Julie | Lakewood, CO

“My son realized he didn’t have anything to be ashamed of.”

I suspected my son was experimenting with drugs in high school, but never confronted him. Part of me didn’t want to know. In college, it became harder to ignore; he wasn’t himself anymore. When I finally confronted him, he admitted to using heroin and it was a very hard concept to swallow. He agreed to rehab, and we checked him into an inpatient program the next day. Over time, he helped us piece together how he’d gotten addicted to opioids: it all started with pain pills prescribed to others that he’d steal from medicine cabinets. Eventually, he moved to heroin as it was cheaper and easier to get.

He did inpatient rehab for months and has been in recovery, and taking Suboxone, ever since. Unfortunately, he still experiences prejudice after all these years when he mentions he continues to manage his recovery with medications. I realize now that my son was experiencing a lot of shame about his addiction, especially while in rehab, and a big part of his recovery was therapy; talking to others who’d been through the same thing. My son realized he didn’t have anything to be ashamed of.

The same held true for me: talking to others about what I was feeling gave me strength to face what he was going through. I feel beyond lucky to have my son back, doing well and living his life.