Hi, my name is Kaylin. I’m 22 years old, and an injection drug user. I’ve been addicted to something or other since my childhood years, and have had lots of struggles and successes on my long journey from nowhere to here.

Right now, I am the leader of the Harm Reduction Youth Advisory Committee, I volunteer part-time, I participate in an art group, I am getting my mental psyche in order, and am generally trying to be happy. But it wasn’t always like this.

A few years ago, it was coke, coke, more coke, get it, do it, cry, go crazy. Repeat. I was a hard core cokehead and nothing else mattered. I would do anything to get more. My partner at the time was prostituting themselves, and I can’t say that my money-making ways were any more savory.

Getting involved with Harm Reduction at Youth Services Bureau was a change of direction in my (then) directionless life. That was three years ago. Having that two-hour commitment once a week gave me something to focus my positive energy into. Meeting with a group of people who have had their own struggles with drugs, and who wanted to use that experience towards something positive, was inspiring. I could take my experiences and make them a positive learning experience to help others. From there I had many chances to learn and participate in many things to turn my years of street involvement into productive knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still using, but in many aspects I’m recovering, and tomorrow looks brighter every day.