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My name is Markie and I was born in Colorado . I moved to Florida when I was 6. I am 15 years old and I am in the 10th grade.

I was an IV drug user; my drugs of choice were cocaine and Dilaudid. However, I would take anything to make me feel good. Some of my friends referred to me as a “drug dumpster”.

I failed to realize what and who was important to me. The only things on my mind were drugs, drugs, money, and more drugs.

My friends became my family and the streets became my home. 

My parents were never married so I can’t say they divorced, but they separated when I was 5. I don’t remember much of my dad except for the fact that he was an alcoholic.

When I was 7 my dad said he was taking my brothers and me camping. Instead, he kidnapped us for a few months. He took us from Florida to Colorado in his car and my mother didn’t know where we were. That was the most time I’ve ever spent with my dad. He doesn’t pay child support, he doesn’t send Christmas or birthday cards, and he only calls when something bad happens. When his children are out of sight, they’re also out of his mind. 

After we moved to Florida, my mom married her high school friend, Doug. Doug was an alcoholic and he abused pain medication. That relationship didn’t last as long as my siblings and I hoped it would. Doug was out of it sometimes, but it was nice to have a father figure around the house.

After my mom and Doug divorced, my mom began seeing her friend Joey. I loved Joey and considered him to be my father. Joey and my mom had been together for over three years when Joey died in our house due to health problems related to drug abuse. I was going to my friend’s house and the last thing he said to me before I left was, “I love you and I’ll see you later.” He never did. It still hurts me deeply to this day.  The day that Joey died was the day that everything began to fall apart. 

My mother refused to go back to our house. My younger brother and I stayed at a family friend’s house, while my older brother stayed with my mom. Eventually we came back to our house and it was miserable. We were all so sad and my older brother was never home. When he was home he was always smoking marijuana and popping pills. He appeared to be happy and having fun while he was on drugs. I wanted to be happy and have fun too, so I started smoking marijuana.

Eventually my brother started getting in trouble with the law and my mom had to devote most of her attention to him. He was bouncing in and out of rehab programs and taking up all of my mom’s time. My mom was busy dealing with my brother so it was really easy for me to mess up and remain unnoticed. My brother is still on probation.

I thought I would be able to smoke pot forever. I fell behind in school and just started skipping my classes. All I wanted to do was smoke weed and hang out with my friends, who were a lot older than me.

By the time I was 12 I tried my first Roxycodone and nothing else mattered. I had tried Xanax before, but there was nothing like the little blue Roxycodone pill. 

After a while my mom figured out what was going on and she decided to move us to another town about an hour away from where we were living. After the move, things only got worse for me. I was 13 and I was so upset that I wasn’t going to be finishing middle school with the people I had grown up with. All of my friends were 45 miles away. I quit taking pills for a little bit because I didn’t know where to get them. I went to school and began asking everyone if they smoked pot. A girl told me her older brother did, and as quick as that I was going out with her older brother. I met all of his friends and I again found my favorite pills. I left my boyfriend to hang out with people who did pills. 

In addition to pills and pot, I began sniffing cocaine when I was 13. I started smoking it when I was 14, and I moved on to shooting it by the time I was 15. I got so addicted to cocaine because I wasn’t paying for any of it at first. I needed more money so I began burglarizing houses and cars. I wrote bad checks and set up dope boys.

I also began taking Dilaudid. The rush is like nothing in this world and it helped me escape my reality. When I was on Dilaudid, I didn’t worry about my brother’s Xanax addiction. I didn’t think about our broken family and how my older brother and I were hurting my little brother. I couldn’t handle all the racing thoughts and emotions I felt inside. I hated feeling that way and the drugs helped me to forget. 

I was a healthy, 125 pound girl before I started taking drugs. When I checked into my first court-ordered rehab program, I weighed only 89 pounds.

I felt like I couldn’t stop. I felt like a piece of garbage. I felt like I couldn’t get better, so I chose to get worse.

After nodding out in court the judge ordered secure detention. That is where I experienced my first serious withdrawal. I felt like I was coming out of my skin. I wanted to die because I couldn’t eat or sleep. I couldn’t stop sweating. All I wanted to do was get high. I was on a waiting list for a rehab and after 8 days in jail I was transferred directly from jail to a court-ordered treatment program. 

I was relieved to be there and I tried to work the program. I was also happy to see my brother, who was in rehab at the same place.  My brother kept getting in trouble so he wasn’t allowed to see my mom for 30 days which meant I couldn’t see her either. After two months of being in rehab and 30 days of no contact with my mom, I was depressed and lonely. All I wanted to do was go home and get high. I was not ready to be in rehab.

My brother was making progress so the judge ordered another 30 days of no contact. When I found out I wouldn’t be seeing my mom, I couldn’t take it. I ran away from rehab and a warrant was out for my arrest for escaping. I was on the run for 3 weeks when I finally decided to go home. I showed my mom my arms and began to cry. I couldn’t help myself. I felt so bad, I felt worthless, I felt like my life amounted to nothing but drugs. My mom broke down and began to cry which broke my heart. My mother told me she will always help me and that we would get through it together.

That night I was feeling horrible, so I took a Xanax and tried to sleep. While I was outside smoking a cigarette, my uncle (who was staying at my house at the time) was outside and he was clearly messed up. He handed me his wallet, his cigarettes, and a silver container. I immediately ran inside to open the silver container which had little bags of brown powder in it. I thought it was dirty cocaine. I went through my uncle’s stuff and found a bottle of Adderall. I took 5 Adderall and sniffed 4 bags of the “dirty cocaine”. My heart started beating really fast and it freaked me out so I ran to my mom’s room. I told her about the “dirty cocaine” and she told me it was actually heroin. My mother kept me up all night. The next morning I went into serious withdrawal and began throwing up. I felt like I was going to die, so I begged my mom to take me to the hospital and she did.

Once we arrived at the hospital, the doctors tried to Baker Act me because they said I was trying to hurt myself. I was so skinny and I looked hungry, helpless, and strung out. My insurance wouldn’t cover my hospital visit so my mom and I went to another hospital. By the time we got there I didn’t feel sick any more so I asked my mom to take me home. When I got home I was able to get Suboxone and Xanax. I felt much better so I fell asleep. Eventually the police came to my house and arrested me for running away from the court-ordered program. I had to leave home three days before Thanksgiving. After that, I felt so dumb and I thought, why are these drugs controlling my life? 

I spent two months in jail. Everyone said I needed help and that they were going to find me a treatment center. The only state-run rehabs close by were operated by the same man. He refused to accept me into the program because I was under house arrest and he thought I might mess up my brother’s recent good behavior. Time was running out and the judge was going to commit me to a level 6 program. Then, out of the blue, I go to court and they tell me they found a place called Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab. I was accepted into Inspirations on a scholarship and arrived there later that day. 

I spent 30 days at inspirations and I liked it there. I remained sober six months after leaving their program. I remained in touch with the staff and the friends I met. Unfortunately, I did relapse. My last relapse caused me to overdose and I was in the intensive care unit in the hospital unable to breathe on my own. I am 15 years old and I will have health problems for the rest of my life because of my overdose.

Inspirations showed me what it was like to be clean and sober and still have fun. There is nothing I want more than to stay clean. Once you are able to have fun sober and hang around sober people you begin to enjoy it. I felt relieved, happy, energetic, beautiful, loved, noticed, and so much more after treatment. 

Relapses do happen but what matters most is the fact that I am clean now. No one knows what the future holds or what can trigger someone to relapse. For me, just being around the same old people and places made me relapse and almost ended my life. I choose to fight for my sobriety even though it is very difficult sometimes. As of right now I am learning to live just for today and to not be bothered by things I will never be able to change. I pray that I am able to stay away from drugs because I am a much better person without them.

Inspirations for Youth and Families is a small, private teen rehab clinic for children ages 12 to 17 years old. Inspirations teen rehab is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Call (888) 757-6237 to learn more about our many treatment programs. We accept most private insurance and there are a few scholarships available.

Markie’s Story
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