Drug Rehab 2021 Round 1 – how my mothers drug addiction affected my life


how my mothers drug addiction affected my life

I would like to tell everyone that the consequences of addiction to a family are not always visible to see. My personal story will explain this to you.

I have known hunger. I was born to a heroin-addicted unwed mother. Both of my birth parents, who have struggled with addiction, never went to college. My mom started to use drugs when she was thirteen, and only a few years ago, at the age of thirty-nine, finally stopped using drugs. She stole from her parents, and when she and her boyfriend (my birth father with who I have no relationship) went on a three-state drug-inspired burglary spree, she was arrested, charged with five felonies, and spent three months incarcerated in a New Jersey county jail. Her parents refused to bail her out until she was accepted into a ten-month rehab. Her convictions prevented her from getting many jobs years later after she was clean and an adult.

My grandparents said they spent a college education on multiple rehabs for her.

I spent my first eight years of life living with her parents until she married my stepfather, who also has addiction issues. My mother became pregnant and then married him. We moved into his parent’s house.

For as long as I can remember, my mother slept her life away on drugs. Thanks to going to daily meetings, my mother stopped finally using drugs; she has been trained as a drug peer counselor at the age of forty.

My stepfather’s parents allowed us to live rent-free in their basement because they cannot afford an apartment elsewhere. I lived in a small corner bedroom with no air conditioning in summer and little heat in winter. The concrete floor is cold when the temperature drops outside. I have a small closet and dresser, but most of my clothes are neatly stacked on the floor next to my bed. My maternal grandparents buy us food and clothes for myself and my ten-year-old half-brother from my stepfather.

When my mother stopped using drugs and sobered up, her husband became verbally abusive. The fighting was terrible. He called her disgusting words where my younger brother and I heard everything.

Finally, this year, with the help of an organization for abused women, she was able to leave him. She waited until I started a state college and moved into the dorms, then she left the marriage.

Her new apartment is a one-bedroom. She sleeps in the bedroom, and my ten-year-old brother sleeps on a fold-out chair in the living room.

The reality of the situation is I am now homeless.

When school is out, I sleep on my grandmother’s pullout sofabed. They now live in a senior-only development in another part of the state, away from the friends I grew up with.

One day in high school, I told my gym teacher I was thirsty but could not make it to the water fountain. She walked me to the school nurse, and an ambulance was called to take me to the hospital; my heart was racing. I ended up eventually having a heart operation.

Since my mother had no private health insurance at that time, we were on Medicaid, which saved my life. I am still on Medicaid.

I realized early on that my mom’s three siblings, who did not use drugs, did attend college, could get better quality jobs and healthcare coverage. I had no choice where or when I was born, but I decided to overcome the obstacles I faced. I need to continue my education to live a better life than I am currently living and hope to graduate college three years from now.