‘I scored 5000 pills a month from doctors’
Allie Severino, 29, works in community outreach in Boca Raton, Florida, and has been clean for 10 years.
She says: “My addiction started at the age of 12 using mainly weed, cocaine and ecstasy, then moving to Xanax, coke and pills.
“I was using prescription pills for four years and was going to 12 doctors a month, coming home with about 400 pills per doctor. I was selling most of the pills just to pay for my addiction.
“But then I got arrested for drug trafficking. My life was dirty, dangerous and scummy. I was sentenced to six years and when I got out of jail I was placed on house arrest where I eventually continued to use.
“I recovered by being court ordered to nine months in a government-run treatment facility.
“While I didn’t want it to happen at the time, that saved my life.
“For the first three months, I vividly remember still having the urge and constant thought of using. When I got into the halfway program, things got even stricter – but I needed that.
“I started going to meetings and got heavily involved in AA. When I was in treatment, women would come into meetings who were now living fairly decent, happy lives and that’s what I wanted.
“I’ve been 10 years drug free now. I feel like I’ve lived two different lives. Today I own a nice clean home, I have two cats who I take care of, I show up for all my friends and family and get to help so many people everyday in my job.
“I thought I looked great when I was using. But it was all a delusion. Obviously now I see my complexion was grey and I actually looked ill.
“I’m happy with the way I look now. I take care of my skin, eat well and do yoga daily. I feel and look better than ever.”