It’s Christmas Eve, 2012, and instead of enjoying time with family and preparing for the holiday, Jeanine is sitting in her boyfriend’s parents’ basement, alone. As she mentally played back the last few years of her life, she realizes this moment must be her rock bottom. Addicted to heroin, homeless, and separated from her kids, Jeanine has lost everything. Alone and in the dark, she finally recognizes that she needs help.
“I called my brother and said I want to change my life,” Jeanine says. That moment marked the beginning of her recovery. Jeanine went to Queen of Peace Center, a United Way partner agency, where she entered a residential drug treatment program and eventually received outpatient services, including counseling for her children.
Jeanine was 41 when she got hooked on heroin. She never thought she’d become an addict – after all, she didn’t fit her own perception of a drug addict. “I didn’t really picture myself as a typical addict because I’m college educated, I’m a white woman from the suburbs,” she says. But her identity didn’t protect her from the insidious nature of drug addiction.