NIKI’S STORY: The fight to stay sober

N

iki is a 31-year-old assistance office manager who has two children with her boyfriend. Here is her story in her own words. “I lost my dad when I was 16 and that was kind of the onset of my life spiraling down. It started with a lot of drinking. After high school, I became addicted to Percocet.

After three years of using Percocet and alcohol, I went to detox at an area hospital for five days. I left withdrawing worse than I was when I went in. I then thought it was a great idea to go to the methadone clinic. I was there for about three months and quit cold turkey, knowing that I might have withdrawal symptoms. I haven’t touched Percocet since March 2011, but over the next five years, I was binge alcoholic, only stopping during my pregnancies.

From August 2015 to June 2016, I was drinking daily. Initially, it was just on my lunch break and when I got home from work. Then, it escalated to my morning break and on my way home from work, too. I put my job on the line, but even after an involuntary unpaid week off I still continued to drink.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, was the day I finally got myself some help. I had my boyfriend bring me to the ER, drinking right up until I walked in. I had to detox for three hours because my blood alcohol level was too high (more than twice the legal limit) and I was too intoxicated to talk to anyone. When I left, I did a 12-day detox at Southern NH Medical Center’s inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. I then agreed to go to Florida to an inpatient rehab program for six weeks. After returning to NH, I started Southern New Hampshire medical Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which supports those with substance use disorder. After my 16 sessions, I transitioned to the aftercare meeting with two days of IOP and one day of the aftercare group. I now have 16 months of sobriety with many more to come.

I am extremely blessed and thankful for all of the knowledge and support that I have received at Southern New Hampshire Health and continue to receive. I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today without SNHH! This program saves lives, and I am living proof.