Julie Perkins

My Journey began 6 years ago when I found out my son was snorting pills… alone, ashamed and terrified were the feelings that made up my days. My son progressed quickly to shooting Heroin and my husband was in denial. I hid behind the grocery stores shelves from people I knew in my town for fear that they would know what was going on, or that they would ask me how my son was doing. I really thought if I was a better mother this wouldn’t have happened. Six years ago there wasn’t as much education or information about this disease so I didn’t know where to turn or what to do.

Thankfully I was in Alanon and help came when one of my Alanon friends told me about Learn2cope. I learned there was a meeting in Brockton and that the room was full of other parents dealing with the same issue. I was terrified to go to that first meeting but relieved to see I wasn’t the only one who had a child addicted to Heroin. I couldn’t say the words but I found resources, hope and love in the Learn2Cope meetings. I learned I couldn’t love my son well and that there was no cure for this hideous problem that my family faced. I learned this was a process, that others had been successful in getting their child into treatment. I met people from treatment facilities and was educated on the disease. Learn2Cope helped me find a bed for my son more than once when there weren’t any beds available.

My recovery came when I had the opportunity to help other parents. Learn2Cope gave me that opportunity by allowing me to be a Narcan trainer and Learn2Cope Facilitator. I went to Washington DC and actively participated in speaking out and helping to end the stigma. I will be forever grateful for Learn2Cope and actively spread the word to other parents that are hiding behind the grocery store shelves.

My son is still struggling, my marriage has been threatened but I’m grateful that Learn2Cope helped me find a way to live my life and love my family where they are. I no longer hide from people in my town. Today I am part of a local drug coalition and wear my Learn2Cope t-shirt proudly. Today I like being alive and don’t worry about the future (I take life one day at a time) which is nothing short of a miracle.