In recognition of national drug court month, Amanda was gracious enough to share her story about how she found recovery through drug courts.
I began using drugs at the age of 13. I grew up in foster care and moved from home to home and school to school for about 6 years of my life. In this time, I struggled a lot with feeling unloved and unwanted. I was too young to understand that my mom was sick and that’s why I couldn’t live with her, yet old enough to know that each home I lived in was only temporary and that I was taken in because I needed somewhere to go, not because I was wanted. I was eventually placed back into the custody of my mother, and from then on out, I grew up in a household where everyone except one sibling used, and therefore I thought it was normal. I knew it was illegal and wrong on some level, but it was the only life I knew. I was successful in school despite my drug use and managed to graduate high school. It was at that point, however, that my addiction took a turn for the worse.
I began trying other “harder” substances, and eventually as my drug use increased, my morals and values began to fall to the wayside. I lied, stole, and cheated. I became someone I was ashamed of. At the age of 19, I started selling drugs. Things just kept on getting worse and worse for me. I wondered how much more I could take. At the age of 20, I hit my bottom. One of my best friends lost his life to his addiction, and I was arrested for selling drugs and for possession. Luckily, I was given the option to be put into the drug court program instead of doing jail time, and I made the best decision of my life, which was to take that offer. I went from a life with no structure at all, to one with strict routine, including weekly individual and group therapy sessions, weekly check-ins with the judge, and at least 3 twelve step meetings a week. Most importantly, the program required abstinence from drugs. I fought the process for the first several months, but as time went by and I settled into the routine, I began to see results.
My life started to get better, slowly but surely. I was able to learn how to live life without using drugs and about who I am without drugs. I found a love for myself that I had never had before, and learned how to deal with other people as well. I was presented with opportunity after opportunity, and eventually a job offer came along that really improved my life. I never would have gotten the job if it wasn’t for the drug court program helping me to learn how to stay clean. After a long year and a half, I graduated from the drug court program and was faced with living life clean on my own. Thankfully, through the drug court program, I was introduced to a twelve step fellowship that I continued to be a part of even after graduating. I have been a member of that fellowship ever since. Through the grace of my higher power, the caring members of the drug court team, and the fellowship I am a part of, I have been clean from all drugs since December 11th, 2010.
Since that day, I have been freed from the desire to use drugs. I know today that there is no problem I encounter that using will make better. Today, I get to be a responsible and productive member of society. I get to be a supervisor, a good daughter, a student, a sister, a Godmother, and a friend. I get to be all these things and have received so many blessings in life, all because I made a decision when I was 20 years old to go through the drug court program. I couldn’t be more grateful for the program that saved my life.