My name is Nataša and I’m 31. I was born in Novi Sad. My parents divorced when i was 5 years old, because my father started to drink (right after my mother got pregnant) and to assault her physically and mentally. In third grade I have tried cigarettes and in 6-7th i was already a smoker. In 6th grade I’ve also tried weed. I was always hanging around with older people because i matured early. Its like I’ve never been a child and my peers were boring to me and I’d fit into the older crowd. After the divorce I lived with my grandmother and grandfather for 4 years. After that i moved into my mothers and her ex boyfriends who would act indecently towards me. In that time I was unbelievable. Bad at school, running away from home.. That’s why my mother moved with me to another country. That’s where i enrolled into high school and met my first love. My stepfather had a positive influence on me as well as mothers care that I haven’t had so far and everything seemed a lot better. I was a good at school. However ever since i tried weed the first time i never stopped using it from time to time. And slowly more often. It was great because I was always the youngest in predominantly male company, always had a boyfriend (long term) so i was good with everyone and they protected me. By 18 I also tried pills because I would go often to rave parties with ‘my crew’. Then I also tried heroin for the first time. With my boyfriend and another friend I got hooked, totally unexpectedly. I didn’t know anything about it because I didn’t care. However it was there, tried it, got hooked. I went through every phase of a heroin addict: stealing from home, stealing from anybody, selling stolen gold or anything else, entering other peoples homes, distribution of drugs and all of that for 2 years. I only didn’t end up on the street. We got caught. They found us during an exchange and quickly boyfriend ended up in jail. Only with the mercy of God I have avoided that. Mom and stepfather helped me a lot during detox. A bit short of a year I was still under medicine. Two times I’ve been through a relapse from which I barely survived. Since then, never again. Its been 10 years. However, its been hard for me to fit into the normal world. I couldn’t get what these ‘normal’ people do in their lives. They were incredibly boring so i continued to smoke weed. That was my way of dealing with everyday things. I couldn’t imagine a day without weed. At 23 I returned to Novi Sad. I was aware that it is an opportunity for change, but I didn’t know how. I was drowning in dissatisfaction and defeat because of the fact that I couldn’t stop. I was speaking with everybody, nobody understood. Of course, through the following years I’ve consumed speed and pills, but weed every day. My nerves were broken and nothing interested me as long as I knew that by the time I finish everyday duties I would be awarded by weed. As soon as I came to Novi Sad i began a relationship with a boyfriend similar to myself, so all of my needs have once again been met. Until I realized that I CANNOT quit smoking with the power of my own will. That feeling of defeat lasted a couple of years. The longer it lasted the worse I felt. Boyfriend and I since the start have lived together. Everything stated has definitely affected our relationship – we would constantly fight, swear at each other, fight… all the way to his unfounded jealousy, all of that thanks to consequences of long term usage of weed and other substances. Now after 17 years of that life, I am finally FREE! And for more than a year from pills and such and over 8 months of weed! And my boyfriend is free for more than a year from everything! Miracles happen, its only necessary to want change enough and to SEEK HELP! Everything else comes on its own. Its perfectly normal that you cannot do something alone. And I around me now have a family and friends that I couldn’t even dream about and boyfriend and I are planning a wedding! Thank god!