Four heroin overdoses, a heroin possession charge, and several months in jail later, 31 year old Tiffany Lewis is keeping her promise. Never use drugs again.
It’s one year later after she appropriately named her newborn baby, Chance… a name representing Lewis’s second chance at a life drug-free. Chance is healthy and according to Lewis, the happiest baby in the world.
Days before his first birthday, he’s taking baby steps and so is his mother as she continues a journey towards recovery.
As she heads to Chesapeake Drug Court, Lewis says shes clean. Once a week she goes before a judge to update her progress. She says she doesn’t even think about drugs anymore.
“Not no more. I have my bad days but it’s not worth that five minutes of pleasure. Nothing can steal my joy for what I’ve worked hard for and I’m still working hard.”
And it’s not worth the pain Lewis has endured in the past. She says she was introduced to heroin by a friend and initially used it to mask the pain she felt from witnessing the father of one of her kids get shot while they sat in the car. He survived but was later killed in prison.
Lewis recalls her four heroin overdoses. She remembers at least one time waking up in the hospital hooked up to machines.
“My son found me in the bathroom. The only thing I remember is waking up in the hospital.”
The last year hasn’t been easy since she was released from a group home in Newport News for pregnant women battling addiction. She sat there pregnant and holding out hope that that would mark the end of a tumultuous path. But upon her release from the home following the birth of Chance, Lewis had to report to jail from a probation violation as she waited to get screened for drug treatment court.
“I had to report back to Chesapeake City Jail that same day I was released and I had to sit there for four months after bonding with my baby for two months.”
But once she got accepted into the treatment program run by the Chesapeake Community Services Board, things began to improve. The program currently has 23 participants who are only accepted after a strict application process according to Sandra Love, Drug Court Coordinator. “There has to be an in-home assessment. They have to attend two NA or AA meetings twice a week. They have intensive outpatient groups that they have to attend three nights a week for three hours.”
Random drug screenings are also part of the program and each person gets a sponsor to help them through the process. While a participant waits for employment, he or she much do community service. Lewis works at Jason’s Deli in Chesapeake. “Feels good to have money and not spend it on drugs no more.”
Lewis says her life is now an example to others as she tries to encourage other women who are in her same treatment program. She hopes to be the best example to her four kids and that little boy behind the motivation to take a second chance.
“Being clean is great. Feels good to wake up in the morning and not hurt and be sick. To see my baby smile in the morning. It’s just great.