Buried in the headlines of people overdosing or dying are the stories of people who somehow escaped.
A Northern Kentucky man was almost a statistic. But thanks to treatment and some tough love from his mother, Steven Withers is a survivor.
“It is the devil here on earth,” said Kimberly Withers, referring to her son’s past heroin addiction.
Steven Withers said he started getting high at age 13.
“It got so bad, I would use heroin at 4 p.m. in the afternoon and be sick, dope sick, withdrawing by midnight that night,” Steven Withers said.
Steven Withers said addiction set in in high school.
“I’d go to high school tripping on acid,” he said. “I’d go to school after all night being up smokin’ meth.”
By the time he was 17, Steven Withers was hooked on pain medications. That quickly turned to a cheaper, more addictive and more dangerous drug that nearly killed him and his family.
“There’s nobody that really matters,” Steven Withers said. “You always kinda feel like, ‘Well, if I take this money and I go use this and get “well” I’ll make it up to them later.’ But you never make it up to them because it’s just a full-blown circle.”
In 2009, a near-death scare nearly set him straight. Steven Withers spend five days in the hospital, but walked out in his hospital gown to get high.
A few months later, Kimberly Withers said her son was at a breaking point. She called police on her own son.
“He did say to me, ‘I hate you for doing this to me.’ And I said, ‘I love you with all of my heart.’ I’ll do whatever it takes,” Kimberly Withers said.
Steven Withers admitted that his mother saved his live.
A judge gave Steven Withers a choice: prison or a year in treatment. He’s been sober ever since.
“I thank God every day for 50,000 chances because that’s what I received,” Steven Withers said.
Eight years later, Steven Withers is a college graduate and married. He now works with the homeless, many who are battling the same…