My America: One Mom Wins Against Addiction

My America: One Mom Wins Against Addiction

My America: One Mom Wins Against Addiction

In our Victory Girls’ continuing weekend series My America, we take a moment to savor individual stories that truly bring out the best in us.

The opioid abuse epidemic is still raging through American communities. And while there are numerous political and social debates that swirl around the hows and whys of the ongoing widespread drug abuse, one thing that all people can agree on is that children are disproportionately impacted by the drug abuse of the adults around them.

In fact, Kentucky reports that they are continually in a severe shortage of foster homes, due to children being removed from their families for drug addiction.

According to Ron Bertsch, DCCH’s director of foster care and adoption, the need for families to open their homes to displaced children is more urgent than ever.”

“It’s always been a great need to have more foster and adoptive families,” he said. “It feels a little more critical now, over the last few years, because we’ve had a huge increase in the number of children entering home care.”

Bertsch blames the sharp year-over-year increase on the opioid epidemic. As communities across Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio grapple with the consequences of drug abuse in court, in jail and in residential treatment facilities, adoption and foster care agencies like his can become the only reliable safety net for children whose lives have been disrupted by a caretaker’s addiction.”

West Virginia, who began a lawsuit against Perdue Pharma in 2001, is also lacking foster families as children are continually displaced.

Nearly 6,900 children are in state care, double the number from a decade ago. Officials estimate that more than 80 percent have been impacted by the drug epidemic.”

For more than a decade, foster homes and emergency shelters have been short of beds. Caseworkers with sleeping bags and baby formula have shuttled children to overnight stays in motels or state offices. Billboards have gone up along the highways, calling on commuters to open their homes.”

In hard-hit Lincoln County, west of Charleston, caseworker Seana Harrison said she began to hunt for bed space in the mid-2000s and found herself driving children to foster homes that were hours away, their keepsakes in tow. One child took a stuffed bear, another a pillow wrapped in his father’s flannel shirt.”

“I have times when I am so angry I can’t see straight,” said Harrison, who worked at a private social service agency. “There are never enough homes. There are never enough beds.”

While the numbers are overwhelming, and the stories heartbreaking, and so many children need help, there was one little boy who was celebrating recently because he got his mother back from her opioid addiction – and now she has three years of sobriety under her belt.

Erika Hurt’s life changed forever when she was found overdosed behind the wheel of her car with her infant son in the backseat back in 2016.”

Police took photos of Hurt, unconscious in the vehicle and still holding the syringe in her hand. She had to be revived using two doses of Narcan.”

Hurt told ABC she first saw the photos while she was sitting in rehab, two days later.”

Three years later, new photos of Hurt and her son are going viral — for all of the right reasons. “I hope people see how low my bottom was and that they know if their bottom is not that far from mine, that they can come back too,” Hurt told Good Morning America . “I just think it’s really cool because I feel even more planted and stable in my recovery [today].”

For those who want to get better, there needs to be help and hope. Erika Hurt nearly died, and yet here she is, celebrating three years of sobriety – and her son is celebrating the fact that he still has his mother.

Millions saw me overdose after a photo taken of me by a police officer went viral. None of those people have seemed to…

Posted by The Addict's Diary on Saturday, October 26, 2019

In America, there always needs to be a hand open for those wanting to beat addiction. There needs to be care and comfort for the children who are so terribly impacted. And in My America, there should be celebration when a mother and son are together, now sober and reunited.

Featured image via Pixabay, Pixabay license

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  • GWB says:

    and now she has three years of sobriety under her belt
    *fist pump* *high five*

    None of those people have seemed to…
    Ummm, none have seemed to… what?

    there should be celebration when a mother and son are together, now sober and reunited
    Amen! I hope this mother becomes a great success. Thank you for this side of things, Deanna.

    • Deanna Fisher says:

      GWB, the full quote from the Facebook post with the pictures of mother and son was:
      “Millions saw me overdose after a photo taken of me by a police officer went viral. None of those people have seemed to have time to reach out and check on me, so here is an update: Today I celebrated three years clean and my son gets to have his mommy back. How about you make THAT go viral!”

  • Kevin says:

    Having worked in the field of alcohol and drug addiction and personally impacted by the devastation left behind by this scourge, one day clean and sober is a success. Erika’s success needs to be herald! I was initially opposed to my program staff administering narcan when the idea was brought up six years ago … well before the tide turned in the last few years about laypeople administering narcan. I do hope that all the lawsuits and the funding generated from these suits makes it down to the people and families that truly need it. So often you hear how some company was fined millions/billions of dollars and the money is never heard of again. It would be nice to have a public disclosure clause in these lawsuits so the public can see the impact. Sadly, these stories are far and few between … this was an heartwarming message. Thank you.

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