Woman who fought opioid addiction reacts to historic drug charges

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP/WSAZ News Staff) -- For many, medications help keep us healthy, but for those prescribed opioids, they found themselves feeling the exact opposite.

Amanda Deitz was one of those people. As a former college athlete at West Virginia University and a mother of two working as a direct care provider for children with disabilities, she had never done drugs in her life.

"I was one of those teenagers even young adults that did not do drugs, I thought drugs were bad I knew to stay away from them,” she said.

But after a back injury at work, her doctor prescribed her Lortab that contains highly addictive hydrocodone.

From there she says, her life went quickly downhill.

"Within three years I’d lost custody of both my children, I was unemployable, been arrested, all the things that come with addiction,” Deitz said.

As things around her started to fall apart, she questioned whether she was becoming addicted to her pills.

"I remember feeling like I’m becoming addicted and I was told that no I wasn’t. You're dependent if you’re prescribed the medication,” she said.

Now 11 years sober and the program director at Rea of Hope recovery program, she doesn't believe she needed the opioid that caused her to spiral out of control.

"I do not think it was necessary the first time they were prescribed to me or the 11 months that followed that,” Deitz said.

As a survivor of opioid addiction, she's happy with Wednesday’s historic drug charges against 60 people, including 31 doctors, for their roles in illegal prescribing and distributing of opioids and other dangerous drugs.

"For those that may be aware and may be educated but continue to do it, I’m so grateful that that's happened because mothers are losing sons, daughters, children are losing their parents,” she said.

She’s even more thankful that she has a new life with her kids.

"I still have those moments 11 years later, thinking I could've missed this,” she said.

If you or a loved one needs help, there are treatment centers in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.