The following dialogue took place between Open Discussion (O.D.) Apparel and a twenty-three year old single mother who comes from a family plagued with numerous drug and alcohol problems. Here are her experiences are pieces of her story. As always, pass this along to anyone who might be able to find strength in our message…
Do you have any personal experience with addiction?
I definitely have a lot of experience. Drug and alcohol abuse, addiction run rampant in my family. Unfortunately, I have seen the consequences of choosing a substance over your family. It saddens me to say that addiction played a prominent role in my life.
Could you elaborate?
My sister and cousin both have boyfriends who are addicts. My sister has been with her on again, off again boyfriend for nine years. Not too long ago my cousin got so high that he kind of lost his mind. He chased a member of his family with his vehicle because they were caring for his child. In the end he chose to serve the prison sentence he is serving currently because in his own words, “his family would be better off if he were locked away.” Another one of my cousins died during an overdose from choking on his own vomit.
Tell me more about your sister’s boyfriend?
Well he is one of those addicts that’s done lots of different drugs; Heroin, Meth, Crack, you name it. He went to rehab in Florida because he wanted to clean up for the baby he was having with my sister. He also experienced an overdose, and his heart stopped beating. The drug Narcan was used to save his life. After he got out of rehab he began getting shots (Editor’s note: the shots are a drug called Vivitrol and are administered monthly, they block the opiate receptors of the brain) that help curb his addiction. I will always have hope that we can conquer this as a family.
What are your thoughts on rehab?
I want to believe that rehab works, I really do. I want to have hope for the people who have been taken down by what they let control them. I have watched my family have one another’s back. That is part of what I feel like saved my life. I believe, just like your brand believes, we need to become more comfortable having an open discussion about addiction. I even think family therapy would be a major aid.
You mentioned how support saved your life, could you talk about your personal struggles with addiction?
I used to drink a lot in high school. I have lots of memories of being hungover in class. I was making all the wrong choices. I was hanging out with the wrong people and getting into trouble. Honestly my pregnancy saved me. I can’t even really stand the taste of alcohol anymore.
Would you do anything differently?
I wish that I would have been more involved in extracurricular activities. I hung out with a rough crowd and feel like I should have chosen different friends. If I had a different life in high school I wouldn’t be a mom and I probably would have gone to college. I don’t regret having my son, but I do wish I had gotten to complete other aspects of my life before motherhood.
How do you feel about O.D. Apparel?
It makes me sad because of all the pain that I have seen. But I know that by building support systems and talking about it we can hopefully heal one another’s mindset.