Tessa was first introduced to prescription opioids in high school after a sports injury. She was “hooked” by age 18 and used prescription opioids and other drugs to self-medicate her chronic headaches, pain from fibromyalgia, and depression. After receiving a DUI at age 21, Tessa completed substance use treatment but soon relapsed and began buying prescription opioids on the street.
By age 28, Tessa was using heroin. She continued to use prescription opioids and illicit drugs throughout all her pregnancies. Her first and second child both experienced withdrawal symptoms. At the peak of her opioid use disorder, Tessa was arrested for theft and burglary and jailed, and she lost custody of her children.
After entering treatment eight times and continuing to relapse, Tessa finally reached a point where she was ready to make a change. Tessa has been in recovery for three years and runs a treatment center focused on supporting pregnant women with substance use disorders. Tessa feels that sharing her story is furthering her dream to help women with similar backgrounds realize that recovery is possible.
Learn more about opioid misuse and overdose, data, and prevention resources at Opioid Overdose.