At age 11, Jamie was raped twice by her mom’s boyfriend. As a result, she was taken away from the home for a period of time. She returned after receiving no therapy and got into drugs – smoking marijuana and drinking liquor straight.

Jamie was sent to live with her dad because her mom said she was out of control. That lasted for a couple of years, then returned to live with her mom.

A doctor prescribed Xanax for Jamie for her depression and anxiety. But, by age 18, she was buying it off the street. Jamie was arrested, went to jail, and entered a drug court program.

After becoming sober she had a daughter. For the next two years she stayed sober – until the baby’s father left.

It wasn’t long until she was back on the pain pills, weed, and drinking. Her addiction grew worse over time, and by age 28 she was doing crack.

Jamie was able to escape the environment that was so bad for her for a while. She was on Suboxone for a few years, but then started selling drugs to help her mom pay the bills.

A second attempt at rehabilitation was good for the next 18 months. Then COVID hit. And the isolation drove her crazy. This time, she was shooting up methamphetamine.

Jamie got into trouble again, went to jail, and then entered a long-term rehab for eight months and has stayed clean ever since. She attributes the difference to staying in rehab longer.

Jamie was hired as manage for a fast-food restaurant and spent her time at work, home and church, as well as going to recovery meetings.

She now works for the Owsley County Health Department in harm reduction, which she also credits for helping her stay sober. Jamie is also able to share her story with people who use the Health Department’s services.

“There is a better life out there,” Jamie promises. “Don’t be ashamed. I used to be there. Rehab is scary at first, but take it one day at a time.”