Rachel Bercik walks with a purpose.
The 37-year-aged Erie resident travels at a brisk pace as she heads to get the job done, to appointments, to meetings and to the household she shares with a girlfriend.
Bercik is going on with her life with determination just after yrs of battling a drug habit that she stated took most all the things she owned and afflicted relationships with her household and many others.
Bercik, who has been in an out of treatment more than the a long time, walked out of her previous stint in rehab on Memorial Day. She celebrates a yr of sobriety this thirty day period.
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She admits to owning demanding days, but claims she combats them by achieving out to the folks in her life. Although that assistance is a massive enable in being clean and on the route she is pursuing, Bercik explained it was up to her to consider people initially methods in turning absent from medicines for good.
“A lot of situations, if you happen to be performing it for family, to get your young children again, for a considerable other, it falls down sooner or later. You have to do it for on your own,” she reported.
Wrestle with habit
Bercik, an Erie indigenous, explained she was 1st introduced to heroin in large school. A several decades right after graduating, she moved to Pittsburgh.
“That is when I got heavier into my dependancy,” she claimed.
Bercik stated she experimented with a variety of medications which includes crystal methamphetamine.
At some level she was launched to fentanyl, a very powerful and perilous synthetic opioid that has been blamed for a growing amount of drug overdoses and deaths throughout the region, including in Erie County.
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“I know they commenced reducing meth with fentanyl due to the fact of the addictive characteristics, and you get hooked on it,” she stated.
A lot of the heroin on the street was also starting to be laced with fentanyl, which is additional powerful, Bercik reported. She failed to need as substantially of the drug to get higher, so she said she progressively started off accomplishing heroin and fentanyl with each other.
“As time grew, simply because fentanyl is so substantially stronger, your tolerance grows extra and much more,” she reported. “Actually, it is really hard to find heroin on the street any longer. Almost everything has turn out to be fentanyl, which is more cost-effective and a lot more strong.”
A extended, difficult street to restoration
Bercik would be in an out of recovery about the subsequent 16 a long time.
“The very last run I was on was a five-year operate,” she claimed. “I missing the love of my existence to an overdose, which I think was fentanyl. After he overdosed, I definitely fell deep into my habit.”
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Bercik had a whole-time career, owned a property and a auto, and her daughter was dwelling with her. But she stated after getting back on prescription drugs, items went out of control and she lost every thing.
“The very last a few to four many years, I was homeless quite a lot. The drugs had these kinds of a robust maintain on me I was unable to escape that lifetime. It took me locations I by no means imagined it would,” she claimed. “I by no means assumed I would stay in a property with no h2o, electrical or heat in the useless of winter with certainly very little.”
Bercik claimed she failed to care about something when she was in the throes of her habit. She mentioned she would trade her food items stamps, provide every thing she had “and everything you had” to get additional prescription drugs.
“I was pretty lucky it did not take me down a highway a great deal of women of all ages finish up going down, utilizing their bodies to get far more,” she stated.
Bercik stated she obtained to a level wherever she experienced no additional couches to surf on and nowhere else to go. She mentioned she would invest several hours trying to shoot up, but her arms were so poor she was not able to do so.
Bercik turned unwell, contracting MRSA in her heart from taking pictures up. She spent a week in a coma and two months in the medical center.
Bercik explained she still left the medical center, with no spot to stay. She was nonetheless unwell, she reported, but continued working with.
Bercik explained she then arrived at a “level of desperation.”
“I realized immediately after all that I’d be all set to stop,” she stated.
Enable from the Mercy Heart for Girls in Erie
Bercik would spend six months in therapy, minus just one 7 days.
She said she had no house plan in location when she completed the initially extend of treatment method for the duration of that time. She was dropped off at a grocery retail outlet with no a person to connect with.
“The 1st factor I did was achieve out to get some medicines,” Bercik mentioned.
She overdosed in the course of that 7 days.
Bercik went back into rehab in Ohio ahead of returning to Erie and continuing her inpatient procedure. Immediately after finishing her application, she moved into the Mercy Center for Gals, “hoping my ideal to get again on with my existence.”
Her now-teenage daughter, whom she experienced signed in excess of short-term guardianship to her mother and father, was ready to pay a visit to her whilst she stayed at the middle, Bercik claimed.
Bercik, now residing with a pal soon after relocating out of the heart, receives intensive outpatient procedure a few times a week and attends recovery conferences when she can.
She suggests she thinks about the individuals she has lost, which includes the several pals who could not get over their possess battles with addiction.
Bercik believes her battle is more than, as soon as she obtained to that place of desperation.
She hopes her tale inspires other folks who have similarly struggled with dependancy.
“This just isn’t my initially go-all-around. I have been in 10 different rehabs,” Bercik mentioned. “This time, I have a diverse feeling within. I am carrying out it since I actually, deeply want to do it.”
Get hold of Tim Hahn at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.
- PA Get Help Hotline, 800-662-4357
- Erie County Office environment of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 814-451-6877, eriecountypa.gov/departments/human-providers/drug-and-alcoholic beverages-abuse
- Gaudenzia Erie, dependancy procedure and recovery solutions, 814-459-4775, gaudenzia.org
- Millcreek Local community Medical center, 814-864-4031
- H.E.R. Household, for gals recovering from drug abuse, herhomerecovery.com
- Narcotics Anonymous Erie, lakeeriena.org