Ecstasy Uniqua's story

She was like any other 17 year old girl. Uniqua had friends, good grades, a decent job, and a perfect family. Living in LA, anything can happen. Even to those who never saw it coming.

It was a Friday, the best day of the week. When school ends, I would only have to do a 4 hour shift at Mcdonalds, then I will be home for the weekend. No homework from all my honors classes, no work, just time to hang out with my best friend, Tasha. We had planned to go out to a fun teens club called Lights Out, for Tasha’s 17th birthday. Everyone from school was going to be there, including the guy I liked, Ty. Hopefully he would notice me for once. The bell rang at 2:45, I grabbed my bag, and went out to catch the bus.

The bus dropped me off at my house, and I walked into the door to see my Mom washing dishes. “How was school today sweetie?” She asked. “Alright Mom, I’m gonna go get ready to go out.” I could tell she wanted to talk some more, but I jogged up the stairs before she could say anything, too excited for tonight. I walked into my room, and threw my backpack on the ground. What was I going to wear? I peeked into my giant closet, thinking about what would be cute. I settled on a red dress, and eagerly waited for Tasha to pick me up.

At around 7, Tasha texted me that she was outside. I ran down the stairs, and quickly asked my family how I looked. “Gorgeous honey!” My mom said. “Stay away from boys!” My dad said. “You look ugly” my 13 year old brother sneered. I stuck my tongue out at him before going outside, and heading towards Tasha’s car. I wished her a happy birthday, and we drove to the club with the radio at full volume.

The club was mostly dark, but had neon lights to illuminate the place. It was pretty cool. Everyone from school was there, but it was hard to make out who was who. I mainly hung out around Tasha and danced to music that was so loud, you could barely tell what song it was. I was about to call it a night, when a familiar voice behind me said, “Hi Uniqua.” I turned around, and was shocked by who it was. It was Ty, the guy I’ve liked for about a year. “Wanna dance?” He asked. My immediate answer was yes, forgetting about how tired I was. We danced for about one song, before I really became too tired. “I think I’m gonna go home, but it was fun seeing you!” I told him. “Wait! Take these,” he said, “These give you energy.” He pulled out a plastic bag from his pocket, and in the light it was hard to see what they were. I made out that they were little pills, in different colors, with cute pictures on them. I suddenly became very uneasy. These were drugs. Trying to remember what I had learned in health class, I realized they were Ecstasy pills. I had never taken drugs before, I knew how bad they were. My heart was pounding as I told him, “No thanks, I don't take that kind of stuff.” He sighed and shook his head. “Wow, I thought you were cooler than that. Whatever though, see you in school.” I was flustered and caught in the moment. I really wanted Ty to like me. “Fine!” I agreed, not thinking about what I was doing. I grabbed the bag from him, and took two. It’s just Ecstasy, it’s not that bad, right? Ty smiled at me, and started to dance again. I didn't really feel any different at first, but started to dance again. It wasn’t long before I felt like I had all the energy in the world. I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling. Part of me knew that this wasn’t natural, and I shouldn’t have taken those pills. But I didn’t care. It felt like minutes that I was dancing, and I hadn’t even noticed Ty had left.

Soon, Tasha came over and looked worried. Before I could ask what she’s doing, and why she wasn’t dancing, she dragged me out of the club. “I’ve been looking for you for like an hour! What were you doing?” My happiness was wearing off, and I began to feel like I was gonna be sick. “I was just dancing with Ty, it’s fine.” “I’m gonna drop you off at home,” she said looking at me funny, “you don’t look too good.” So I got in her car, and even though it was a muggy 70 degree night, I felt chilly. Tasha dropped me off at my house, and I somehow snuck into my room without waking my family. By the time I changed into my pajamas, my happiness was over and I was a whirlwind of anxiety. Why did Ty give me those? What if my family found out I took drugs? As I settled down into my bed, I only knew one thing; I wanted that high again, and I was going to get it.

That was exactly one year ago. Everything has changed. I still go to school, but dropped out of my honors classes. It was my senior year, and the straight A’s I had once known were now history. Several times I’ve been called down to the Guidance counselor, but I always said it was stress and I was tired. That’s true, but not the whole truth. The whole truth is that I’ve been bumping Ecstasy for around a year, every chance I get. After the party, I asked Ty about where he had gotten the pills. He told me that there was this kid named Austin in our Global Economics class. If I asked him for help on homework 3.1, he would meet me after school and give me some pills. I did it, and had no idea how expensive the Ecstasy would be. When Austin told me that it was gonna be $105 for 3 pills, I was shocked. I took them and told him I would pay him back the next day. I had a debit card from working at various jobs and getting allowance, which I took money from, $735 a week. It didn’t matter to me that after each pill I would feel sick to my stomach and paranoid about everything. It didn’t matter to me now that each night I can barely sleep, headaches are constant, and I can barely remember what I did that day. I felt depressed without the little smiley pills, it was like I needed them to survive.

Eventually, my debit card ran out. When my parents asked why, I just told them that it was from college admission fees. I never wanted them to find out. Austin told me that he didn’t want to give me a discount on the pills, and I went without them for 3 days. Then I snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore. That morning, I stole my mom’s credit card and withdrew $735 for the week. I paid Austin and the second I got home, my mom was extremely suspicious. I remember the fight we had. At first, I denied taking her credit card even though my brother was on a school trip so it couldn’t of been him, and my dad hadn’t gone to work that day. I remember how anxious I was, and when she yelled, “ WHAT DID YOU NEED $735 FOR?” , I started crying. I threw the plastic bag of pills on the floor, and ran to my room. The next day, she could barely look at me. She wanted to know how long I had been taking them, and why. I didn’t answer her. My brother stopped talking to me, and my Dad would only occasionally talk to me when he would say “Dinner’s ready!”. It broke my heart, but they thought it would get me to stop. It only made me want to take Ecstasy more, to feel happy again.

Eventually, Tasha found out from my mom, who wanted to try and get her to take me to rehab. But it didn’t help. Tasha started avoiding me, after trying to get me help several times. She didn’t want people to think she was taking drugs, after rumors about me spread. No one else that was taking drugs from Austin wanted to be around me, so they wouldn’t get caught. When the principal heard about the rumors from concerned parents, I got suspended for a week, and they told me to go to a rehab facility, something like Teens Get Better Facility, (TGBF). I told them I would go to their support groups, but I never went. They made me feel depressed and worse about myself, so I lied. I wouldn’t go, I couldn’t go.

Maybe it was because I was always late, or snapped at customers. Whatever the reason, I got fired from Mcdonalds, which was my last source of income. This was the breaking point. I couldn’t do this anymore. This has taken over my life. Ecstasy has taken my grades, my friends, my family life, my work life, just everything. I’m lucky I haven't gotten into any legal trouble, I can’t afford to go to jail or get that on my record. It’s time to try rehab, because it can’t end like this.

Rehab was brutal. It took months of feeling ups and downs, and wishing I never started taking Ecstasy. But, Tasha and my family were there for me through it all. I got tutored while recovering, so I could attend college next fall. Slowly, I started feeling better about myself. I didn’t need Ecstasy to be happy anymore. I didn’t feel tired or depressed or anxious anymore. Tasha told me that Austin was fined and got sent to juvie for selling the drugs, but I guess that was fair. One thing’s for sure: I’m never going back to my old self.

Created By
ERIN ARCE CASSADY BOUTHET
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