She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.”
Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin.
“As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said. “And even when I did get it, then I had to think of the next way that I was going to get.”
Mary was using when she learned she was pregnant with her first child. She sought treatment but the disease had a tight grip on her.
The child was born dependent on opioids and went through the pains of withdrawal shortly after delivery.
“To see that little boy go through that stuff, you’d think that I would, like, change my life around immediately but I didn’t,” Mary said. “I didn’t want to believe it. I was in complete denial that because of my choices, it was my fault that he was going through that.”