Wanting to live a better life for my families sake, I have been able to reduce and then stop using Heroin

I started drinking, smoking cigarettes and pot at age 12, then my heroin addiction began at age 16 I also used LSD, ecstasy during my teenage years. I have managed periods of abstinence lasting months and sometimes years over the last 15 year, I gave up all drugs and alcohol when I fell pregnant at age 21yrs and didn't use again until 24yrs old. I’m only drink alcohol now have not used heroin or other opiates for over 2 years. Have quit smoking for 18 months and only occasionally smoke pot (one joint maybe twice a year) over past 5 years.

I never wanted to be addicted, however, most of my life I've enjoyed using drugs and had no wish to stop them but I also think I depended on them for relief of mental health issues such as chronic depression which I had symptoms of as a child before using drugs. So rather than for enjoyment I think that I used drugs, especially opiates, to self medicate. Since finding other strategies for coping with depression and wanting to live a better life for my families sake, I have been able to reduce and then stop using heroin I have also cut back my drinking however I do still drink every night around half a bottle of wine.

The things that have helped include support from my family and friends; appropriate medication for my depression and mental illness; my determination to be a present and attentive mother; having a great GP and a wonderful counsellor who I see on a regular basis; regular exercise and good diet. Being healthy, not living everyday in desperation and  being able to function well within society and provide and care for myself and my family are the rewards of recovery.

I still have hard times however I can deal with hardship and crisis without using drugs. I have a positive outlook for the future. I am not always happy but that is ok as I have accepted that life will have good and bad times and I can deal with that in a healthy way. I am a good mum, partner, daughter and sister. We can pay the bills, buy food and other necessities when we need to. I don't live in fear anymore, what a relief.