Gina started using heroin when she was 13 years old. She continued using for twenty years, until her arrest during Operation Helping Hand in August 2019. It was at that moment that she felt her mind and her heart were being completely connected. She recalls an officer saying to her, “What are you doing?” She thought to herself, “What AM I doing?” She remembers thinking, “I am dying, and I need you to help me,” but the words would not come out of her mouth.
Our Recovery Specialist worked with her for 8 weeks, along with the staff at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. She recalls hearing the Recovery Specialist say to her, “I am going to fight for you but I need you to fight hard for yourself too, or this will not work.” So Gina began to do the work, and continues to do so. She appreciates the strong support system that was developed; especially the Recovery Specialist and the Case Manager in our STAR (Support Team for Addiction Recovery) program who helped Gina enroll in college recently. Gina plans to work toward completing an Associate’s Degree in Social Work. She is coming up on her one-year anniversary in August and has already secured an internship in the recovery field.