Heroin Highway: Part 6 - 'Hope's story of Heroin'
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
It was in Hagerstown where a dangerous tale of heroin stopped 7 ON YOUR SIDE's Jennifer Donelan cold on a street corner. She met a woman whose name happened to be Hope and her story was filled with honesty and...hope.
Jen: "People are dying, you know that?
Hope: "Yeah, where I come from in Baltimore and around here that's every day, all day."
Jen: "How hard is it to kick heroin?"
Hope: "You get body aches, stomach pains, your eyes water, you throw up."
Hope was 36 years old and the survivor of a heroin epidemic that is spreading across the country and gripping cities along Interstates 70 and 81 from Baltimore through three states: the new so called "Heroin Highway."
Hope: "It starts with pills you know it numbs us."
Like so many of the heroin deaths we reported on this week in the area, from Brooke Simmers in Clear Spring, Md. to Tiffany Everhart in Martinsburg, W.Va. to Keith Edwards of Culpeper, Va...the deadly turn to heroin began with prescription pain pills.
Jen: "You can get the same high off of heroin?"
Hope: "For cheap, yeah."
When feeding an opioid addiction the move to heroin boils down to simple math as Baltimore Police commissioner, Kevin Davis, explained, "A prescription pill of Oxy, for instance will sell for $60, and a capsule of heroin sells for $10-$12."
Jen: "Have you ever overdosed?"
Hope: "More than one time, yeah. I should have been dead."
Breaking the addiction meant finding a recovery program.
Hope: "If people have more treatment places to go. You might actually get more people off of the streets."
She wasn't alone in her thinking, we asked the parents of those died of heroin overdoses.
"The way we deal with drug addicts and the way we deal with addiction, we're not dealing with that at all," said Brooke Simmer's father, Kevin.
"There were times when he wanted help and there was nowhere to go get it," explained Debbi Bost, Keith Edwards' mother.
And Tiffany Everhart's mother said, "When I went to try to get her help, I got turned down and a month later she was dead."
As for Hope, she now lives in a recovery house in Hagerstown with 55 other women, she said. She said she was 90 days clean when we met her.
Jen: "I know that's not easy"
Hope: "No, it's not, but I get up and pray and I believe in God."