My name is Kathy, I am 52 year old, and have experienced problem use with crack cocaine. I am currently receiving treatment and support with CAMH and the Toronto Drug Treatment Court. I was admitted into the program by my own choice, because I wanted to end the destructive lifestyle of a crack addict. To gain admittance to Drug Treatment Court, I plead guilty to trafficking of cocaine and possession property obtain by crime.
This is my story:
I was born in Calgary, Alberta, I moved to Vancouver B.C. where I lived until I was five years old. At that time my family moved to Toronto where I still live. I am the middle child and was born into an upper middle class family. My father was an executive for a large corporation which required him to travel away from home most of the time.
My problems began at a young age; my mother was mentally and physically abusive to me when my father was traveling. There was no abuse to my brother or sister. My father was always good to me when he was home; the abuse wasn’t brought to his attention until I was 12 years old. By that time it was too late the damage had already been done. Although I did well academically, my behavior was disruptive. I got involved with a bad crowd and began using alcohol and drugs. I continued throughout my life making bad choices in relationships, all my relationships were abusive.
I continued drinking and using drugs, until I got pregnant with my son, then I quit and did not abuse drugs or alcohol until I was 34 years old. By then the mother of two children, I was also the assistant manager of a T.D bank branch. At this point I got involved in a relationship with a man and he introduced me to cocaine, I was able to function and maintain my life and hide my crack cocaine problem. After a few years I couldn’t maintain my double life, my son was 15 and my daughter was eight, my estranged husband allowed the children to live with him to make my life easier, the end result of that was loss of my job, excessive drug use and criminal activity. I became involved in a lot of crime including the sex trade.
I was in and out of jail on a regular basis. When my behavior would be noticed by friends and family I would go to rehabilitation programs, I didn’t for myself I only went to keep others happy, I even had an earlier involvement with Judge Bentley and DTC but I ended up being expelled due to non compliance and continued criminal activity. I continued using drugs and having trouble with the police. I began to hang around with hard core users and drug dealers. I kept on this path until I was arrested in November 2009.I stayed in jail for one month I was going to proceed through the regular court system but then I decided to apply for admittance to Toronto Drug Treatment Court. I was accepted. For the first month I continued using. Then I decided to myself to give the program a serious try because I was tired of the abusive relationships and being in and out of jails and drug use. It was no longer enjoyable.
Since December 22, 2009 I have had one drug use this is the longest I have been clean in 11 years, I have been able to do this because of Judge Bentley and the DTC staff and CAMH. I am now seeing professionals who can help me with my abuse issues.
I hope that with the continued support of Toronto Drug Treatment Court and CAMH I will be able to stay drug free.