Spent the day learning about the local scene from a large group of active users and holy cow I am so grateful to not be hooked anymore, I got clean before fentanyl took over and while people I knew OD’d from heroin nobody I knew died, and holy shit what a reminder of my undeserved privilege, because for a long time my barrier to recovery was not lack of insurance or a severe mind boggling lack of treatment availability like they were describing– I had insurance, I had access to treatment, I no show’d to detoxes and blew off intake appointments because withdrawal sucks and I didn’t feel like going through it– but just me not wanting to give up heroin which was the thing I’d loved most in the world.
For the people who do manage to get into treatment, their obstacles are a thousand times harder than anything I ever had to deal with. For more than a year after M was born, fixing my life was my full time job. There wasn’t a day that I had to worry about having stable housing. I always had a cell phone. I never had to stress about not being able to pay for diapers or formula or clothes or the suboxone I took daily or the shots of interferon I’d stick in my thigh every Monday to rid myself of the hep c I’d gotten from dirty needles. I never missed an appointment with a doctor or therapist or caseworker or lawyer, because I was given whatever money I needed for transportation. I had doctors and therapists and caseworkers and lawyers who all wanted to help me succeed. I had doctors and therapists and caseworkers and lawyers period.
Even with all that immense help, recovery from a serious addiction was not easy. I don’t know how as a society we can expect people to succeed at one of the hardest things to do, with minimal support, no options, and the deck completely stacked against them.