Alcohol was the first drug I used. Both my parents drank heavily and there was often no food in the house. Sometimes I’d be staying away from home and knowing I was going back to no food, I would steal a straw to take home, which I could use to drink from the alcohol bottles in the fridge. I knew I needed a straw because I was still too young to be strong enough to hold the full bottle up to my mouth. I think I must have been about 6.

As a teen I would binge drink. The alcohol would lessen my inhibitions which backed up my sex seeking when I became addicted to sex. I was 21 and using alcohol, pot, sex and the occasional trip. That’s when I realised I had a problem. So I left England and came to Australia wanting to completely change my life, which I did.

I lived a very healthy lifestyle. I married, and was a faithful wife and a great mum for 17 years. I raised my 4 children, devoting my life to the family. I won awards for my studies, as I worked through my university education and I then went on to have a successful career. I was super confident and had it all together. What a wonderful fucking life.

Fourteen years ago, I had a car accident which changed my whole personality, and I became over anxious, making stupid and impulsive decisions. I began drinking again and within a year I was drinking every day from when I woke in the morning. I started having casual sex, taking speed, trips, eckies and using weed. I always said I would never use opiates, but once I did I knew it was my drug of choice.

It took two weeks for me to become fully addicted. I was still working at this point but the people I was working with noticed I was loaded. I realised work was getting in the way of my using so I quit work and made using my full time job. I threw away my husband, my kids, and my career. I rented out rooms in my house to other users, doing a bit of wheeling and dealing to finance my habit. My children disowned me. I always had a partner who would source drugs for me so in that way I avoided a lot of unpleasant situations. My partner started to totally lose it and I told him to fuck off.

We reached out to QuIHN where we had always felt comfortable, and my partner then went off to rehab. On my own then, I had to source my own drugs and my using skyrocketed, it tripled. That’s when I became complacent and exposed myself to Hep C. I was using Fentanyl and my peers were dropping in my home, with numerous callouts for the ambos to come and revive them. I was putting myself in very unsafe situations, had left my home, and I was sleeping on couches and not changing my clothes. I also knew that it was only a matter of time when I would get done by the cops.

I decided to go back to QuIHN and began counselling. I knew I needed some distance from the scene to help me to stop using, so I planned my getaway. I booked myself on the train, was there 40 minutes prior to departure and had put my bags on board, when I slipped away to score. I got back 30 seconds late as the train started to pull away, running as fast as I could I chased it down the platform just like in the movies trying to jump on. The station staff had to hold me back and said that they’d sort it for me; so my bags left without me, and I was booked on a train for two days later.

That day I went to score before getting on the train again, and ran out of time to get my car home so I left my car at the dealers’ house, who promised to get it back to me, but that’s where it stayed.

Things have changed for me. That was 6 months ago now, I’ve been working really hard on myself and I haven’t done it alone. I got my car back. I got my home back. I got my kids back. I haven’t got my career back yet, there’s plenty of time for that. I’m working on my life and my future looks fucking wonderful.