Leslie is the girl next door from the “average American family.” She grew up playing basketball in high school and idolizing her brother. She was even the captain of her high school the Color Guard. She is everybody’s daughter, sister, girlfriend and best friend – she is also an addict. She started hanging out with older kids and always wanted to be “cool.” At 14 she took her first drink and end-ed up finishing a bottle of vodka with her friends, taking a bunch of pills (Norco) and passing out in her driveway. She continued to drink and smoke pot throughout high school, but kept “it under control.”
After high school she started “using everything.” She heard a lot about Meth from her brother and his friends and she “loved it” before she tried it. “I wanted to love it.” That was just the beginning. Leslie had three children while using meth and just about everything else. She stole to get money for drugs and spent time in jail for possession and theft.
Eventually, her children were taken by Child Protective Services (CPS) and placed with her mother and a family friend. There were many times when Leslie was determined to quit, but she just couldn’t do it on her own. She wanted to be a good mother and get her kids and life back. “I knew I would never stop unless I got help.” After her last stint in jail, she begged her health insurance company to send her to residential treatment and she was sent to Casa.
When Leslie arrived at Casa she was so happy to be here, but that doesn’t mean her the struggle for sobriety was easy. It took a lot of time and effort. She has been working on her sobriety at Casa for almost a year now and the changes are extraordinary. “For the first time in my life, I have a job...I am happy with who I am... I had no hope a year ago. I didn’t care about anything.”
Now Leslie is planning for the future. “Five years from now I want to be able to support myself and my kids. I want to be working at a treatment center as a counselor…I would love to work at Casa. I want to help out my mom because she has helped me out so much.”Leslie, Alumna