drugs, sex, dance, and music.

My popularity in school gave me opportunities to receive awards and nominations that I soon discovered I could not actually receive because I began to cut school and stay in NYC. It was devastating to my friends and family when I was nominated homecoming queen and could not show up to receive my crown.

I slowly made my way to my drug of choice – “heroin” – and joined the needle exchange program to receive clean needles for my heroin drug addiction.

Luckily, I graduated high school and was accepted to a very well known art school in NYC. I moved to NY, excited to show my talents in the fashion industry and excited to hang out where my drug of choice and my nightlife was easily accessible.

I was a shining star in the rave culture mostly due to my great sense of fashion and my personality that everyone loved. I got to be on talk shows as a “club kid,” knew everyone in the scene, and of course everyone knew me.

As I became a famous club kid, I began to fall out of normal society more and more. I was kicked out of fashion school and soon after got accepted into another NY school to study fashion.

Because of my heroin addiction, my studies suffered, and I was expelled from the new art school. I started living with random friends from the rave scene and raved every day until the morning, slept, and raved again.

Over time, I began to wish for a normal life. In one of the rare moments that I was thinking clearly, I told my parents that I wanted to try and finish college and have a career. They sent me to a heroin detox center in New York that got me clean for very a short time. Almost immediately upon returning home and rejoining my friends (who are all users too), I was back to using again.

My parents did some research on the web and learned that for a lasting recovery drug detox should always be followed up immediately with drug treatment. They found an inpatient drug treatment center in south Florida called Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches that offered both detox and treatment at the same center. They choose them, because they were out of state, and my friends wouldn’t be able to visit or get to me.

BHOPB (Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches) really was a life changing experience for me. The quality of care I received there was so amazing. During my therapy sessions I learned that I was the problem and drug abuse was merely the symptom. I learned about the disease of addiction and that one was not enough and one thousand was too many. While I was in drug treatment, AA and NA brought in meetings, and I met people and heard stories of life-changing recovery. I remember one in particular where a person got sober and became a portrait artist who painted portraits of famous people. I thought, “Wow, I would love to be successful and have that lifestyle.” I started to see some hope for myself grow a little bit each day of my inpatient drug treatment.

I stayed at BHOPB for 90 days. My inpatient drug treatment included daily group therapy, individual therapy and outside and inside NA & AA meetings. I learned the necessary life skills and tools to stay clean and sober once I was back on the outside. One of the counselors created a personal discharge program for me to continue to follow so I could stay on my path of remaining clean and sober.

When I returned home I went back and finished college, got a sponsor in AA, went to meetings every day, became active in AA, and got my first job.

The life I have today is a direct result of my treatment at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches. Every day, I use all the tools I learned there to help me stay clean and sober. I would not trade my new life for the anything, and I only hope that anyone reading this can one day achieve a successful recovery from their addiction too.

Pamela B.
New York, NY