South Florida Drug Rehab saved my life.
This is not fake news. I was 20 years old and in the grip of a deadly opiate and alcohol addiction. I had tried to get sober in my hometown while still in college, attending an intensive outpatient program to try to stay sober and please the people around me. The problem? It did not work.
I would go to school and see all the students on campus drinking beer and guess what I would do? Drink with them. I would go to work and the strangest thing would happen there too. My co-worker would sell me pills. Shucks! Not today sobriety!
At the age of 20, I could not muster up the internal motivational and self-will to stay sober through one single day of school without drinking alcohol on campus, or one single day without buying opiates and using drugs at work. I was in a tough pickle.
People, Places, and Things
How does someone stay sober in his or her hometown without going to another location for rehab? I had attempted to do an intensive outpatient program, but since I had no accountability, I stopped after the first few sessions, plus I could never pass those stupid drug tests, which always made the drug addiction seem so real and undeniable. I was stuck in a vicious cycle. Every night I would go to bed and promise I would stop using tomorrow. Tomorrow would come and I would not be able to stop using, because I did not feel good and I could not overcome my mental obsession once I hit the school campus or my work parking lot.
In my hometown, I was surrounded by people who enabled me. I wanted every single day more than anything to just stop using drugs and alcohol.
One day I decided to call and make an appointment to see my private therapist and admit I was ready to get back into intensive outpatient programming. After a 30-minute session, he looked at me and stared for what seemed like forever. “Take this card” he said to me, as he leaned forward in his old leather chair.
I was told that day if I wanted a real shot at saving my life, I had to take some time to accomplish that for myself, which for me meant leaving the place I was creating the destruction. The card he handed me was for a Drug Rehab in South Florida and had a phone number on it. I left his office and sat in my car alone crying and smoking a cigarette before having the courage to pick up the phone and dial the number.
A Leap of Faith
A gentleman answered and spoke to me for a while. I told him what was going on in my life and that it was suggested to me that my best chance of success was to go to this program. He told me everything would be okay and we formed a plan together on how leaving school, my home, my life, my entire world would work for the next month and just encouraged me to not forget how long it took me to get to this moment on this call.
He was right. I was 20 years old. I was heavily addicted to prescription pills, heroin and alcohol for the last several years and this was my first real attempt at seeking help.
A few days later my parents dropped me off at the Drug Rehab in South Florida, and yes stereotypes are true it was near the beach. When my parents went to leave I told them I changed my mind and went to follow them to the car, which they sped out of the parking lot. I was now officially stuck in South Florida seeking Treatment for my drug and alcohol addiction. First week was a fog I was detoxing pretty hard.
The next few weeks in treatment I did some great work and learned a lot. There was a huge problem though. I was going to go right back to my house in college with my roommates who drink and party every night, to the same job, the same college campus, the same life. I worked so hard the last few weeks to get away from that in South Florida and now I was scared too go backwards.
Changing My Life Forever
I made an executive decision that changed my life forever. I decided to stay and go to a sober home in South Florida that the treatment center recommended. They charged me rent and no, my insurance did not make it free. I got out of drug rehab and started going to 12 step meetings and realized that young people actually got sober, something I did not know happened.
I was 20 years old in rehab for opiate addiction and the closest woman my age was 35. My first day out of treatment I went to an AA meeting at night that had over 75 young people in it.
I learned how to have sober fun. I learned how to be responsible. I learned how to be a productive member of society and how to show up for my family.
I made a lot of friends in recovery over the years as a result of South Florida and the recovery community. I also have had to bury more people than I can even remember. 8 years later I am still sober, and have only been to drug rehab once.
Grateful for South Florida Recovery
I am 28 years old today and sometimes I log into Facebook and I have to pause in remembrance at all of the people I once knew who have died as a result of drug and alcohol addiction who did not get it.
The South Florida Recovery Community saved my life in a profound way and hundreds of close friends of mine. Yes, I have hundreds of friends in recovery I have met over the years in the area who have done amazing things.
Some people move back home after they complete drug rehab and some after a few months. Not every story is just like mine and unfortunately not all stories have happy endings. However, addiction is a treatable disease. The family has the ability to intervene. The addict has the ability to not go to a facility they know does not have their best interest in mind.
I will always be grateful for what I learned growing up in Delray Beach, Florida and the impact the community had on my life. I wish other providers; parents, media, and communities understood these types of untold stories, which do not make for juicy headlines.
Success from addiction is possible and that South Florida saved my life.