Nov. 14, 2023 – At 61 years old, I have lost far too much to drugs, and I’ve never done anything more than weed, as a teenager. I have three sons and one daughter, and while I know that my husband and I weren’t perfect parents, I also know that we did the best we could. We worked hard to provide the basics for our family, as well as for extracurricular activities. We took extra shifts and held local food sales for Indian tacos and eel roasts for additional income. We somehow managed to make it all work.

I became a widow at age 57, after 38 years of marriage to my husband, a good man I loved dearly and miss every day. He was a hard worker, employed in the logging industry for over 20 years until he was in an accident on the job. He was prescribed OxyContin, which at the time was being touted as a miracle drug with a low risk of dependency.

My husband was so functional and so discreet that I didn’t know for years he had moved on to heroin. I never saw drowsiness or other signs that people look for in addiction. By the time I realized what was happening, my husband was sick with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the care he needed took precedence over all else.