Reagan admits that at just 14, she was one of them.
“I was about to waste my whole life…just to get high.”
She says her addiction cost her relationships, her confidence and, for a few years, a close bond with her family.
“When it started, I was distant with my parents,” she says. “We had a great relationship before. I would distance myself because I would be stoned.”
Reagan says his addiction was to opioids. She went to rehab out of state before she even graduated from high school. There she fought for her life. She fought every day to get clean.
But she says she knew it would be a battle of a lifetime, starting from the day she came home.
“We were looking for an outpatient [program] so that I could continue my recovery,” she recalls. “I started at Daybreak, and I was there [getting help with outpatient services for] six months. It changed my life.”
Reagan has been sober for three years now. Although she admits the road is difficult, she is committed.
Daybreak’s Catherine Reynolds says triumphs like Raegan’s are inspiring.
“These real successes are rare,” admits Reynolds.
The non-profit organization has been around for about 40 years and specializes in treating teens struggling with drug and mental health issues. They offer internal and external programs. Daybreak staff say they understand how difficult times are right now, especially for our young people.
“It’s a very difficult time to be a child,” she says. “It really comes down to a strong family unit, or just finding a lawyer you can trust.”
Reynolds advises anyone in need of help to connect with an adult they feel comfortable talking to. They can also call Daybreak anytime at 1-888-454-5506.
Reagan echoes that sentiment, and she hopes that by sharing her story, it will spark some much-needed conversations and awareness.
“I think it’s really about [parents] to be present, to know [the warning] signs and really knowing their child,” she says. “It could be anyone. I hope parents can say “my child is not well” instead of “no, it’s not my child”.
Because she wants parents to know that drug addiction can affect anyone.
“Drugs changed my life,” she says. “In a bad way, yes. But also in a good way.”
Because now Reagan is booming. Her days that were once filled with drug addiction are now focused on building a bright future.
“Especially school and work,” she says.
And in between it all, she always finds the time to offer everyone she meets a gift: hope.
“There are better days,” says Reagan. “There are. You have to keep moving forward.”
Reagan says the main warning signs she and others struggling with drugs may display include extreme mood swings, lack of eye contact, inability to stay home for an extended period of time. and a sudden withdrawal.