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July 28, 1999

In high school I hung out with the druggies and drunks. When I was 16 years old, I was sent away to an adolescent rehab for 45 days. The program was strict. In “phase one” of the treatment we were only given blue hospital scrubs to wear. We had to ‘earn’ our clothes. This was also the detox part of the program. We sat around and talked. No books, television, or radios were aloud. We weren’t allowed to use the phone. “Phase two” wasn’t much different – besides being given the privilege to wear our own clothes. Still, all shirts had to be tucked in, jeans pegged, and nothing considered ‘offensive’ (T-shirts with slogans, skirts, leggings, etc.). Still, nothing from the outside world (like TV) was aloud. The only book we could read was “Alcoholics Anonymous”. I tried to convince my parents to let me come home after a few weeks, but they refused. We were told that we had to give our “will” over to a higher power. I was scared into believing what the staff said. They told us that if we started to drink and/or drug that we would end up back in rehab or die.

I left terrified that I would lose my freedom again or even worse cease to exist. I stayed sober for 8 months. It started with a sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve and ended with me passed out. I drank heavily for a while, on and off. I never really believed that I was an alcoholic. I just think that I used alcohol/drugs to numb the pain.

Every once and a while I’ll go on a drinking binge. When I do go out, I drink 3 or 4 drinks and stop. I have control again. Megara

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