Erika Hurt just shared a photo of her last year where she is seen passed out inside her car in a parking lot. The photo was taken by the police, and it was a wake-up call for her. Now, she is celebrating one year with no drugs.

Hurt said that thanks to the humiliation she felt after seeing herself in that state, she decided to make a change mainly because of her son who — even though it can’t be seen in the viral photo — was there in the back of the car when she passed out. He was ten months old at that time. This is a particularly surprising story that might inspire many in America while the country is suffering a severe opioid epidemic.

Viral overdose photo, Indiana woman overdose photo, Heroin addiction
The shocking photo police took of Erika while she overdosed in her car. Image credit: Erika Hurt

“I was angry and I wanted to blame the police for putting my business out there and showing the world my private addiction and everything like that,” she recently shared during an interview. “I’m thankful now that the cop did take the picture. The fact that I’m able to look back at that picture and see where the addiction had taken me, and I’m able to use that picture now to show others that addicts can recover.”

Hurt: ‘the absolute worst moment of my life’

Erika was a victim of drugs since she was 15 when she was prescribed painkillers for a staph infection. One year ago, the 25-year-old mom, Erika Hurt, passed out in her car in the parking lot of an Indiana Dollar General Store. She was found with a needle in her hand and with a little boy in the back seat. The first time Erika saw the picture taken by the cops, she was in jail. She was mad at the police for embarrassing her by snapping such a terrible photograph.

However, that frightful picture became a symbol of what she didn’t want for her life. As well, while she was in jail, she realized that she was missing crucial moments of her son’s life. She was unable to be there for her son’s first birthday, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Therefore, she told herself she wasn’t going to miss her boy’s life, and he became an important reason for her to stay sober.

Now, she is thankful for the police for taking the picture so she could open her eyes and see the reality of things and to never forget where drug addiction had led her.

From the face of drug addiction to inspiration for drug addicts in the midst of an opioid crisis

Erika’s overdose photo showed the face of drug addiction; but now that she has been sober for an entire year, Erika decided to share and celebrate her story and fight in Facebook by posting the photo that gave her strengths to change her life.

“Little did I know that day, my life was about to change, drastically. Today, I am able to focus on the good that came from that picture. Today, I am a mother to my son, again. Today, I am able to be grateful to actually have solid proof where addiction will only lead you, and today I am able to say that I am ONE YEAR SOBER!”

Viral overdose photo, Indiana woman overdose photo, Heroin addiction
Erika is now one-year sober and doing much better. Image credit: Erika Hurt

Her photo went viral very quickly and in such a pertinent moment. Last Thursday President Donald Trump announced that the opioid epidemic was a public health emergency. He said that America is living its worst drug crisis and that efforts must focus on resolving that problem.

Trump: ‘We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic. We can do it’

Even though Trump said that America must liberate from the scourge of drug addiction, there was no special request to the Congress for emergency funding. For such reasons, many said that the White House is not taking this issue seriously enough.

“America is hemorrhaging lives by the day because of the opioid epidemic, but President Trump offered the country a Band-Aid when we need a tourniquet,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass. Markey called the announcement “nothing more than a dog-and-pony show in an attempt to demonstrate the Trump administration is not ignoring this crisis.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 28,000 people in the country have had overdoses and died since 2014. Heroin overdoses have quadrupled since 2010 taking the lives of 13,000 people only in 2015.

However, besides the stories of drug addicts, there are the untold stories of children that are affected by their parents’ drug dependence. Many children suffer from abuses and dereliction when their parents are controlled by drugs. Many see their parents during drug overdoses or even when they die because of one.

“My son was asleep in his car seat,” Hurt recalled of her life last year, “and I used the justification that he’s too young and he doesn’t know what’s going on if he does see me.”

Source: Grand Forks Herald