Struggling to Surface

Hilary Swift

Brooks Institute

Over a year ago my cousin, and best friend, started using heroin. I have changed her name in this story under her request. Althea began self-medicating with prescription opiates in her senior year of high school to help her deal with depression and debilitating panic attacks. When Percocet became too expensive, Althea began to use heroin. Althea and I are both from Vermont, a state that has seen at least a 700 percent increase in heroin use in the last 15 years. This story chronicles her struggle with addiction and shows the cycle of relapse.