Mental Health

I Shoot Up In The School’s Bathrooms: A Teacher’s Battle Against Addiction

My journey into the world of addiction began innocently enough in college when I started taking OxyContin. Having experimented with various substances since I was 15, I felt like I had a grip on my drug use. OxyContin seemed like just another experience I could handle. Little did I know, it would be a life-altering choice.

At first, it was great. The high was euphoric, and it took so little to achieve it, making it relatively inexpensive. I continued my college education during these early days, but it wasn’t long before my life spiraled out of control. In the six years that followed, I graduated from college, found myself in a tumultuous relationship with another addict, and, to my shock and dismay, started using needles to inject the drugs directly into my veins. I stole anything and everything to maintain my habit, as my existence revolved around one thing – getting high.

As a school teacher, I carried the heavy burden of shame knowing that I had stooped so low as to shoot up in the school’s bathrooms just to function. Each day, my significant other would wait at home, supposedly taking care of our baby, but in reality, just biding time until I returned with more drugs. It was a bleak existence, punctuated by moments of despair as I watched the “normal” people go about their lives, yearning to be one of them.

My chance at redemption came abruptly when the Sheriff, acting on my mother’s desperate call, kicked down my door. They took my child away, an act that shattered my heart. But in an unexpected act of mercy, they sent me to detox, forcing me to confront the depth of my addiction. Child services intervened, taking custody of my daughter and placing her with my SO’s mother, who held no love for me. The thought of never seeing my child again brought tears to my eyes and became the catalyst for my transformation.

That fateful day was three years ago. It marked the beginning of a grueling journey through inpatient treatment, followed by outpatient therapy, daily drug testing, and weekly court appearances for a year and a half. The road to recovery was fraught with challenges, but today, I stand as a living testament to the power of resilience and determination. I have been three years removed from the clutches of heroin and pills, and I couldn’t be more grateful or proud of the person I’ve become.

I am a success story, a beacon of hope in a world where so many are ensnared by addiction’s grip. I share my story not to dwell on the past, but to inspire others who may be battling similar demons. Recovery is possible, and while my journey was arduous, the rewards of sobriety are immeasurable. To all those who read this, thank you for your support and understanding.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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