Hello All! I wanted to take a little time to introduce myself to the forum. My name is Alessandra or Ale' for short and I battled alcoholism and addiction, specifically opiate addiction since I was a teenager up until I was twenty seven years old. My life has hit rock bottom and so I decided to try the one thing I had not before and move 3,500 miles away from the Baltimore Maryland area to Italy. There is alot of information that I will no go into detail about but I had run up a horrendous list of charges in Maryland and I had nothing left for me there. When I was little I was granted dual citizenship and I had no idea how much that would benefit me later in life. I got the opportunity that most addicts dream of. A fresh start with no ruined credit or criminal past. A family home to stay in while I make my transition from waste of space to full on responsible adult. I did not let this opportunity go to waste. Italy also has socialized medical coverage meaning all of my treatment and medical costs would be free from the moment I claimed residency there. Within the first week of being here, I found a wonderful psychiatrist to help with my underlying bipolar disorder and got on a Methadone Maintenance Treatment that got my withdrawals squared away. Two years later I have tapered down my methadone tremendously and hope to be off of it entirely with in upcoming 12 months and my bipolar has been under control for the better part of my time here. I know methadone is controversial in the recovery world but I am not ashamed to say I was not ready to go cold turkey and methadone allowed me the time I needed to come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to use opiates recreationally again. I have never abused or sold my methadone and have tested clean for the entire two years I have been on it. It worked for me. What else can I say? I now have weekly take homes and am at half my original dose. The medical system in Italy is not as corrupt as Big Pharma in the states and I think this has alot to do with their successful methadone treatment centers. Maybe your opinion is different but like I have said, it worked for me. Thank you for taking the time to read about me. I am very happy to be joining a new recovery forum and hope I can help others and learn from others as well.