Survivor shares struggle with addiction and prostitution

By Junko Featherston / NM News Port

Callie met up with me at the Starbucks on Eubank and Candelaria to share her story of long-term addiction and then lifelong recovery.

Hear Callie tell her story to Junko Featherston

Growing up in Haynesville, Louisiana, Callie was not exposed to many drugs. But then she moved to Albuquerque during early adulthood. She said she is the first in her family to ever use drugs, let alone abuse them.

A study in 2020 by the National Library of Medicine shows that many young women aged 18 and up get into street based sex work to feed their drug addictions. That was true in Callie’s case.

According to the study, and when talking with Callie, many women also suffer from PTSD, depression, and other mental (and physical) trauma stemming from their time doing sex work.

In 1999, Callie received a federal drug charge in Silver City which resulted in a slew of events that made her think more clearly about her aspirations in life.

A pivotal moment in her life is when her son entered the D.A.R.E. essay program at school, saying he did not want any other kid to witness their mother fall apart like his did. This significant event was Callie’s moment of clarity.

I sat on a bench and looked up to the moon and I seriously prayed to God to remove my desire to use, and I have been clean since.“

– Callie

Callie entered Narcotics Anonymous to combat her addiction and thinks that 12-step-programs can benefit everyone regardless.

Now, she lives in her own house that she paid for from working as a general manager in a nice restaurant in Albuquerque.

She currently lives drug free, living life to its fullest, and most importantly, is confident in herself.

You are perfect the way you are.

– Callie

Junko Featherston is a half-Japanese New Mexican, born and raised in Albuquerque. She is currently a senior majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in Japanese language. You can follow her on Twitter @UNMJunko