My name is Rachel. I am a counselor that once had many unavoidable problems in the past. I want to talk about this here because I feel that a lot of addiction victims and soon to be victims need to hear from my past as well as what to do to prevent this from happening, especially those that are going through college. Like any individual that may be experiencing the unexpected side of college, sometimes what ends up being a problem that stings you slowly and painfully may look innocent at first sight.
It all began when I entered college, and like all college freshmen, I had no prior experience with the atmosphere of a place like this. I met my roommate right when I entered the dorm, and she looked like any normal roommate would. We talked to each other about our high school days, our childhoods, and what we want to study in college. We would tend to help each other out with our homework as well as eat together. Sometimes, if we weren’t in the same class, any classes that we share at different times can benefit us so we can share any details that my friend and I would need just as a heads up for what we need to learn about in an upcoming class. For a while, everything felt like our friendship would be a very smooth sailing, but like how the ship named Titanic would get wrecked by an iceberg, our friendship would end up falling apart by my friend being addicted to opioids.
One day, we were going out for a party in preparation for the end of the freshmen year finals. Usually, my friend and I would usually try to look for anyone to be a part of a study group for the finals. At the time, my friend started to use medicine that she said was from a friend. I didn’t know what she meant, but I wanted to keep her in check for her safety. When we began our study group sessions, I was starting to notice my friend backing out every now and then to use her pills, and I noticed her being itchy and looking very uncomfortable. At one point, she said that she can’t breathe, to the point where her voice was starting to break up from her lack of oxygen. We had to take her to the hospital and hope for her to recover. Unfortunately, we were too late. My friend was able to stay with us for a few minutes before she died of her opioid overdose.
I was devastated. I lost a friend that was very close to me ever since the beginning of freshmen year. Since then, I felt an unusual urge to counsel others that would be near such a tragic moment. So in my sophomore year, I joined a counselor class with one goal in mind, and that’s to counsel anyone that has or fears of losing a loved one.
About The Author:
Rachel Lopez is a grief counselor in Chicago, Illinois. She wants to share her story and journey about why she chose to practice in such a dark field. Rachel believes that the more she shares her story, the more she can help those struggling with addiction as well as inspire those who want to go into the field.