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Published on March 13th, 2013 | by Nathaniel


Someone I Love Struggled with Addiction Too…


This story has no glitz or glamor. You see, it’s not an easy story to tell but one that I hope will inspire others in a similar situation. This is the story of my hero, my mother, Deborah Dunlap. She has battled for 30+ years with a heroin addiction. You may see her today and think “No way…” but that’s because she is resilient and owns up to her demons.

Contrary to the misconception that drug addicts come from broken homes or the impoverished inner-city, my mom came from neither. My grandparents were married for over sixty years and had six kids. They were model citizens and my grandfather worked hard to provide for the family. Growing up, my mom had many advantages compared to other people but that didn’t make her immune to hardships. She started out as a recreational drug user and that led to something more serious.

As a kid, she was always there for us but she needed her fix too. I grew up in a household like this for fifteen years and not to mention my father was also addicted to drugs. He wasn’t around much because he was in and out of jail. This first time my mom kicked her addiction, I was in the 8th grade.  She went to jail for awhile but came back a changed person. The time she spent in prison allowed her to develop a new mindset, or so she thought. Because she thought she, alone, was bigger than the addiction she eventually gave into her demons again. She would later get clean again and stay clean for seven years only to relapse again. This relapse was one that was far worse than she had ever experienced before. It took her hitting rock bottom to finally want to help herself.

Now she has been clean for about a year. My mom’s journey with addiction says that it’s a one-day-at-a-time fight. Her addiction did not and does not define her. She hasn’t allowed her struggle to affect how she pours into the lives of others. I felt I had to tell this story because I know what it feels like to lose someone to addiction. Thankfully God has blessed my mom but her sister, my aunt, wasn’t as fortunate and overdosed. I never want anyone to know what that feels like to lose a love one. Recovery from addiction is a step-by-step process. The inner civil war that takes place requires a strength that is not our own. God is always there in the midst.


-Mannie Ramos Jr.

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