Mandy was happily married and a loving mother of two boys. Her family described her as friendly and outgoing. She graduated from a good school and was living a comfortable life in her hometown of Carson City, Nevada. She had success and happiness in every sense of the word. Then, six years ago Mandy became one of the 2 million Americans addicted to prescription opioids. Last month, she was a guest on CBS’s The Doctors for their United States of Addiction series. Here, she shared her devastating reality with the world.
Mandy’s addiction to heroin began with…
Her addiction started when her doctor diagnosed her with shingles during her pregnancy and prescribed drugs such as Percocet and gabapentin. After she gave birth to her first son, she had some complications and was prescribed more prescription drugs including hydrocodone, Valium, and tramadol. She graduated from prescription pills to smoking black tar heroin after being introduced to it by someone she met while in detox for opiates.
Her physician, Dr. Robert Rand, who was prescribing all of these medications was recently arrested for overprescribing, a charge to which he pleaded guilty.
Mandy had been to treatment centers before, but she relapsed. The facilities in Nevada were only able to cover 14 days of treatment because that is all her insurance would cover. Most programs start at 28-30 days, but success rates are much higher in programs that are 30-45 days. Some programs are even as long as 18 months. At The Discovery House, depending on the client, we recommend at least 90 days.
Losing everything to her opioid addiction…
Mandy has lost everything as a result of her addiction including her sales job where she was at one point making 85k. She gave custody of her children to her now ex-husband. Her addiction has totally ripped her family apart.
“There is no parent that wants to admit that their child has an addiction to anything,” Mandy’s father, Dennis shared. “I can’t see my daughter suffer, so I’d get her out, I’d take her wherever she needed to get out. I enabled her.”
Her parents were desperate to get her help as well. Like many parents or loved ones of an addict, they had never dealt with addiction before and had no idea what to do. She knows what she is doing and desperately wants to stop.
“Six and half years ago, my life began going downhill. I only have one more chance. I want my life back,” she shared with The Doctors show last month.
The Doctors gave Mandy a chance to start her life again…
The Discovery House showed up at the filming of her episode and surprised Mandy with a 90-day treatment program at no cost to her or her family. We asked her if she was ready, and she said she had been for a long time.
“I would be forever grateful… I am so thankful, and I look forward to working very hard to get my life back,” Mandy says.
You can see the full episode to learn more about Mandy’s story on Monday, December 4th at 2 PM PST on KCBS-TV. Check your local listings here.