Claire – P.E.A.S.E. Academy, Class of 2019

The summer before 9th grade, Claire met a girl who she describes as, “a stoner.” To Claire, she was cool, and she wanted to be like her, so she started smoking weed, like her. At the same time, Claire started dating a man four years older. “I was obsessed with him, but he was emotionally abusive and manipulative, and he introduced me to more and more people who did drugs.”

A combination of alcohol, weed and Xanax gave Claire an “intensely drunk feeling.” She liked it, and it led her to think about what else was out there. Realizing that her mom had been prescribed medication from a past surgery, she headed to the Percocet in the medicine cabinet, instantly liked it and used it for two weeks until it ran out.

At this point, Claire’s parents started noticing that she was depressed and not herself. They blamed her boyfriend and blocked him from her phone, while Claire stole their alcohol and went out to smoke weed. The culmination was a restraining order against the boyfriend, while Claire kept smoking and drinking.

Eventually, Claire moved on to Acid and Ecstasy. She would get bored with one drug and move on to another, and there were plenty of dealers around to supply her habit. Finally, a slip up in a Facebook post alerted her parents to the fact she was doing Acid, leading to an inpatient treatment program at Hazelden.

Claire says at Hazelden, she convinced herself that she wanted to be sober, but once she moved to out-patient treatment, she started smoking weed again. When her parents were out of town, a dealer gave her Xanax, she overdosed and was arrested. Released to her parents, Claire grew more depressed, started cutting herself and was admitted to an in-patient mental health program for a week, where they prescribed meds that she couldn’t handle, as an addict. All the while, Claire’s boyfriend kept coming around and bringing her down, blaming her for ruining their relationship by not standing up to her parents. Claire remained with him, medicating with her mom’s anxiety meds. She also tried to kill herself several times.

Once again, Claire enrolled in another in-patient program. This time, it was a program designed for young women, but insurance wouldn’t cover it. That’s when she found P.E.A.S.E. Academy and supportive friends who truly cared about her. Claire was sober for four months at P.E.A.S.E. before relapsing and lying to her classmates who eventually figured out she was using again. Claire said, “I felt awful lying to my friends, so I completed another out-patient program and came back to P.E.A.S.E. Without P.E.A.S.E. and the support of my friends here, I would not be sober.”

Things are better for Claire now. Life is easier, things are good with her parents and they trust her again. And, she broke up with her boyfriend because her new obsession is sobriety!