Juliana was adopted when she was a newborn. She grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her adoptive parents. Juliana’s story began when she was 14 years old. Growing up in Colorado, she had a babysitting job as a young teenager and was assaulted by the person she was working for after they came home drunk. This event was very scary and confusing for her. She wasn’t sure what to do or how to process what had happened. This trauma acted as a catalyst for starting her down a pathway of drugs and alcohol at the age of 15. Growing up in a religious household, she felt shameful about the experience at her babysitting job. Juliana experimented with smoking and drinking when she began high school.
At 16 years old, Juliana experienced snorting cocaine. The drinking and cocaine use was mostly just at parties. When she turned 18, Juliana attended a religious school and attempted to live a double life. After failing to live this double lifestyle, she was asked to leave school. Coming back home with the goal to return to school, she was introduced to a substance that took hold of all of her plans. She describes this event as meeting the worst thing ever in her life; the drug methamphetamine. A close friend encouraged Juliana to shoot methamphetamine with her, and she did. That was Juliana’s first experience using meth. A short time after using meth for the first time, she had some errands she had to run and left her friend. She describes the feelings of the drug and the urge to turn around and use again. In retrospect, that is when the addiction really began.
The meth use became a daily occurrence, sometimes happening 6 or 7 times in one day. The addiction continued for about 8 months. Then at Thanksgiving wither her family, she had a friend over with her and they were downstairs while the meal was being prepared. Her friend was using heroin while she was using meth. Juliana’s dad came downstairs to let them know that dinner was nearly ready and she panicked. She threw her needle in the sink and went to stop her dad from see what they were doing. After suspecting that something was going on, Juliana’s dad noticed the needle in the sink. It was at that time that things started to make sense for her dad. He sent her friend home and went back upstairs into his room because he was upset.
Juliana’s first instinct was to run and hide all of her supplies and put them away. She then went upstairs to reassure her dad that she had gotten rid of everything, which wasn’t true, and that she would never do it again. And even thought she wanted to mean that, she knew in the back of her mind that she had more drugs downstairs and that she could easily have access to them again. This was a difficult time for Juliana because she was trying to be two very different people. She wanted to keep appearances with her family, gain their trust and respect; but on the other hand, addiction had taken its’ place in her mind.
After a move to Salt Lake City, UT, Juliana was attending community college and was living with her boyfriend at the time. They attempted to live paycheck to paycheck and start over. They were able to live like this for a time but addiction crept back into their lives and before too long they were out of jobs, food, a place to live and things were looking very bleak. Her boyfriend ended up leaving and going back to Colorado. At this point, Juliana moved in with family. They were unaware of her drug problem and she tried to go back to school and keep up with the life she had sought after. She kept up the dual lifestyle and felt like she was pulling it off. She had two jobs and was working to keep her head above water.
Even though she felt like she had things covered, there was a time that everything intensified and Juliana realized she needed to reach out for help. She contacted her parents and let them know that she needed help. It was about at this point that they found New Roads Behavioral Health and she entered the treatment center. After an assessment, Juliana was told that she needed much more than just help with her addiction. They suggested a 90 treatment plan and asked her to commit. This was a big step. It would mean admitting that she had a problem and leaving everything behind to focus on getting better. She finally decided that she needed to take that step and she entered treatment.
“I ended up going back into treatment a few different times. Always to New Roads. New Roads was the best program for me. The staff there really, truly cared about me and really truly wanted to see me get better. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder a year into my treatment. I was able to work through a lot of my therapy issues. A strange relationship with my parents where they wouldn’t answer my calls turned into them asking when I was going to come home next. Now I work at the University of Utah, and I have a full time job, full time insurance, all the things I never thought were possible… I’m grateful to say I have two years sober this year. That means everything to me.”
If you or some one you know may be struggling, contact the helpful team at New Roads: 888-358-8998