FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- A Huntington native who has battled addiction for most of her life shared her story, Tuesday night. She hopes her story of survival will help combat the growing heroin epidemic in Huntington County and across the nation.
It’s been a long road for Jessica Brooks. She went from being addicted to heroin and other drugs, to becoming an advocate for addiction treatment programs. Brooks said she has been clean for 18 months, but before she decided to turn her life around, she was at her lowest point and had overdosed from heroin three times.
Brooks along with local law enforcement held a town hall meeting to share her story of addiction and survival. The presentation opened with a chilling 911 phone call made by her husband who was desperately trying to bring Brooks back to life after an overdose.
“That was one of the 3 times I overdosed,” Brooks said to a crown of hundreds of people.
Her heroin use only lasted about 5 months, but her drug addiction started long before that, whenshe was a teenager. She said she tried different types of drugs over the years, then she was introduced to heroin.
Brooks is one of many people in Huntington county who have struggled with heroin addiction. The numbers are startling. From January to September this year there have been 91 people who have overdosed on heroin. That’s compared to 107 overdoses in the 2015.
“When you get to a spot that I was in, you cannot pull yourself out,” she said. “It’s not possible. You cant pull yourself out.”
Brooks said it takes the community’s support to help get addicts off drugs.
“Until I was introduced to a woman who had been a drug addict and made it out… and until she showed me the hope, I didn’t see any,” she said.
She wants other people who are battling addiction to understand they can survive addiction too.
“You have not gone too far,” she said. “There is nothing you cannot come back from. There is help. if you still have breath in your lungs there’s hope for you.”