Drugs: not even once, unless you’re the kind of person who likes to have fun but knows where to draw the line. Like me (or so I tell myself, don’t pop my bubble here)! I go through about a blunt a day and spent last weekend tripping on mushrooms at the beach. It was a lovely time, but since I know when to pull back that means that I’m currently sober writing this (bummer), and that I don’t go out and get fucked up when I’ve got shit to do. Which means I’ve got about…two hours of sobriety left today. We’re three days away from Christmas and all my shopping is done — literally ain’t got nothing to do but kick around from 3 p.m. to midnight.
But not all people handle their libations as moderately well as I do. Take 26-year-old Dejah Hall, an Arizona woman whose transformation through her struggle for sobriety started going viral after she posted to Facebook on her four year anniversary. Like many drug users, it started with a gateway drug: prescription pain medication. Dejah was only 17 years old. “I was partying with a friend and I took a pill for the first time due to stress and issues at home, and it just went downhill from there,” she explained to Daily Mail. “I was taking up to six prescription pills at a time every single day before I reached a point at 20 years old where I wanted to get off of them.”
Wanting to sober up, Dejah began attending a methadone clinic, however her progress was short lived — after the death of a close family friend, she wound up missing three days in a row and was kicked out of the program. “I ended up deciding to quit cold turkey and thought it would be okay,” she reminisces.
“The withdrawals were horrendous and after eight days it became physically debilitating — I couldn’t move my hands and it was crippling. I was constantly throwing up.” Dejah may have pulled through it on her own, but when a friend of a friend came over and suggested trying heroin to stop the withdrawal, everything went back to shit. “I was throwing up and I remember he was smoking heroin. I told him it was disgusting and to stop but he was telling me to take just one hit to stop the withdrawals…by the second hit I fell in love with the high. It was numbing.”
From April to December 2012, Dejah was injecting both meth and heroin. “I was killing myself. I was very skinny at around 95 pounds but I still felt like I looked beautiful. That is the deception of the drug…you are not beautiful on that stuff.” Sadly, I have to agree with Dejah. Sometimes drugs make you hotter…
…but most of the time they make you at least look similar to Dejah:
Yeah. Not ideal.
Luckily for Dejah, her turning point came in December 2012 when she visited her grandfather for his birthday. Rather than having a tearful reunion, she recalls that “He sat there in his wheelchair and he told me that I was hurting him. I had been there for him very much before my addiction and after all the drugs I was more separated from him. This was one of my biggest mistakes.”
“I was just disgusted with the person I was and I broke down. I prayed and told God ‘look, I don’t know if you’re real but I really need you to save me right now.’ I went back out to my grandpa and we took some pictures and I told him ‘ don’t worry, I’m going to be okay.'”
Hours later, Dejah was arrested for possession of both drugs and drug paraphernalia. It wasn’t until her grandpa’s failing health finally took a final turn for the worse that she promised she would never touch drugs again. “I quit cold turkey in jail. I had a choice — you can still get drugs in jail — but I was done.”
And done she was — take a gander at the photos up there, and then look at what Dejah looks like now; the difference is practically night and day:
Now sober for four years straight, Dejah hopes to become a minister in the near future and to one day even have her own church. “Don’t give up if you are fighting for sobriety,” she explains, “There are avenues and outlets and it’s so important to ask for help.”