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How to beat drug addiction and prostitution - a personal experience

By Bronwen Healy - posted Thursday, 26 February 2004

I was a heroin addict for almost six years and a prostitute for 12 months. I am now a Christian, a wife and the mother of two beautiful daughters. I have been clean for almost five years. When I say clean, I mean completely drug-free.

During my years as an addict I made every effort to get off drugs. I spent many a day curled up on the floor, “hanging out” and trying to get the drugs out of my system only to, within days, start using heroin and the whole vicious cycle again. During those times I tried many different avenues and methods to stop using - including smoking pot, taking speed, drinking, taking pills – but all of these things just led me straight back to heroin. At no time did I ever think that I would be able to become someone who took no drugs.

I was often directed to doctors who would suggest methadone. But for me, personally, I saw methadone as just another addiction. I saw it as swapping one drug for another. Plus, everyone I knew who took methadone (10-15 people) also still used heroin – they simply took the methadone in the morning until they could raise the money to score heroin. So to me it was always out of the question.


Then I got serious about my decision to get clean, after many failed attempts, I went to see a Drug and Alcohol counsellor. Because he held a government position the only thing that he could direct me to was methadone! I refused and explained to him why.

I simply wanted, finally, to stop taking drugs; all drugs. I had heard mentioned among my using friends that there was a new drug called naltrexone that helped people to stop using, but that you had to really want to do it because you had to make the effort to take the pill everyday. I wasn’t sure if I could do that but I was willing to give it a go – and it wasn’t addictive. I spoke to this counsellor about it and he eventually, after seeing how serious I was about giving up heroin, gave me the name and phone number for a doctor in Brisbane who was doing the treatment.

I went and saw this doctor and he explained the procedure to me but told me that in my case, I was a heavy user, I would probably only make it if I went to live in a support house. I was fortunate enough to get a placement in the only one that the doctor could suggest. I think it was the only one in Brisbane at the time. Unfortunately it has now closed down due to lack of support. Thankfully for me it was a Christian establishment – because a few weeks into my time there I became a Christian and my life turned around for the better.

I guess my point is:

Without the will and the desire to get clean it doesn’t happen.

Without the counsellor going against what he was supposed to do I would never have been directed to the doctor who helped to turn my life around.


Without the doctor providing a service that helped me to get off heroin I would never have been introduced to the couple running the support house.

Without the couple running the support house I would never have become drug free, or a Christian.

Without drugs, my life is now my life again.

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About the Author

Bronwen Healy will be 29 in April 2004 and is self-publishing a no-nonsense account of her life's journey, called Trophy of Grace.

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