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Former drug addict writes her own future

Former drug addict writes her own future
By Damon Embling
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"If they had treated me from the beginning, I would never have returned to jail eight times."


Valérie Zézé has returned to one of the places that dominated her life as a drug addict. She can't recall the number of times she knocked on the door of the reception centre in Brussels to ask for help.

"This door is very important to me, it has always been open, I have never been told, Valérie, you can not go in. Never," she told Euronews on the doorstep. 

Valérie was an addict for 30 years went to prison eight times. Her life is depicted in the graphic novel: "The Ballad of Dangerous Women." Entering the world of drugs, the robberies that helped her finance her addiction. Always with the same modus-operandi, hide in a store and wait for them to close to steal.

Valérie recalled: "I always needed more and more, and since I did not always have someone rich to finance it, I started to steal."

It was these crimes that landed her in jail. A place where she remembers loneliness, sadness and the feeling of abandonment. A place where rehabilitation is almost impossible.

"If they had treated me from the beginning, I would never have returned to jail eight times. I think prison breaks you, in jail you learn to be a real criminal," she said.

The support of her son and treatment for more than two years have helped her to stop using drugs. Now she is writing her own future.

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