Personal Stories

Here are a few stories of those young people who lost their battles, and those who got help and are finding hope and life in the wake of this deadly disease.

Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. No one has to suffer alone.
No one has to die from this disease.


Kayla was a “free spirit”. She had the softest heart of anyone I have ever known, especially when it came to animals. She was funny, had lots of friends, and very loyal. She passed in June of 2008, at the age of 19 to methadone and alcohol poisoning.


Matthew, known by all who knew and loved him as Matty, was born, April 24, 1991 in Astoria, Oregon. He was a happy funny, kind, and all-around lovable kid. He was a great brother, and a wonderful son. The darkness began to take over Matt when he was in high school and he struggled with addiction for 6 years. We were all pleased with his hard work and progress in his last few months. Matty’s light was extinguished on October 23, 2015 when he relapsed.


Whittney had a passion for her horses and the beach. She loved being aunt to her niece Avery more than anything. She was full of life and had many goals and dreams. She passed away in Hollywood, California at the age of 25.


Jessie was a kind, beautiful and lovely young woman. She was funny and feminine, some would call her a girly girl. Jessie prided herself on her exceptional physical strength and in high school would sometimes settle arguments by arm wrestling. After high school, she eventually got a job as a deckhand on a fishing boat. She found that she had a love and a talent for fishing and it became her focus. She was interested in maritime studies and hoped to someday own her own fishing boat.

Losing Jessie has broken our hearts and shaken our family to its core. We miss her laughter, singing, silly antics and her great sense of humor.

Jessie lost her battle with addiction on July 3, 2012 at the age of 22. Rest in peace Jessie bear.


I used to be one of the “good kids”. I made honor roll in high school and was on the varsity softball and volleyball teams. After being in a bad car accident with my boyfriend just two months after I graduated he talked me into using OxyContin. By the time, I realized that the prescription drug OxyContin was just as addictive as any street drug if not more, I was a full-blown addict. My life went downhill fast. I quickly switched to using heroin because it was easier and cheaper to get. I battled my addiction for 8 years, 3 of them homeless on the streets of Portland Oregon. It was a scary time and I found myself in some very unsafe situations. I struggled to get clean, in and out of treatment trying to get my life back. My grandmother passed away and my grandpa wasn’t far behind her. I wanted to be there for him, I wanted to get clean for him so I sought help and entered treatment for the fourth time. Today I am a successful college student who works to support myself. My clean date is May 14, 2014.


I looked up to my older brother and his friends. They seemed to have a good life, not a care in the world, lots of fun and having a good time. They supported this lifestyle by selling drugs and weed. I wanted to be just like them. I had been using alcohol and weed for a short time when I saw my brother and his girlfriend getting high on Oxycontin. I decided to try it myself and felt as though I had found the love of my life. After using Oxy for two years’ things changed and it became harder to get so I switched to heroin and meth. For the next 8 years my addiction progressed, in and out of jail, finally landing a felony charge. I was given the option to participate in a treatment program or go to prison. I completed treatment and got a taste of living clean and sober. I met new people with the same goals and I fell in love with sobriety. I never looked back but I don’t forget where I came from. My clean date is February 6, 2014.

Saving Lives and Helping Families Recover