STAYING WITH THE STORY
The Journal-News has been a leader in reporting on the heroin crisis in Butler County, which some officials have called an “epidemic.” This news outlet is committed to bringing you stories of those whose lives have been impacted by heroin addiction and the efforts being put forth by local health, law enforcement and government officials to solve the problem.
See Tiffany Hoskins talk about her personal battle with heroin addiction at www.journal-news.com
A local heroin addict and her family are concerned for her well-being after she was quit attending counseling sessions at a drug treatment center for missing an appointment.
Tiffany Hoskins, 35, said she was introduced to heroin six years ago after using marijuana and cocaine, and since then, it’s been a struggle escaping her drug addiction.
“I like the buzz,” she said of heroin. “It messes you up pretty good.”
She received a couple of suboxene strip treatments at an area center and was making progress, she said. But after she missed a session due to an unrelated medical procedure, she was told she wouldn’t receive suboxene, even though she had a doctor’s note.
“That’s wrong to me,” she said. “What’s the sense in going back and not getting the medicine?”
Since she received two suboxene strips a day, she was required to attend three classes a week, see a counselor once every two weeks and a doctor once a month, she said.
Suboxene, when placed under the tongue, helps reverse the effects of heroin, she said. And now, Hoskins is buying suboxene off the streets.
Darrell Harvey, 60, has watched heroin’s grip on his longtime girlfriend. He finally said “enough is enough” and encouraged her to seek treatment. But now he’s upset how she was cared for, and he’s worried that as long as she continues shooting up heroin, her life is at risk.
“She’s playing Russian Roulette with a needle,” he said while sitting on the couch, a few feet from his girlfriend. “She’s putting bullets in the chamber and playing, ‘Will I live today or will I die today?’”
He’s considering contacting an attorney to see if there is any legal action he can take against the treatment center.
The Journal-News reached out to the treatment center for comment about its drug treatment policies and procedures, but did not receive a return phone call.
Harvey knows too many people have died from heroin overdoses. As many as 140 people in Butler County died from heroin-related overdoses in 2015, an all-time record, according to the coroner’s office. In Ohio, there were 1,177 heroin overdoses in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Harvey doesn’t want to bury another statistic
“She wants to get off of it,” he said. “It’s taking people out.”
Even though she understands the dangers, Hoskins still injects heroin into her arm. She just did a few days ago. The risk, she said, is better than feeling sick.
“It’s not fun,” she said of her addiction. “It’s like you’re always on the chase doing anything you got to do. Begging, stealing, you name it. It’s really hard to explain it.”
What’s her advice to others considering trying heroin?
“Stay far, far, far away from it,” she said. “It’s not good.”
So after being persuaded, Hoskins, a 1998 Edgewood High School graduate, sought treatment for her addiction. It’s her goal, she said, to put the pieces of her life back together. She once was a high school cheerleader. Those innocent days seem a lifetime ago.
“I want to be normal again,” she said.
Harvey added: “Normal is beautiful.”