Woman describes her addiction and recovery | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Woman describes her addiction and recovery

Provided to the Tribune

I would like to first express my sincere gratitude to Sierra Recovery Center and our caring community of South Lake Tahoe for providing not only residential treatment for alcohol and drugs, but also a transitional living home for women and their children.

My name is Rachel. I am 26 and the proud mother of three young girls. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict. My drugs of choice were methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol. I began drinking at the tender age of 14. I dropped out of high school, ran away from home and moved to San Francisco. I survived in the city for one year by selling marijuana and sleeping at Golden Gate Park.

By 17, I was pregnant with my first daughter and was living with the grandmother in Antioch. During my pregnancy I found that I was not able to stop using meth and marijuana. I was addicted. When I gave birth, my infant daughter tested positive for marijuana. When I got pregnant with my second daughter I had obviously learned that babies are tested at birth, so I stopped using drugs about one month before my due date. I began using meth immediately upon leaving the hospital.

I moved in with my boyfriend, but we were constantly being evicted from our apartments for either not paying rent, or because we had so much traffic coming and going from our place. Our home life was very unstable; we let strangers come in and out of our home. We didn’t care who they were as long as they had drugs to do with us. I even allowed some of those strangers to watch my small children. Once we got evicted from the Sacramento apartment, we moved to a motel, and began moving from motel room to motel room – each one worse than the last. Eventually, someone called Child Protective Services. The police came and took my children away and put them in foster care. I was able to stay clean and sober for 11 months and got my girls back.

My boyfriend, the kids and I moved into a transitional home in Sacramento, but we did not let the program work for us. We went back to motel hopping. Soon we were back to using, fighting and leading a very out-of-control life. Once I even tried to kill myself. This was a horrible time in my life. I truly did not care about anyone. I gave custody of my youngest daughter to her father’s sister. My other two daughters were with their father.

One week before I moved to Lake Tahoe to live with my mother, she began doing the footwork for me in order for me to receive funding for treatment and to eventually get a bed at Sierra Recovery Center residential facility. I lived with my mother and stayed clean and sober for 26 days before I was able to get into SRC. I then went into residential treatment for 28 days. There were so many strict rules. But, by following these rules and the program put in place by the awesome staff at Sierra Recovery Center, I eventually began to believe that I could actually do this clean-and-sober thing. I found support and understanding and structure at Sierra Recovery Center. Now, I am living at the SRC Transitional Living Home for Women and their children with my two daughters. My baby daughter will be back with me soon.

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Recovery from alcohol and drugs is one of the hardest things a person may ever do, but with the support of a loving and caring community and the staff at Sierra Recovery Center, it is a realistic goal. I am now living a healthy, responsible life. I am a working member of my community. I cannot thank all of those people who have helped me along the way enough.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol and/or drugs, the center may have treatment options for them. Call (530) 541-5190. There is a solution.

– Rachel is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic at Sierra Recovery Center.

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