At her rock bottom, Mariah Powers, just 19 years old, filmed her detox from heroin. Why? To remind herself to never use heroin again. Mariah is just one of many teens struggling with addiction. Heroin use in young adults, ranging from 18 to 25, has more than doubled since 2002.
After overdosing more than four times in a month's time, Powers turned on her camera and filmed herself. Powers had to detox alone at home because no facility would take her in. The reasons for which are unknown. Tired of the cycle of addiction, she sat in front of her camera and cried about not wanting to die or go to jail.
Ten days later, she sat down with CBS News to talk about her road to recovery and her descent into the dark world where heroin ruled her. "It starts with your first high, where it is complete euphoria. When I didn't get that high again when I did it again, I thought I needed to do a little more," she says, admitting she started using at 16 when a boyfriend introduced her to the drug. Her first high quickly turned into a $100 a day habit.
"I would steal, cheat, lie and sell my body," she says.
When asked why she would go public with that admission of guilt, she replies frankly, "Because I know I am not the only one."
And she isn't. It's estimated 13.5 million people in the world take opioids, including 9.2 million who use heroin. Overdoses are on the rise. And teens are falling victim to the drug's dark path more and more every day. Powers is just one of many who have been swept up in the heroin crisis plaguing the U.S.
No one knows more how painful addiction is than Powers' father, who watched her overdose again and again. "I pretty much buried my daughter at that point in my mind. That sounds cruel. It doesn't mean I gave up with her, but I figured the disease would get her."
Until the interview with CBS he had never seen his daughter's detox video. "I hope she stays sober," he says. But he's wary because he says, "She will always be an addict."
But Powers is on her own path now, and heroin isn't driving her. Sobriety is. "I can only take it one day at a time. But heck yeah, I want to stay sober," she says.
At the time the video aired, she has been clean for 60 days.
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