Opioid addiction affects more than two million Americans every year. But the damage caused is far greater when you consider the friends and family members impacted by the abuse.
“It started when she was about 20 years old,” says Tammy Swab.
Tammy Swab’s daughter was abusing Oxycontin.
Kelsey said she wasn’t addicted, but the problems were multiplying.
“She started asking for money and jobs were not always working out as they should. She lived in a town outside of Joplin and I would see her maybe once or twice a year,” says Tammy Swab.
Tammy worried what would happen 24/7, if her daughter would end up dead.
“I felt like I was in a living hell just went on and on and every day it was when I woke up in the morning, I thought about it when I went to bed at night, I prayed about it,” says Swab.
That stress didn’t stop there.
“Her siblings were affected as well because all of them worried about her constantly,” says Swab.
Tammy cut off all financial support, telling her daughter she would pay for rehab. But the decision wouldn’t come quickly.
“When you have a child that’s an addict everybody’s I felt pointing fingers – what did you do wrong, what could you have done differently?” she says.
Prescription drugs led to heroin.
“She finally called one day and said I can’t do this anymore,” says Swab.
The first attempt at rehab failed after a couple of months – but a second facility and a few more relapses and Kelsey is back in school and nearly two years sober. Better for Kelsey, better for Tammy, and better for everyone her addiction affected.
“Addiction doesn’t affect one person, the addict – it affects a community of people, friends, family, everyone,” says Swab.