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 One Womans Story

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nannamom
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PostSubject: One Womans Story    Sun 26 Dec 2010, 1:05 am






Spirit of Christmas: Christmas bright for woman who overcomes drug addiction




For the first time in seven years, Angie Gough will wake up with her daughter on Christmas morning.
"Christmas Day is ours," said Gough, 34, with a bright smile.

The holidays weren't always happy....

Ten years ago, Gough descended into an addiction to prescription pain pills. She was prescribed them for a legitimate reason, but within six months, she was addicted.
"It escalated to the point I had to have them and would go through any lengths to get them," said Gough, of Mountain Home.
She worked in the medical profession, where it was easy for her to call in her own prescriptions illegally, she said.
Three years later, she overdosed, woke up in the hospital and went to rehabilitation.
That was when authorities discovered her prescription fraud, and she was put on probation.
But that didn't stop her from taking pills, she said.

"It was my own demon," Gough said of her addiction.
In the midst of her addiction, she divorced and lost custody of her daughter, then 7 years old.
"I literally lost everything," she said, describing the control the drugs had over her body and mind.

In 2008, Gough was arrested for driving while intoxicated with drugs. Her probation was revoked and she was given the option of drug court.
She had a rough start, as she received a "first strike" the first day of drug court, she said.
"It scared me to death," she said.
Physically, her withdrawal symptoms lasted weeks, and mentally, for months. She explains it can be so dark at times, a person feels the only way out is to take his or her own life.
"In the end, drug court is what saved my life," Gough said. "I believe that with all my heart."
She also credits her faith in God, her family, and her probation officer, Eva Frame.

"I believe God put her in my life," Gough said of Frame. "She believes in people. She doesn't give up on people."
It took Gough about six months living sober before she got her mind and body back, she said.

During that time, she dealt with many emotions, including the grief of losing her daughter and others in her life.
One day, she sat on her living room floor, looking at her daughter's baby pictures spread around her.
"I cried the whole time," Gough said, with tears in her eyes as she recounted the event. "I grieved for the lost time with her."
She describes that moment as a spiritual awakening and says when she awoke the next morning, she knew everything would be all right.
Still, it took her the first year of drug court to overcome her guilt and shame, she says.

In May, Gough graduated from drug court. On Tuesday, she earned minimum probation.
Once probation is successfully completed, she can petition to have her record expunged, Frame says.

The best thing about drug court is that people are in rehabilitation while they are "out there" living, even while being bombarded by temptation, Frame says.
To those going through similar circumstances, Gough offers hope.
"There is hope," she said. "I've been there."

She also encourages people to attend drug court if they have the opportunity.
"If you have the option to take drug court, you need to take it," Gough said. "If you want to change but can't, drug court is the answer, to me."
This Christmas is a lot brighter for Gough, who says a little more than a month ago she got back her parental rights.
Now she's spending Christmas Day with her husband, Alex; 14-year-old daughter, McKenna May; and 9-year-old stepdaughter, Madeline Gough.
"They're my strength," she said, smiling.


News Article source;

Baxter Bulletin

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