The following article was published in the Birmingham Times and serves to validate both the hard work of Maggie and of Narconon staff to provide excellent drug treatment.
Today I interviewed a Narconon student with a 23 year crack history. Here is Maggie’s story:
Where were you born and raised?
I am heroin a baby. My mom was a heroin addict and I was born addicted in the Bronx. She brought me to my grandmother’s house when I was six weeks old, stating that she was going shopping.
She never returned and my grandmother and grandfather raised me. I had a great childhood with my grandparents. I went to Catholic School, did normal kid stuff and had plenty of love.
When did you first begin abusing drugs?
When I was 19 my grandfather died. I had a very difficult time with his death and I started snorting cocaine to try to get rid of the pain. Soon I became addicted.
My life consisted of nothing besides work and getting high. Somehow, I managed to work as a dental assistant.
Later, I became a bartender. My life consisted of working and spending the money I made on cocaine. For 15 years my life was bartending and hanging out with people who used cocaine.
When I was about 25 I started dating a bouncer at a bar. Our whole relationship was centered on getting high.
One day when he was very high he robbed his friend’s house. A woman walked in and surprised him and he cut her throat. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.I was pregnant so I married him in prison. I stayed married to him during the 12 years that he was in prison and I got pregnant again.
The only time I was not getting high was when I was pregnant. I did not want my kids to be born addicted as I had been. I kept a clean house and got my kids to school but I was not really the mother that they needed because I was high all the time.
Four years ago I started smoking crack cocaine and life really started to go downhill. My husband (now out of prison) left me because of my addiction and took our daughter with him. During the next four years, I had only one friend – a crack smoker. I continued to do bartending, but started to get high at work. It had gotten to the point where I was high continuously.
How did you get out of this mess?
When I was high I used to go on the computer and look at different rehab centers. I would get depressed when I was coming down from the high and think I wanted treatment. I would feel better after a while and would decide that I did not need treatment.
In my internet searches I had come across Narconon, I carried that number around with me for a year.
One night I was living with my boyfriend who caught me with a crack pipe at 5 a.m. He threw me out of the house. He was throwing my clothes in the dumpster and because I had more crack on me, I really did not care. I just wanted to drive away and get high. I lived in my car for two straight days, getting high.
About 1 a.m. I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror and started to cry about what I saw. I looked so bad that I didn’t even know who that person in the mirror was. I still had the number in my pocket and I knew that I had to make the phone call to Narconon.
I called and the person answering the phone assured me that she would do everything in her power to help me. She worked with my family so I could arrive to Narconon.
How did the Narconon program help you?
The sauna program completely helped me to get rid of my cravings.
The book work has helped me to develop people skills and taught me how to deal with my problems, rather than run away and get high.
My family is thrilled. They are amazed at the changes that I have made and this means everything to me.
The most important thing is that I have a relationship back with my children – they are happy and this means so much to me.
I have never had such faith in myself and I have a complete sense of peace. I know that I am going to make it and I have a whole new perspective on life.