Cowetan overcomes Adderall addiction
At age 18, Karen Labar was prescribed Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Adderall is addictive when abused, and for the next 21 years, Karen did indeed abuse it and became a full-blown addict for the high and stimulation it gave her.
“I was taking four, 30 milligram tablets three times a day. I was able to pull this off by doing what is known as ‘doctor shopping,’ never telling the doctor about my other prescriptions from other doctors,” said Labar. “I was completely in its control and had no ability whatsoever to give it up.”
Until the day the police knocked on her door, to arrest her on 18 charges for abuse of a controlled substance and others.
The charges could have resulted in a year in jail and 12 years of probation.
Labar tells her story factually, without shame or embarrassment. She lost everything in life that she valued and hit bottom when her five children were taken from her.
She was left with nothing.
“I lost my children, the most important thing in my life. I had no money, no job, no car and no home. I literally had only the clothes on my back,” she recalls, fighting back tears.
Today, Karen is a graduate of Coweta County’s Adult Drug Court program and is about as upbeat with her life as a lottery winner. “I credit God, the Drug Court and Pathway Home for helping me get my life back, and I am blessed in ways I never thought I could be,” she says.
Labar had never used street drugs or smoked marijuana in her life.
“My family didn’t even know. They just thought I had gone crazy. The drug just gets its claws in you and you only live for the next dose. But God was looking out for me when a friend told me about Pathway Home and its wonderful director, Bonnie Wozniak,” she says. “I hope my telling my story can help others who are in a similar situation. You can recover and get your life back.”
She can’t say enough good things about Wozniak and the loving care that she offered. “I had no place to go and no money. She took me in without charge and began to help me recover.”
Wozniak would not allow her to speak with her family for a month. After that, Karen got a four-hour leave to visit. Eventually, her youngest child was able to spend weekends with Mom.
“I stayed with Pathway for a year. But afterwards, every relationship with my family that I had destroyed was restored. Today, my children are back with me, we have our own home and car, and I have worked for two years at the Kellipaul salon in Peachtree City. God has truly blessed me,” she says.
Karen Labar also credits the Drug Court for the opportunity it gave her.
“I can’t say enough for Judge [Joseph] Wyant and the Drug Court. If I had gone to jail, away from my children, I doubt I would have ever been strong enough to get myself off drugs. But I have never relapsed and that’s because of the support I was given.”
Drug courts help non-violent offenders get their lives on track while saving taxpayer money on incarceration costs.
“I hope that hearing my story will help others who need help to seek it. There are options for you and you can survive,” says Labar.
“If I can come back from my life, so can others.”