This Recovering Teen Heroin Addict Filmed Her Own Detox
She says she hopes the video will remind her how bad things got as she moves forward, and also motivate others struggling with drug addiction.
Mariah Powers, a 19-year-old, recently hit rock bottom of her heroin abuse. But instead of surrendering to her three-year addiction, she detoxed alone in her home and filmed it all on camera.
"I want my life back. And I am so ready. I am so ready to stop," Powers can be seen crying out in a clip from the video, which she recently shared with CBS News. "I don't want to live my life this way. I'm going to end up dead or in prison."
She opened up about her experience in an on-camera interview with news correspondent Anna Werner just 10 days after she created the footage. The teen first encountered the drug when she was just 16 years old when a boyfriend at the time introduced her to it. After that her drug use quickly escalated to a $100/day habit.
"It starts as your first high, where it is just complete euphoria. And then when I didn't get that high again after I did it again I thought I needed to do a little more," she said. "I would steal, lie, cheat, sell my body."
She explained that she hopes the video will remind her how bad things got as she moves forward, and also motivate others struggling with drug addiction.
"Just to see my face, like even how I looked that day, is like, wow," Powers said.
Between 2002 and 2013, heroin use increased 63% and heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last week, the White House announced an initiative aimed at fighting the ongoing epidemic of heroin abuse and prescription drug abuse in an effort to change the tide.
Before detoxing, Powers explained that she had overdosed four times in the previous month but couldn't find a facility to take her in for a detox. She was desperate enough to do it on her own.
Her father, Joe Powers, also opened up about witnessing his daughter spiral out of control, saying that he "felt pretty hopeless" watching Mariah overdose again and again.
He explained, "I pretty much buried my daughter at that point, in my mind. And that sounds cruel; it doesn't mean I gave up [on] her, but I figured that the disease would get her."
Is Joe ready to believe that his daughter's past is in the past? Not yet, he said: "She will always be an addict. I'm waiting for the shoe to drop."
But Mariah plans to take it one day at a time. "I can't say, 'I'm going to be sober for the rest of my life.' But as of today, heck yeah—I'm going to stay sober."
She has now been clean for more than 60 days.