When she was 25, Brenda was in a car crash on her way to the grocery store. After the incident she needed to see numerous doctors and neurologists, and one of them gave her a prescription for opioid pain medication. Brenda doesn’t remember being warned about the risks of taking prescription opioids or the dangers of misuse. One day after she filled the prescription, she doubled her dose and, from that moment on, she never again took the medication as it was prescribed. She began going to multiple doctors for pills and eventually was buying and selling them in her community. She felt lonely and isolated, and was suffering. Everything else took a backseat in her life, including her friends and family. Brenda became addicted to heroin, a point that she never thought she would reach.

When Brenda discovered she was four weeks pregnant, “Part of me wanted to keep using, but more of me wanted to stop,” she said. Thanks to the help of her family, especially her stepfather, she was able to get into a treatment program for pregnant women and to detox. She entered a transitional living program and delivered a healthy baby. She has been in recovery for two years.

Learn more about opioid misuse and overdose, data, and prevention resources at CDC’s Opioid Overdose website.

Learn more about opioid data and resources.