Mary Poppins dress rehearsal - today at 10:30 am at Adams Middle School

The Rules Don't Apply to Me

by Press Release
September 25, 2017

        Growing up in my middle class neighborhood in a small town in Massachusetts was literally perfect not just picture perfect but in fact pretty damn perfect.

        My parents (whom have been happily married now for 35 years I'm 32) my brother and myself were in my eyes the epitome of normal happy families; we went camping, visited zoos, parks, had play dates we ate dinner every night promptly at 6:00pm as a family sitting at the dinner table. My parents didn't fight, there was no bad childhood experiences, I was not beaten, raped, molested, abandoned or hurt in anyway. I did not even know those thing existed. It was; like I said perfect. We played outside, made forts, got dirty and were free. I have spent many nights wondering how a girl like me ended up addicted to heroin, throwing away all the opportunities I had been given. It wasn't supposed to happen to me. I was popular, I played sports, I never experienced anything traumatic. Like I said my life was perfect.

        For me my problems stemmed from the complete love to push boundaries to feel secretly "better than" other people. I always felt I did not have to play by anyone's rules, besides my own. Never mind always feeling invincible because "that" was and possibly may be how I lived.

        I always loved pushing limits and drugs were no exception. It started with alcohol at parties and I always had to be throwing up drunk not just "fun" drunk. Any substance that was offered to me I happily ingested...because I'm a badass like that. This is how I always felt always loved being the girl that was down for anything. In high school besides doing ecstasy, acid and drinking a lot of alcohol I also found out that the pills my brother was prescribed for ADHD make me love school, I loved spending hours on detailed homework assignments because well even though I was warned about why I should never try his pills this made me want to try them even more and once I did I was in love (my first love...adderol). When your 14 crushing up amphetamines at 6am before your father dropped you off at school there may be a problem...I mean right? In college I continued with my adderol addiction as well as drinking most nights but it was college isn't that what your supposed to do?   

        I graduated college in 4 years with a bachelors degree in psychology. Somewhere between my graduation and the first year as an "adult" I was offered OxyContin by a boyfriend...typical right? Even with my personality I was both intrigued and scared of what would happen if I did the pill...but in true form I watched as my boyfriend crushed up and 80mg OxyContin and split it into two line...and it all took off from that moment. I loved how I felt nothing, how life didn't seem to matter, I no longer cared about; well anything. It was great!

        These little green pills took hold of my life with a force I didn't know was possible. I loved them, I wanted them and soon I needed them. A once in a while high became a daily habit and this is where opiates took over my life. Over the next few years I lost my job as an Early Intervention Specialist, I lost both my high school and college best friends, I lied, stole and cheated to get high. I didn't care about anyone's happiness but my own and that meant staying high everyday all day. Until the will to use surpassed the money to fund it. Enter my soulmate: Heroin.

        It was a simple thing transition looking back, pills were not only expensive but getting harder and harder  to come by.  Was I scared at the word HEROIN?? Hell yes I was I wasn't that kind of person, I wasn't a heroin addict; I sniffed pills: I was better than heroin addicts (once again my sense of hierarchy rears its ugly head). So I sniffed some....I waited for this amazing rush, a feeling of pure bliss...I never came; I didn't get it, I did not understand what all the hype was about I'd much rather stick of my pills; this was stupid. Well....I did try it again and I did push the limits once again and agree to using a needle this time...I was told how purely indescribable it would be. So I said "ok let's do it"...I was shaking waiting for the process to be complete, for my friend to show me how to hit a vein, for the blood to rush into the needle, for him to push the plunger, for the drugs to enter my blood stream; I was ready to feel what people talk about. And that's when it happened, that's when it all happened and in the moment I understood exactly why people did this, how could I have not done this sooner?! And that's all it took.

        In the years following I would developed a habitual, primal need for this narcotic as well as a psychological love/ hate relationship that only took from me even though I believed I needed it to survive; to live.

        I feel hard and I feel deep. I lost jobs, cars, my home, my friends and more importantly myself but I didn't care those things; mostly the people in my life were good for one thing, to aide in procuring of my drugs and if they weren't helping me in some way to obtain those drugs they were essentially useless.

        I spent 10 years living a life that's only purpose was to get heroin no matter who I hurt in the process. I went to detoxes that only kept me "well" for 5 days just to send me on my way straight to my dealers house to start it all over again. I made the choice at 26 to go to a program my friend had completed in Oklahoma; it was Scientology based; their methods were unfounded and absurd but I finally found my happiness...I detoxes with no medication in less than a week and regardless of the ideology and the baseless courses we had to participate in I myself never felt Scientology was even a factor in my recovery while I was there, however I think they knew better than to pull that crazy talk on   ...I have no problem calling bullshit and people become very aware of who falls where. After 121 days I completed the program and flew back to Boston. Within a week I had relapsed. Once again I was back running. I ran until I was 30 when my life was changed forever.

        On march 15, 2015 I stopped breathing, I had overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl. I was not breathing for an unknown amount of time. I was lucky enough that I was at my parents house and it was dinner time otherwise no one would of found me in time. I was transported to the hospital where I stayed for 6 days that's unheard of after an overdose most patients leave within hours not days. I couldn't remember anything new, I couldn't tell you the day the month, the year. I had no idea I was repeating everything I said. I realized that "omg I haven't even thought about getting high in days" when I left the hospital I was currently taking methadone to try and keep me sober, I was so ready to be done and I had no issues tapering from my dose of methadone and was completely off all medical inventions less that 4 months after beginning my taper.

   Now I am 918 days sober from all illicit substances, I maintain a full time job, I have no legal issues, I have the respect and trust of my family back; I have my license and a vehicle. I have healthy supportive loving relationships in my life, I am active in NA and see a therapist. I keep an open line of communication available to any addict who is still suffering as well as their family and loved ones. I owe a lot of my success to my parents who always believed in me, in believing in myself enough to self-advocate when needed. I believe every person has a right to be given respect, love and support. I do my best to maintain healthy friendships but always keep the door open to anyone seeking help with their addiction. Most importantly I have a beautiful baby boy who has never been exposed to drugs of any kind, was conceived and born to a sober mother, who is beyond blessed to have the most wonderful grandparents, uncle, aunt, and many surrogate aunties and uncles in his life on a daily basis. I am beyond blessed by the gifts of sobriety and believe sharing my story and being unashamed of my past has allowed others to open up their own personal struggles with addiction; be it their own or someone they love. I will continue being completely unafraid to share with the world who I am; all of who I am: a daughter, a sister, a mother, a friend, an employee, a college graduate, a joy seeker and so much more. I am proud. I am happy, I am free.

Erin McAdams

Holliston, MA


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Comments (5)

What a courageous fight you have fought. Congratulations. Now on to being a wonderful mother. Keep up the great work. Donna

- Donna Cournoyer | 9/28/17 9:48 PM

Erin, thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it will be inspiring to all who read it. I am so happy you have been able to turn your life around. I lost my brother a few months ago to alcoholism. I would have given anything to help him get over his addiction, I am so glad you have been given a second chance and now have a beautiful little boy. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family to support you. You should feel so proud of yourself. Now don't look back. What a wonderful future you have ahead. Good luck and god bless.

- Cathy | 9/28/17 4:53 PM

Thank you Erin for sharing.I am crying with such admiration and so proud of where you have been and your future.Bless you for helping others and the hard struggle you have dealt with..Bless your parents for being there for you and I am really so proud of you and the family!Enjoy that beautiful baby boy!!!

- Daphne | 9/26/17 2:10 PM

Thank younso much Erin, i am soo proid of you and i know tour story will encourage others to not give up ! And to fight the devil of addiction

- Amy | 9/25/17 5:18 PM

Thank you for sharing your story <3

- Heather | 9/25/17 10:20 AM



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