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Being a woman who uses drugs is tough, it does not matter which country you come from or the colour of your skin or even how well spoken you may be society has made us out to be an evil bunch that does not deserve to live amongst the rest of humanity. In my opinion, this is all due to a lack of education on drugs and drug-use.

As a woman who uses drugs, I have been stigmatized and discriminated against, I have been ridiculed and laughed at to a point where all I wanted to do was to be by myself away from everyone and everything. What hurt me the most was when my family started treating me like a stranger, suddenly everything was rearranged in the house and doors were locked to keep valuables safely hidden from me and as if that was not enough my rights as a mother to my children were violated when my family decided to have my children relocated without my knowledge just so they could control how much access I have to them. I was deeply disappointed because I believed that my family will always be here to love and support me through good and bad times but if they fail to love me unconditionally than what would become of me?

What all of us need to understand is that we are all human beings, and we are all different and
beautifully so. What works for you might not work for me and no man has the right to oppress another no matter what the circumstances may be.

Today I want to give all Women Who Use Drugs a voice and I want us to make the loudest noise. We are strong and beautiful. We still stand tall despite all the negativity that has been surrounding us. I was told that I would never make it in this lifetime, that I would never be able to see my children grow up but here I am as a single parent who is now working for a great organization and taking care of my three kids.

I want the world to know that stigma, discrimination and criminalization of Women Who Use Drugs reinforces Gender-Based Violence and Exclusion. We need to break down the barriers and in doing so we will be educating society on drugs and drug-use.

Yes, I am a Woman Who Uses Drugs and that is a choice that I have made for myself but that does not give you any right to treat me like trash.