Christina Allison, 40
in recovery since October 6, 2015
It was a typical Thursday afternoon when Christina Allison’s world began to unravel.
At work, a shipping container filled with auto parts toppled onto the mother of two, injuring a back already riddled with pain from a chronic and inherited condition that runs in her family.
To subdue the now-unbearable pain, Christina was prescribed Vicodin on top of a dangerous cocktail of doctor-ordered drugs she already took to manage her back condition.
At first, it helped. But soon her tolerance built and her thirst for relief grew. She bore through her prescription, and when it ran out, she did something she never thought she’d do: she turned to the streets of Danville for heroin, which she found delivered the same relief but without a prescription and at a fraction of the cost.
“It was a $20 a day habit,” she recalls. “Still, the money was hard to come by. So I turned to stealing.”
The 40-year-old single mother had never been in trouble with the law before. And she knew she was dancing on the edge of trouble, but her addiction drove her. “Heroin makes you do horrible, stupid things you would normally never do.”
On October 6, 2015, the spiral continued: she was arrested for theft, trying to steal ribeyes to sell at half-price to support her drug needs. The incident brought an array of charges that included possession of both drugs and paraphernalia.
“The wake-up call wasn’t the arrest,” she recalls. It was the compassionate words of the arresting officer, giving her hope of recovery at the exact time she needed to know that someone cared. Even if the person delivering those words was slapping cuffs on her wrist.
Christina ended up in the Vermilion County Drug Court program, which is administered by the staff at Prairie Center’s Danville Clinic. It’s exactly what she needed to turn her life around.
“With Prairie Center’s help, I’ve trained my brain to think and act differently. I’ve learned new coping skills. This program has helped me come a long way.”
Today Christina is off all her medications and has never felt better — with no depression, anxiety, or pain.
“I’ve worked hard to change my whole attitude,” she says. “And I’ve changed my girls’ futures.
Today, Christina uses her story to inspire and help others, including daughters Jenna, 17, and Kaitlyn, 7. She even wrote a thank you note to her arresting officer, Jennifer Smit. “It was important for me to tell her how much her words changed my life that day. Small actions like that can matter.”
“In Danville, we really have nothing for help other than Prairie Center,” she says. “The staff here is so wonderful, compassionate, caring, and understanding. I am so blessed. We are so lucky to have them.”
Read more of Christina Allison’s story in the Danville Commercial News.