Former heroin addict who overdosed 19 times reveals transformation

·2-min read

A woman who began abusing drugs at the age of 15 and overdosed 19 times in a 10-year period has revealed her incredible transformation.

Madison McManus, 28, hasn't used heroin or cocaine in three years, and is now trying to regain custody of the daughter she had when she was 18.

At the time, the nine months she was pregnant was the longest she had lasted being sober until she, after "hitting rock bottom" in 2018, decided to get clean once and for all.

The woman, from New Jersey in the US, was first introduced to hard drugs by her boyfriend when she was 15 and it wasn't long before she was in the grips of an addiction that left her wanting to "not wake up".

She also spent six years living on the streets.

Madison McManus pictured after being arrested on June 24, 2017.
Madison McManus pictured after being arrested on June 24 in 2017. Source: Vernon Police

"I lived a life full of misery and prayed every time that I slept to please not wake up. I thought for a long time that I would never get out of there," she told the Daily Mail.

She first entered rehab at 15, but soon after her release she started using drugs again. It was one of several acts that left her without the support of her family and friends.

"The things that I dealt with and accepted in my active addiction could write a book. The disease had me in its grips ... holding me captive. I held so much shame and regret for losing my daughter, losing my family, and losing myself," she said.

On July 18, 2018, she had her lowest point and decided that day would mark her third and final arrest, and the final time she would use a drug.

Madison McManus pictured aged 28.
Ms McManus is now aged 28 and has been sober for three years. Source: Facebook

After being released from prison, she set about her own style of rehabilitation, attending a 30-day program then continuing treatment in a halfway house for four months.

Once moving into an apartment of her own, she turned to Alcoholics Anonymous which is where she said "the real growth started".

She has since regained the support of her family and this year hopes to be reunited with her daughter, who is now nine.

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