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Local woman overcoming drug addiction

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (WRGB) - We first met Carlie Mace while interviewing staff at the New Choices Recovery Center in Schenectady. She was there for one of her regular meetings and offered to tell us her story of addiction, which started with marijuana as young as 13 and took a more serious turn about six years ago.

“My back was hurting a lot and I didn’t’ know what to do. I'd just had a baby and had to care for my child and do everything. I had a 5 year old at the time. You can’t just sit around and be in pain you have to keep going” Mace said.

She went to a hospital and got a prescription for the pain. Carlie told us she had no idea how good the medications would make her feel - and how much agony withdrawal would put her through. “I was on top of the world, nobody could stop me. I could take care of my 5 year old, I could take care of my infant child, I could work two jobs and I just felt like I was on top of the world, until it was too late.”

During a follow up appointment, a drug screen found cocaine in Carlie's system, something she told us she used recreationally. That meant no more legal meds. Carlie told us about the first time she went to buy pills off the street, and found something stronger and cheaper.

“As much as I was scared and nervous I was hurting and I didn’t want to feel that way and so I tried it. Just a little, little bit to get my day going. So, from pills to sniffing, you know, heroin”

She told us about losing jobs and homes and eventually just getting tired of being sick and tired. Carlie packed her bags to check into treatment and then didn’t go anywhere for two weeks. “I kept on going and doing what I was doing.”

Eventually she reached out to family for help. “I asked my aunt to come and get me and as soon as she knocked on the door, I was like, I can’t do this. All of a sudden its real, so real and my aunt wasn’t taking no for an answer at that point.”

Carlie’s addiction landed her at Saint Peter's hospital, and eventually at New Choices where her recovery is ongoing. Carlie hasn't used heroin in nearly five years. She wants people to hear her story and change their lives before its too late.

“It’s just no way to live.”

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