I am a 24 year old mother of 2 little girls. I work part time at a methadone clinic, and I am also a patient at a methadone clinic. I live in Philadelphia. I have 2 years clean (as of 12-01-09). I grew up in a good neighborhood, my parents got divorced when I was 9.
When I was about 15, I tried heroin for the first time. I spent the next 6 years on the streets, in an abusive relationship, shooting heroin, stealing for everyone, losing custody of my child and dealing with all of the things that come along with addiction. In 2007 I went into treatment and got on methadone. It was a very hard decision. I did not want to be on any medication, but since I had been in and out of rehab 12 times in 3 years, I figured it as worth a chance since nothing else had worked.
It was the best choice of my life. I have remained clean, got a job, got my OWN place to live, got custody of my little girl back (and had another little girl), am in a stable relationship and am a productive member of my community and most of all my family. Methadone may not be right for all but it has saved my life. My fiancee has also been on methadone for 3 years (myself for 2). He also has maintained sobriety through assistance from methadone.
We also like to help and give back to the treatment community. We know that they way to keep our sobriety is to give to back to others. If it was not for people helping us out in the beginning, we would not be where we are today.
I have gone to New York to a NAMA convention and become a Certified Methadone Advocate. Medication Assisted Treatment Program (MATP) is something I truly believe in, and for the nonbelievers, just ask my children and family; they will tell you I am a true success story of MATP. My family and my children are very happy to have old me (or should I say the new me) back.
I hate the stigma that goes along with methadone treatment. We are not all junkies looking for a fix. If you would look at me, you would never guess I was ever a heroin addict or a now methadone patient. So before you judge, you may be friends with someone who is a methadone patient and never know it!