PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Millions of people battle addiction everyday, in fact the CDC reports that one in 14 Americans reports experiencing a substance use disorder. Despite this statistic, not everyone asks for help.
Now after 20 years of fighting, a local woman is sharing her story with addiction.
"My addiction began with pain pills," she said. "Pain pills are just as bad as heroin. If they're being abused there's no difference."
She didn't want to reveal her identity, but felt moved to tell her story. For explanation purposes, let's call her Jane. "I have struggled with addiction for a long time, many years - probably 20 years," Jane said.
This struggle, in-part, was a reason Jane went to prison in 2010. When she was released three years later, she said her life was on track and she was clean. In 2016, Jane's life was once again turned upside down when she hurt her leg and needed an advanced surgery. She said to help her deal with the pain, the doctor prescribed her pain medication.
"As hard as I tried to control it and take it, you know, like I was supposed to, I slipped back into those bad habits," she said.
The "bad habits" left her without her kids and no where to turn. "I knew what it was like to have a better life and that's what I wanted. It was just hard to do it on my own," she said.
Jane found herself scrolling through Facebook one day and came across a post from Crossroads Treatment Center. Like divine intervention, it was her answer to a better life.
"It was September 21, 2017. I started that day and I have been going there for four years and I have been clean since then."
Crossroads was the open door that she she needed. Jane said staff not only gave her opioid treatment services, but 100% support when she was fighting for custody of her kids.
"They would talk to the lawyer or talk to the guardian ad litem and fax back and forth whatever we need," she said.
Crossroads, which operates out-patient clinics in 10 states, has a methodone and suboxone program. They take Medicare, Medicaid, commercial insurance and personal pay. "20 years ago there weren't avenues for help," Jane said.
Now with a steady job and custody of her kids, Jane said it's important to let people know recovery is possible even if it's day-by-day. "I'm just so happy with where I am now," she said. When I look back, this is where I am supposed to be."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can reach out to local Crossroads locations here.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)