“I was introduced to drugs by my mom”. Words can not describe the pain in her face when Julia tells her story of addiction. Today at the age of 21, clean from drugs for almost a year, she has had to work very hard to get herself to this point. When Julia was 5 years old her mom would take her into the bathroom and shoot herself up in front of her. Mom slowly had Julia start using at the age of 9 because she needed a partner in crime or so she said. Julia was hungry for love and attention and the way she received it was to feed into her mom’s addiction. In the family therapy sessions her dad sits across from her in anguish and guilt. He does not admit that he enabled his wife with her addiction, he just said that he had no choice otherwise she would leave with Julia and he needed both of them to be there. He worked during the day and left Julia at home with mom who was the user. He looks into Julia’s eyes and says “but I had no choice, I did not want to lose you”. Dad had his own addiction which we refer to as codependency. His addiction enabled his wife to turn his daughter into an addict. Julia, once a young woman, turned to boys and men to feed her addiction. She slowly sold her body to be able to pay for the drugs. She befriended other addicts so she could have a play mate.
". . . it will probably take years to undo the damage that has been done to her, but I see the hope in her eyes."
So when I first met her after her stay at the detox center, I knew that she had suffered throughout her young life. Dad had finally kicked mom out of the house and looked for his daughter. He found her homeless on the streets desperate, but still alive. Her addiction to meth and heroin had devastated her body and mind. He took her in, washed her up and then took her to a detox center. From there she came to the rehab around 10 months ago. She has slowly recovered and with the help of therapy and kindness from the people surrounding her, she has come to realize that the life she knew is not what she wants today. Julia is on the path of recovery, it will probably take years to undo the damage that has been done to her, but I see the hope in her eyes.