CELEBRATE RED RIBBON WEEK
- Learn about the destructive effects of drug misuse.
- Educate your family members and friends.
- Take action!
My name is Katharine Stuart, I am 26 years old and a person in long term recovery.
I grew up in the suburbs of Indiana. I attended private schools and overall had an amazing childhood. I started experimenting with drugs at 15 years old and by age 18, I tried heroin for the first time.
That started a long road of treatment centers, hired interventionists, outpatient programs, and anything else my family could get me into. I was not willing at that time to see that my use was a problem. It was shortly after celebrating a period of abstinence that I returned to using. I continued to use for the next 5 years.
Before, I had always looked at other people with substance use disorders as worse than me or focused on the differences so to speak. All of those differences and “yets” happened to me during that time.
I accrued 6 felony charges with my first criminal case, started heavily using methamphetamine, was in a relationship that turned violent, had 2 children, and felt hopeless. I checked into treatment for one last attempt to recover on August 26, 2016 and I have not used since. I recently celebrated 3 years sober. I have a relationship with my kids, am financially self-sufficient, and work as the Assistant Program Coordinator for Pathway to Recovery.
I have a life today I could never have imagined and it’s all because I didn’t give up. Everyday I try to put my recovery first and help others to do the same.
An opiate (narcotic) drug processed from morphine and extracted from certain poppy plants. Heroin comes in a white or brownish powder, or a black sticky substance known as “black tar heroin.” Often “cut” with other drugs or substances such as sugar or powdered milk. User is unaware how much actual heroin is being used, creating likelihood of overdose.