My name is Hannah and my sobriety date is August 29th, 2010.

I’m one of those suburban cliches. I grew up in an affluent area not far from Detroit, where the kids had cars and money and nothing to do. I think that’s why so many of us turned to getting drunk and high. We dabbled in the sort of things we never thought would destroy our lives. Not me, the teenage invincibility complex convinced us.

It turns out, anyone can get addicted to heroin. In my case, I believe I had a genetic predisposition to addiction. Although I had every opportunity to be successful, there was always something a little off about me — depression, a propensity for self-destruction, personality traits that I’ve come to realize are markers of an addict.

Luckily, there’s a solution for people like me: recovery, which I have found by becoming a part of a sober community. I went to rehab (a few rehabs, actually) and eventually kicked heroin cold turkey. I never tried opiate replacements like Methadone — the place I went to helped me get free of drugs, not addicted to a slightly less terrible one. They also helped me get connected with the local sober community. There are a lot of options out there, like 12-step meetings, meditation groups, even secular programs. In my opinion, the most valuable tool is simply having a support system of people who have been through what I have. People that hold me accountable. Friends that give me hope.

It’s been almost 6 years since I had a drink or a drug. I’ll always be an addict, but most days the thought of using doesn’t even cross my mind. Now, I know what waits for me on the other side of the first drink. And there’s not a chance I’m ever going to risk the life I have today.