Lives Turned Around
Claire is one of the lucky ones. She and her husband divorced but remain friends -- he lives down the street and they share custody of their kids. She's gone from being an addict to being hypervigilant about drugs. When she was in another car accident she refused prescription pain medication, getting by with ibuprofen instead.
Julie Hartman is lucky too. She missed her kids' soccer and football seasons while she was getting clean. But after four months in rehab, followed by four months of outpatient treatment (paid for by insurance and donations from members of her church), she's been drug-free for more than a year. "I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I got through it," she says. "I'm at peace now."
Which doesn't mean her daily life is easy. "My obsession with the drugs has tapered off, but resisting them is still a challenge," she says. That's why she attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings, takes an antidepressant, and sees a therapist. She knows that her struggle will continue.
But she has four powerful motivating factors by her side every day: her three children and her husband, all of whom suffered terribly during her addiction and recovery. "The kids cried every time they left me when I was in treatment," Hartman says. "To see them hurting broke my heart and made me want to get better -- and stay better once I came home." While taking Vicodin, Hartman was moody and her kids were afraid of her. But now that's changed. "I'm so proud of you, Mom," her son recently wrote to her in a note, "and I don't have to worry about you anymore."