Girl tried to cope with depression with drugs, but was imprisoned for 10 years

When Victoria (name changed) was arrested, she was only 17 years old. She has already spent two years in prison and will not be released for long time.

Girl tried to cope with depression with drugs, but was imprisoned for 10 years
Legalize Belarus
24 November 2023
Stories of the convicted

Law enforcement officers waited for the girl at her home and detained her when she was going to school. Several grams of Alpha-PVP were found in her pocket. They interrogated Victoria on the spot, searched her belongings and phone, found a chat with the shop where she worked. Then they waited for her mother to arrive and searched their apartment. Victoria showed where everything was kept by herself. There were several grams of the substance and syringes. By that time the girl had been using drugs for about 6 months.

«I only found out about my daughter using psychoactive substances on the day of her arrest,» says the mother of the convicted. «But for the past two years, she regularly visited a child neuropsychiatric clinic. She had an anxiety-depressive disorder. She took medications prescribed by a doctor, antidepressants, and received outpatient treatment. I also took her to various private psychologists because they said that taking medication without psychotherapy doesn’t really help and she needs to work on yourself,» the woman adds.

«After the arrest, my daughter was sent to the National Research Center for Mental Health for expertise, where they said she showed signs of a personality disorder,» says Victoria’s mother.

«At first, my daughter was placed in a juvenile colony, where she completed her education and received a certificate. I attended the solemn ceremony. Then they transferred Vika to an adult colony. Of course, it became more serious, everything is strict, but she doesn’t complain,» the woman recounts.

«As for me, I went through the whole range of emotions. It was scary, and I felt guilty for not paying enough attention, and I was angry with her because we had everything at home. I wanted so much to save her, to help. I tried to reduce the sentence, filed an appeal, but the verdict remained unchanged. Also, a lawyer worked on our case, building the defense on the fact that there were violations during the arrest, for example, the underage girl was interrogated and searched without the presence of her parents. I received a call about an hour and a half later, but it wasn’t the police. It was the concierge who told me what was happening. But no one listened to the lawyer,» says the convicted woman’s mother.

«Vika also told me that she had been detained a few months ago and had a conversation at the police station, but then they let her go. I just wasn’t informed about it. I think if I had known earlier, there would have been a chance to change the situation, and my daughter wouldn’t have lost her freedom for 10 years. Yes, I understand she is guilty, knew what she was doing. But she’s still just a teenager and went down this path because of her illness. Unfortunately, this is not taken into account,» the woman adds.

«Gradually, I reconciled. I convinced myself that everything that happens is for the best. Because only someone who really wants it can overcome addiction, and it’s extremely difficult. I thought it’s better to be in prison with a chance of recovery than to die from an overdose,» the mother shares her feelings.

«I am glad that now I can discuss this topic openly with my daughter, and she understands that she has problems. Physically, Vika is much better now, but she says there was not a day a day when she didn’t think about drugs. Psychological addiction is very strong. If she were released now, i.e., after two years of imprisonment, she is not sure if she could resist. Probably not. She is facing treatment in a rehabilitation center in prison, but usually, they send there only before release. I really hope it will help her. She has an article with compulsory treatment, so she takes some medications, sees a psychologist, but it doesn’t bring significant results. Vika also participates in video conferences, shares her experience with schoolchildren and students, gives interviews,» the woman adds.

«A 10-year sentence is, of course, very frightening! Especially since she is just a teenager, not yet formed as a person, and she will be released as an adult, and will have to somehow adapt to life outside. I am afraid for her future,» Victoria’s mother worries.

The material was created based on anonymous monitoring.

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