Addiction is a problem that grips millions of Americans each year. Fighting demons in this fashion only leads to more trouble and a disintegration of your life. The battle over addiction is something that not everyone can master, but each year a few people come out on top. One of those people is Dejah Hall.
Dejah was a meth and intravenous heroin user; and her life and health were spiraling out of control. When she looked in the mirror she did not like what she saw; she felt as though she was becoming a monster and wanted to stop (1).
Making the change
It was her grandfathers birthday when she finally decided to turn her life around. He pleaded with her that she was hurting him, and this is finally what got through to her. Unfortunately, she had to go to prison for felony drug warrants before everything could go back to normal but it’s been four years since she has used drugs (1).
Four years sober
In a Facebook post that has gone viral, she said, “Today marks four years clean from heroin and meth…I was a terrible IV user and like most progressively got worse. The bottom left (photo) is me the day I was arrested 12-6-12, and coincidentally the day I finally surrendered to God!” (1)
Looking into the mirror
She recounts the day she decided to change. “I went to the bathroom, and I looked at myself, and I really looked at who I had become. This disgusting person who needed to continue to stick these drugs in their veins because I couldn’t function.”(1)
Keeping a promise
Even though she was in jail and drugs are readily available, she made a choice, to get clean and keep her promise to her grandfather. It’s now been four years since she made the change and things are a lot different for her now. She has a little girl and has started pursuing a bachelor’s degree with the goal of becoming a prison minister. She says, “Everyday I thank God that I am not where I once was.”(1)
Her motivation to get clean represents a massive transformation both physically and spiritually. She claims, “I was an atheist before coming to Christ, I knew that only supernatural power would pull me from the imminent hell that was approaching. Religion has not saved me, my relationship with Jesus Christ has saved me, and that is the most important thing in all of this.” (1)
Asking for help is the first step
She admits going public with her transformation has been overwhelming, receiving messages from people all over the world, often very supportive, has opened her eyes. When asked what advice she has for others who are going through what she did, she said, “Ask for help, go to church, confront your demons one by one, get to a Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, get a sponsor, work your steps, and never give up on yourself. Forgiveness of ourselves is essential in our recovery process.” (1)
Addiction in America
Addiction is a far more prevalent problem than some may realize. In the United States, there are roughly twenty-six million people over the ages of twelve with an addiction (statistics from 2011). Although this may seem like a bleak outlook, there are roughly 3 million people who received treatment in 2011. Unfortunately, over a hundred people die from drug overdoses every day, and the rate seems to be climbing (2).
Drug side effects
The most harmful of these drugs, seem to be the ones that Dejah Hall was using. Heroin and Meth ravage the body. Heroin use can result in infections of the lining of the valves of the heart. Long term users experience pulmonary complications, skin infections, abscesses, and kidney disease. To make matters worse, withdrawal from heroin is particularly terrible, and the symptoms include restlessness, vomiting, strong cravings, and bone and muscle pain (3). Meth, on the other hand, causes the body’s cells to die speeding up aging and giving users a gaunt, emaciated look. It has also been linked to atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and scarring of the lungs (4).
If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, there are alternatives to a lifestyle that is killing you. There are many therapy options, and Narcotics Anonymous groups are there to guide you. People often enjoy going to groups and talking about their addiction with others who have gone through the same thing. Alternatively, things like meditation, have also been touted as a great resource during the recovery process (5). Help is always there for when you need it.
For more information about addiction check out this article.
(1) The Huffington Post. Mom Shares Stunning Transformation 4 Years After Beating Heroin, Meth Addictions http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/former-addict-shares-transformation_us_585bd46ee4b0de3a08f43343? Published: December 22, 2016. Accessed: January 12, 2017.
(2) Addiction Center. Statistics of Addiction in America https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/addiction-statistics/ Accessed: January 12, 2017.
(3) New Beginnings. The Physical ravages of Heroin use http://newbeginningsteenhelp.com/blog/the-physical-ravages-of-heroin-use Published: November 29, 2012. Accessed: January 12, 2017.
(4) Mail Online. The science behind the faces of meth: Scientists discover how drug causes cells to age and die, giving users their characteristic gaunt look http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2952526/Why-crystal-meth-ravages-body-Scientists-discover-drug-causes-cells-age-die-giving-users-characteristic-gaunt-look.html Published: February 13, 2013. Accessed: January 12, 2017.
(5) Elements Behavioural Health. Meditation for alcoholism and drug addiction recovery https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/featured/meditation-for-alcoholism-and-drug-addiction-recovery/ Accessed: January 12, 2017.
(6) Youtube. Former addict’s incredible transformation after four years clean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDzHHVKn7So Published: December 22, 2016. Accessed: January 12, 2017.
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