There’s no getting away from it, but there is always hope

By Rachel B.

There is always hope there is always hope

As a teenager and starting high school, I was a good student. Then I was sent to detention because I skipped school for beach day. In detention, I met my high school sweetheart. We started skipping class and getting drunk. At 16, I got pregnant and decided to give the baby up for adoption seeing as how I was adopted and had an awesome relationship with my adopted mother. I thought it was the right choice because at that age you are not financially or emotionally ready to give that child what she needs. My high school sweetheart and I are still friends to this day, and our parents have supported us until today.  

In my 20s, my friend introduced me to cocaine to sober me up so I could drive. That’s when my life really turned upside down. I became so addicted. I had a great job, but I started stealing from the till and from my float. If I had been honest, my boss would have helped me, but I was too afraid to ask. That was a wake-up call for me, and my mom and best friend helped me get into rehab. Before this, I was living with a drug dealer. He had friends come down to visit, and he kept his cocaine in the fridge.

“This trade can be unpredictable and rife with violence.”

Another thing that happened when I was 16, there were two gangs that always fought. One of the fathers went to a store and shot our friend in the stomach with a shotgun, and he died on the scene. It was April Fool’s Day and we all thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t. We miss him dearly, and our thoughts are with him and his family. This trade can be unpredictable and rife with violence.

As the years went by, I sobered up, then my mom and I got a phone call from my aunt that my uncle had passed. My aunt invited me up to visit during Rendezvous (a February holiday in the Yukon). She closed her kennel to take a break, and I got to go with her to visit my grandparents. That is also how I met my second child’s father. I wanted a change, so he said to move up here to be with him and I did. I became pregnant right away, and at the same time he introduced me to crack. This goes to show that nowhere is immune from drugs, even in remote places like the Yukon; and believe it or not, drugs are so easy to get here. 

The best thing was that I had my son even though his father and I are not together. My use of crack did go up when we broke up until I found out I had hepatitis C. This was a wake-up call for me, and I reached out to friends to help me control my use. My ex and I are still friends, but in the last four years I have been fortunate enough to meet the love of my life.  

“This goes to show that nowhere is immune from drugs, even in remote places like the Yukon; and believe it or not, drugs are so easy to get here.”

Now that my son is a teenager, I really wish that he was being taught about drugs in school. I showed him what naloxone was and how to use it, but there is so much more that he could learn. Just like sex-ed, drug education should be a mandatory part of our school system.

One last thing is that for anyone who is struggling right now, try to find someone you trust who you can talk openly with and who won’t share your secrets. This could be a friend or family member, or someone who works for an organization that you receive services at. For me, when I was having cravings or feeling depressed or lonely, I had someone to call who I could vent to and it always made me feel better. 

About Canadian Drug Policy Coalition

Advocating for public health- and human rights-based drug policies grounded in evidence, social justice, and compassion. www.drugpolicy.ca