Nimz: “I was addicted to heroin”
Last year Sequim High senior Chelsea Nimz was like many teenagers in America. She went out with friends, casually drank and was curious about drugs. Chelsea dabbled in everything from pot and prescription pills, to methamphetamine. Although nothing compared to what she experienced that January.
“Well, I tried Heroin. I shot it up and the feeling was incredible. Almost instantly when I came down I wanted more. I needed more.” So began the quick downward spiral that became Chelsea’s life last spring. Heroin consumed her. She was using four to five times a day, every day. “It didn’t cost anything,” said Chelsea, “A close friend of mine was selling it, so I had access to an unlimited supply.”
As if using heroin multiple times a day wasn’t harmful enough, Chelsea was also exposing herself daily to foreign objects often found in the drug. “Sometimes I would go to boil down the heroin, and I’d find small pieces of metal and plastic. That is so extremely dangerous, but you have to understand that the people distributing it do not care about you. They care about the money”.
As time went on her continued use took a turn for the worse. Chelsea was almost always high, around her friends, her family and even at school. Still, nobody suspected a thing, especially her parents.
While using the drug Chelsea began to isolate herself, feeling completely apathetic toward everyone but her sources and connections to heroin. She ruined nearly every friendship during that time period especially with her closest friends which Chelsea agrees after looking back, was the hardest part. The only person who Chelsea kept close was her former boyfriend who was also neck deep in the drug. Eventually he was sentenced to time in jail, and a court mandated treatment center- which at the time of writing- he was still recovering at.
Chelsea realized she was fighting a losing battle with her addiction to heroin. “I knew I had a problem when I’d wake up so sick in the morning because of the withdrawal from the night before. I needed to shoot up right away to make it go away. The only thing I thought about all day, every day was heroin,” she said. Around the same time Chelsea realized her fingernails and toenails were yellowing; a sign of repeated heroin use.
One morning, her supply was compromised and Chelsea broke down. “I told my parents, I just told them everything on my mind. I watched as they sobbed in devastation; but still I could barely feel anything; all I could think about was shooting up.” Almost right away her parents decided she needed treatment. “I didn’t want to leave my friends and home town but I knew it was my only option. My last resort.”
Chelsea was transported to the Lakeview Recovery Center in Burien. When she got there, Chelsea was less than excited. “I thought ‘no way’ I don’t belong here, these people are crazy. It was just scary.” But after looking back Chelsea realized that indeed, the center was exactly where she belonged.
After the initial detox which Chelsea described as “excruciating”, she grew to love the recovery center. “We became one huge family. Trusting each other, helping each other and above all, we loved each other. Chelsea continues to keep in touch with the people that helped her survive at the recovery center.
Finally, after thirty six days at the Lakeview Recovery Center, Chelsea tearfully emerged a new woman. Her good friend, SHS senior Sierra Layman said, “Chelsea is a different person. She doesn’t use drugs or drink and she knows who she is. She’s happy.”
At writing, Chelsea Nimz has continued her sobriety. In giving advice to younger teens, Chelsea warns, “You really need to be careful. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be a recovering heroin addict, I wouldn’t believe you in a million years. It’s the little things you need to watch like smoking pot; they snowball and escalate quickly and honestly it’s not worth it. Be who you are, embrace it, and love it. You don’t need drugs to alter who you are.”