Addiction and Michiana’s Youngest Victims – Part 2

Christine Karsten sat down with two recovering addicts to better understand the epidemic of addiction in Michiana.
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - Click here for Part 1.

Fentanyl, heroin, and meth are some of the top drugs circulating in our community right now and they are easy to get. What makes drugs so appealing? What keeps bringing you back? How do you get to the point where you are choosing drugs over your kids?

16 News Now’s Christine Karsten sat down with two recovering addicts, one a mom, the other a former meth dealer to better understand.

“I felt like superwoman,” says recovering addict Anisa Berkey. “I could stay up for days, I could do anything. I was able to manage a house, a relationship, a job. I was still going to school. It gives you the illusion that you are perfect.”

Berkey only had to try meth once and she was hooked! In fact, she liked it so much she started making and selling it.

“Why would I go spend my money when I could make it and earn money? The demand was so crazy. You realize addiction does not discriminate. I have supplied doctors, lawyers, parents, teachers,” says Berkey.

When Molly Rowe was introduced to a form of meth called crank, she had just lost the most important person in her life, her grandmother, and was looking for something to numb the pain.

“There was no thought it my mind that this probably isn’t a good idea. So, we smoked it off foil, I was awake for two weeks and then from then on, that was it,” explains Rowe.

Hooked after just one time

“Within two weeks I was doing it every day,” continues Rowe.

What could go wrong? Turns out, just about everything.

“Within eight months, I had no money, no apartment, my son was living with my mom, I was fully addicted to drugs, I wanted to kill myself because I didn’t want to be in that life anymore,” says Rowe.

That’s when Rowe got clean. Within 30 days she got pregnant with her daughter and stayed clean until her daughter was about 2 months old.

“I fell back into meth and his time it came on stronger than the first time,” says Rowe.

“There have been times where we supplied people stuff for free just to keep them going. ‘Here take this it’s okay, don’t worry about it, just keep coming back because as long as you are coming back I am safe,’” says Berkey.

Rowe says her addiction was so strong she started stealing from her family.

“It is not right by any means, but I didn’t know another way because my body and my mind needed that drug so bad that I didn’t know not to go without it,” explains Rowe.

What started as a choice quickly turned into a nightmare.

“Addiction lies to you in your own voice. So, the thoughts that are in your head and they are saying you can’t live without me, you can’t survive without this, you are nothing without drugs,” says Rowe.

“There were so many times where I would be sitting on the bathroom floor with drugs in my hand crying like, I don’t want to do this anymore but I have to,” says Berkey.

“I was literally going through life in a fog, like I didn’t have any feelings. I couldn’t get happy, I couldn’t get sad, I couldn’t get nothing. It had made me so numb that I could literally just walk through like and not care about a thing,” explains Rowe.

Rowe was so miserable that if dying meant she could finally get out, she was okay with it.

“It breaks my heart because how selfish is that? I have kids, I have a family,” says Rowe. “It’s not that I didn’t love my kids or my family, it’s by no means that I didn’t think they were worth it because if anything, I thought they were better off without me because I couldn’t be healthy. Because I couldn’t say no to the drugs and yes to them.”

Berkey felt the exact same way.

“I just remember feeling so trapped, like this is life now. I don’t know how to get out. Is there a way out? Jail or death were the only options in my life back then,” Says Berkey.

Turns out, jail and the rehab programs offered inside is what got both of them clean. Today, sobriety remains their number one priority. Berkey has been clean for 12 years now. Rowe has been clean for three and a half years. But with recovery comes a whole lot of clarity.

“Was I really functioning as someone who was supportive and someone who was there, no. I was physically there, and that is great, I guess. They could see me. But I wasn’t mentally there at all,” says Rowe.

And guilt…

“Do you sit here and think, I made the substance that is responsible for not providing the child that care that they would need?” asks Christine.

“Yeah”, replies Berkey.If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please call Alicia Wells at 574-413-8778. She can get help you get the help you need. This is not a tip line. If you would like to provide a tip, please call your local police department or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP or 800-342-STOP.

One of the things Berkey says she wished happened was for someone to say, “what is going on, how can I help you, you seem off?” You can be that person for someone today!

I want to thank these brave women for having the courage to speak out about their experience with the hope of helping at least one person or even saving a life.

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