Lions and Cowboys and no Bengals, thankfully Senior Profile: Tyler Horsley North Adams sweeps Manchester Cheer Championships Indians face tough test in first pre-season scrimmage Senior Profile: Abby Faulkner Seas reflects on second state tournament experience NA’s Harper signs to continue hoops career at Rio Grande Hendrickson named Assistant Coach of the Year in Division III girls soccer Take the hint, it’s Thanksgiving time again Small Business Saturday in Adams County Art Council’s newest production will have you ‘laughing through your tears’ North Adams students working to help the homeless Grateful Richard A Graham #SawyerStrong Billy L Smalley Wenstrup announces re-election campaign Delta Dental provides two local schools with new drinking fountains Ernie McFarland honored by Ohio Bankers League Veterans Day parade, ceremony held in West Union Adams County schools celebrate Veterans Day Being the change November: As Mr. Seas it Protecting Ohio seniors from rising healthcare costs It’s November-have some soup and pie SHAC Boys Preview is Nov. 24 at Peebles June Hall Alice B Himes Claudia U Mitchell TRAFFIC ALERT: SR 41 restrictions set for Saturday Jewell Foster Senior Profile: Nicholas Fish SHAC Girls Preview set for Nov. 17 Senior Profile: Lakyn Hupp Again, Lady Devils ousted in district finals ‘Lighting the Serpent’ event is being discontinued Voters favor incumbents at the ballot Arts Council dedicates Buzzardroost Rock mural Heroes in disguise Fighting for future generations in OH2 A few puffs of smoke, and a happy ending Lois Wilson Helen M Hesler Jerry L Dickson Ohio’s Traditional Deer-Gun Hunting Season begins Nov. 27 WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship

‘I had no gumption except to get high’

Prison bound, a young heroin addict shares her perilous journey into drug addiction – 

By Patricia Beech – 

The following is a true story. Names and places have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent.
When in your life did you decide you wanted to be a drug addict?
“Never!” The answer came emphatically, without hesitation. “There was never a time when I decided I wanted to be a drug addict.”
The young woman speaking – we’ll call her Kellyanne – is sitting in Sheriff Kimmy Rogers’ office.
Clad in a bright orange jailhouse jumpsuit and rubber jailhouse shoes, she sits cross-legged in her chair, feet tucked beneath her knees like a Buddhist. She’s smart, pretty, and soon she will be begin her new life as a prisoner in the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
Drug addiction has brought her to the darkest point of her life – a life which ironically began on a much brighter, promising note. As a teenager, Kellyanne was an achiever surrounded by a loving, supportive family. There was no doubt that she would be successful in life.
“I graduated in the top five in my senior class, I was captain of the cheerleading squad, I was in Choir, I was in band, I was the lead in the high school musical my senior year, I maintained a 4.0 GPA, and I also tried heroin for the first time my senior year.”
Now 26 years old, Kellyanne’s spiral toward addiction began when she was just 14.
“A local doctor prescribed me 60 Percosets a month for my scoliosis, I was under the impression I was supposed to take 60 of them every month, and so, that opened the door to recreational use,”
She suddenly found herself very popular with an older crowd of teens who she says “encouraged her to bring pills to their weekend parties”.
“Obviously, lines got blurred very quickly, but in the beginning it was much more recreational, there was never a physical dependency on any of the substances I tried in high school. I genuinely believe that we all thought it was just fun and games,” she says before adding, “I watched it take a toll on everyone. Two of my best friends were in their football uniforms when they smoked meth for the first time on my back porch. One has been clean for five years, the other has been incarerated for over seven.”
Looking back, Kellyanne says that lack of education and information regarding the consequences and dangers of drug abuse played a major role in her choice to use drugs.
“If I had been more informed and educated and known the consequences of drug abuse much earlier, I genuinely believe that I wouldn’t even have dabbled in what I did during high school,” she says. “I can remember absolutely refusing to hit a joint because my Mom pounded it into my head – Do not smoke weed, do not smoke weed – it’s a gateway drug, but there I was snorting pain pills, because my doctor said that I could, but I always refused to smoke weed.”
When Kellyanne graduated high school her future looked bright, college was on the horizon for the 4.0 student – and so was tragedy.
“After I graduated I got pregnant, but I didn’t use drugs at all while I was pregnant because at that point I was using recreationally, so I had no desire for it,” she says.
Two weeks before her delivery date, the baby died unexpectedly.
“7 pounds, 9 oucnes, 21” long – he was perfect and the doctors couldn’t give me any explanation for his death except stress.”
Unable and unwilling to cope with her grief, both Kellyanne and the baby’s father turned to drugs.
“It was not recreational anymore – we were using every single day to escape the pain, and it worked perfectly,” she says. “That’s when my drug abuse became a hot mess. I became physically addicted, and at some point it stopped being about escaping the pain. I just wanted to be high all the time. It consumed my entire being. It was all I thought about. I had no gumption except to get high, to get high, to get high.”
Look for Part 2 of this story in the upcoming June 25 weekend edition of The People’s Defender.


  1. I wish every week there was something like this in the paper. Addicts sharing their stories. I wish there were more meetings and an actual rehab facility. I made 67 phone calls before I could find a place to take me. I had no insurance, no money. And there’s very few rehabs you can walk into with nothing. I was 34 days clean when I went in. Now I have almost 5 years. I pray for everyone who’s fighting this. There is a way out and you have to truly want it. I loved reading this!! I pray one day that drugs will be gone. I’m truly blessed to have the help I did and by also having God on my side. Thank you, Jesus.

    1. My story was the same. I called 15 rehabs before I wAas told if the courts didn’t send me there or if I didn’t have $2000.00, to give it up. That eventually put me in prison with a permanent record.

  2. Wow what a powerful story it made me cry to read your words and think of the memories of mine you truly are a very powerful woman to even have the courage to tell your story like this I’ve always been ashamed of mine but I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of it thanks

  3. Addiction is terrible, I fight it daily and it’s the devil. If I had one wish it would be to “cure addiction”!

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