Breana had her first experience with drugs at the age of 12 when one of her friends convinced her they should smoke a cigarette and unbeknown to Breana, added Marijuana to it.
“We’re smoking this cigarette and I get up and everything is just going sideways and we were running down the street,” she said.
About a year after, her mother passed away.
“I watched her pass. She had a heart attack, she was 42 years old. After that – everything in my life went downhill.”
To help deal with the loss of her mother Breana started to use.
“Stealing my dad’s Tranquilizers and stealing my dad’s Alcohol, putting it in a water bottle and bringing it to high school with me – Taking pretty much any pill I could get my hands on. [I was] smoking weed before school, after school, ditching class.”
As soon as she graduated Breana moved out.
“I moved in with a bunch of my friends, every single night it was constant drinking. Every morning [I woke up] not having any idea, having my friends laugh at me every single morning for the stupid stuff I did while I was blacked out.”
Unfortunately, that was not the end of her spiral.
“I was using Ecstasy every single day, 15 pills a day. Anything I could get my hands on I would do it.”
When Breana was 18, she found out that she was pregnant. At this time, she was still using Ecstasy on a daily basis, and she had a miscarriage.
“I know that was due to how many drugs I was ingesting, and it was really tough on me but I definitely was not ready to have a kid yet.”
“I tried Heroin for the first time and I was instantly hooked.”
Breana was always looking for that perfect high.
“You just constantly strive to get as high as you possibly can. There’s no getting that first high back.”
A lot of her friends were in and out of rehab, but Breana didn’t think she had a problem that she couldn’t handle on her own.
“I never thought I needed that ‘I can do this by myself I don’t need anyone.’”
During the time she had been using she had lost over 100 pounds. Having struggled with her weight her whole life, she thought it was a good thing.
“I thought I looked amazing, and I was like I’m not giving this up … That was blinding me from all the problems I was getting from it.”
Due to her Heroin use, her family began to lose trust in her, and her brother decided that he didn’t want her to come to his house anymore.
She found a job working for a call center and things started to look up.
“I met Jonny, he was really amazing to me – in the beginning. We started talking about having a baby, two months after I met him.”
All of their talk soon turned into reality.
“I was so happy that I was pregnant. Everything was going really really really well for me.”
Breana and Jonny both had jobs and she was selling Heroin. Even though she was still selling, she quit using everything during her pregnancy. The only thing she was a taking was methadone.
“I thought, ‘this is it; this is what’s going to help me stay straight, my daughter’.”
Her pregnancy went extremely well, but Breana had to have a C-section. Because she was on Methadone her tolerance for pain medication was high.
“I did everything I could to get them to give me a high milligram of Percocet. I got them up to perc 30s.”
She was allowed to take four a day, and she was still taking her Methadone.
“As soon as I got home I would snort two in the morning, take my Methadone at the same. I would be nodding off holding my brand new born baby – and I dropped her one time and that was scary. But it didn’t stop me.”
When her daughter was around five weeks old Jonny became abusive. After the first time it happened she decided to leave and move in with her parents and took her daughter with her.
“I ended up taking him back, multiple times. He would always promise me that he was gonna change, that things were going to get better. Every time I took him back it just got worse.”
She and Jonny started using Methamphetamines together while still using Methadone.
“My parents got to the point where they were so sick of me, so sick of my drama with Jonny, that they were like ‘sorry we’re not gonna let you live with us again’.”
She and Jonny became homeless and had nowhere to go. Neither of them had ids to get a room and their baby was not 9 months old.
“I felt like nothing ever was going to get better and I was going to be stuck with Jonny for the rest of my life. He was so abusive to me in every way, mentally, emotionally, physically …”
They ended up staying with one of Breana’s friends from the methadone clinic, sleeping on her floor.
Jonny’s abusive behavior was taking a big toll on Breana’s self-esteem.
“He would just constantly talk down to me and I kept telling him ‘if you don’t want to be with me then you just need to take Sarah and go because I’m going to end up killing myself’ and one day I snapped.”
Breana took a whole bottle of a seizure medication, abound 90 pills, that was in her friend’s medicine cabinet. When Jonny threatened to call an ambulance she took off. He caught up with her and convinced her to come back to the house so he could call 911.
“We’re about to call the ambulance and he calls me stupid. So I leave again, and I’m probably a mile and a half away from the hospital so I’m like I’m just gonna walk in the direction of the hospital, if I make it then I’m supposed to live, if I don’t then I’m not supposed to live.”
A woman on a bike found her collapsed and she called 911. Breana was taken to the hospital, was in ICU for three days and on suicide watch for another five days.
While she was in the hospital Jonny moved into his Heroin dealer’s house with the baby.
“I ended up having to go to a psych ward, and I was in the psych ward for another 8 days … I had to fake that I wanted to stay with Jonny the entire time I was in the hospital because I didn’t want him to take my daughter and never see her again.”
When Breana got out she told him that I was taking Sarah to the emergency room because she was sick, and she never went back.
From there she took Sarah and moved into a domestic violence shelter, they were there for a few months before she was kicked out for not turning I her Methadone. She was homeless again.
“I would go to Budget Suites and they have outside walkways and I would have Sarah in her stroller and I would lay a blanket over her and I would lay my head down in her lap and try to sleep but I would never sleep.”
She got into a homeless shelter, but with the rules of the shelter and having to take public transportation she couldn’t work the hours she needed to, to be able to support her and Sarah.
Breana started selling Meth to other people living in the shelter. She got caught with it, kicked out of the shelter and had Sarah taken away from her.
“I look at it now; I was so numb I didn’t even cry when they took my daughter.”
Sarah was placed in her grandparent’s care. After getting her taken away Breana started doing as many drugs as she could get her hands on so she didn’t have to feel anything.
“I kind of snapped out of it and I was like ‘okay this is it, it’s not or never. I have to get off of Methadone. I have to stop using anything’.”
Breana went into rehab.
“The original reason I went into rehab was because I thought the certificate would make me look good, when I left rehab I knew that I had to stay clean in order to have a good life. I was trying to cover up so many issues in my life.”
After leaving rehab Breana was able to get a good job and her brother helped her get a car.
“It’s amazing to have a relationship with my family again, I can pay my bills, I don’t have to depend on anything every single day of my life anymore.”
Breana currently gets to have her daughter for half of the week without supervision and within the next month, she will have full custody of her once again.
“That little girl is what keeps me going.”
Breana still going to meetings on a regular basis.
“If you’re struggling, keep struggling. As long as you don’t pick up, things will get better.”