Teresa | Denver, CO

Now I don’t need anything to get up in the morning, and that’s a good feeling.

I am Teresa. I didn’t start using opioids until I was in my thirties and I started using heroin. The addiction puts you in a bad place. Just having to need it all the time to get going, to do anything–I hated it. Plus, people knowing that I did drugs, the way they’d look at me, the marks on my arm…it was really embarrassing. Other people would tell me, “Ah you could quit anytime you want.” I’d try to tell them it wasn’t that easy, but they just look at you like you’re dirty. Like you’re going to steal everything if they let you in their house. Even if I went to the hospital, I’d get red-tagged because I was an IV user. In time, I just got fed up. The drug didn’t do anything for me anymore; I was just taking it so I wouldn’t go through withdrawals and feel that way. I’d look at people on TV and say, I wanna be like them. So, I got on methadone. I knew if I did it right, I’d finally detox, and they’d help me get off opioids. Now I don’t need anything to get up in the morning, and that’s a good feeling. I’m proud of myself. People don’t realize it’s a disease, and that people need encouragement. That when you’re weak and you fall, that’s when you need someone to lift you up. Continuing on from the user’s input, I have come to understand the importance of support and encouragement in overcoming addiction. It was not an easy decision to seek help and embark on this journey towards recovery, but I knew deep down that I deserved a better life. The stigma surrounding addiction often leads people to believe that it is simply a matter of willpower, but it is so much more than that.