When Timika Taylor entered A Step Forward's Residential Treatment Program in March of 2015, she had been struggling for 17 years with an addiction to heroin and crack cocaine, along with chronic depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After being jailed in Baltimore on a criminal charge, Taylor had written a letter to a judge asking to be sent to treatment, rather than be incarcerated. Seeking refuge from years of hard life on the streets, “I was ready to 'clean up' and get myself together,” she recalls. When she began using “hard” drugs in her early 20s, Taylor knew little about addiction and its effects, or where a drug habit might lead her. As it progressed, Taylor's habit led her into a downward spiral.

Like many people who become addicted, when Taylor began using drugs, she emulated the behavior of some people who were around her. “I saw others using and they made it look like fun,” she recalls. “But once I started using, it became like a full-time 'job' to support my habit.” had previously made two unsuccessful attempts at treatment, at other programs in the Baltimore area. “The other times I had done it to please others. This time I did it for myself. I made up my own mind, and surrendered” to treatment. One of the useful insights Taylor gained in treatment is that she was “holding on to a lot of things” – feelings related to physical and mental abuse she had experienced in previous relationships. At the suggestion of her counselor, she also learned to be more receptive to steps she had previously resisted –

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