Mom Who Suffered Painkiller Addiction, Homelessness, Now A Major Force Against Opioid Epidemic

Jessica Danielle battled homelessness and addiction to prescribed painkillers and emerged victorious to become one of the significant voices against the opioid epidemic.

Knewz.com has learned that Danielle, mother to a nearly four-year-old boy, now works with the organization Texas Against Fentanyl (TXAF) and helps others suffering from drug addiction.

mom who suffered painkiller addiction, homelessness, now a major force against opioid epidemic

Jessica Danielle battled homelessness and addiction to prescribed painkillers and emerged victorious to become one of the significant voices against the opioid epidemic. By: The Daily Express

The 33-year-old from East Texas has been four years sober now, and she attributes her change to a better life to her pregnancy in 2020.

Danielle fell into the dark world of addiction when she was 25 after she was prescribed pain medication following a minor surgery that led to an infection.

"I was massively overprescribed painkillers. I don't think it was done maliciously, but I became dependent and then addicted... My situation deteriorated when my doctor abruptly cut me off after I failed a drug test, having tried heroin for the first time just a week before the random test. My addiction spiraled, leading to a life of drugs, crime, and eventually homelessness," Danielle said in an exclusive conversation with The Daily Express.

"I was never made to be a criminal. I was terrible at it and got arrested for small possession charges and shoplifting numerous times. I was jail hopping, couch surfing, and sleeping in trap houses for three years while addicted to fentanyl-laced heroin," she added.

mom who suffered painkiller addiction, homelessness, now a major force against opioid epidemic

The 33-year-old from East Texas has been four years sober now, and she attributes her change towards a better life to her pregnancy in 2020. By: @jessica_danielle90/Cover Images via The Daily Express

Her early life had also been tumultuous, as her parents got divorced when she was seven and she briefly lived with her mother, a severe alcoholic.

"I lived with her [Danielle's mother] in a very dysfunctional environment for two years... I eventually moved in with my father and stepmother, who I consider my real mother, and grew up with four siblings. I was always very co-dependent. Co-dependency and addiction tend to go hand in hand more times than not," she told The Daily Express.

Danielle met her partner, now husband, back in 2016, and at the time, he was battling addiction as well. The couple soon decided to turn their lives around and move to California from Dallas in search of a fresh start.

However, they had to overcome a significant hurdle in their journey to California and sobriety— Tucson, a place she described as "the Mecca of drugs."

mom who suffered painkiller addiction, homelessness, now a major force against opioid epidemic

Danielle fell into the dark world of addiction when she was 25 after she was prescribed pain medication following a minor surgery. By: MEGA

"I've never seen anything like it. It's the border crossing that seizes the most drugs," she told the outlet. "That city was beautiful, but everyone was high - so it was impossible for us to get sober. In Dallas, most of the time, my husband and I were crafty and could get hotel rooms, make 'friends', and have a roof over our heads."

The most significant change came to the couple's lives, according to Danielle, when they found out she was pregnant. Her path to sobriety was paved during her time in rehab in early 2020 and she is still going strong, with her husband supporting her every step of the way, according to her conversation with The Daily Express.

"I had thrown away my entire life, and when I found out I was pregnant, I knew this was my moment to make or break me... My unborn baby was the catalyst for my recovery, aided by the support of my husband's family, who provided a lifeline to rehabilitation," she told the outlet.

"When I first got sober, everything was new - I was a new mum and wife, and we were living somewhere totally different. I felt pretty lost... I'd never struggled with confidence before, but suddenly, I was this different person, trying to figure it all out. I wanted to improve things, not just for me but for my little boy," she added.

mom who suffered painkiller addiction, homelessness, now a major force against opioid epidemic

Danielle now helps others battling addiction via her work with Texas Against Fentanyl. By: The Daily Express

Talking about the victims of drug addiction she works with now, as part of Texas Against Fentanyl, she said, "When I was younger, I didn't realize how easy it was to fall into the drug scene; it's not just in dark alleys; it's everywhere, even where you'd least expect it. Now, kids of today are getting hit hard with stuff like fentanyl right from the get-go."

"They don't have the chances I had. If I were starting out now, I don't think I'd make it. This mess is stealing over 200 lives a day, and a lot of them are just kids. It's crazy; with just a few taps on their phone, they can get drugs delivered like a pizza," she added.

In addition to her work with Texas Against Fentanyl, she also runs a podcast called Fix-Ed, where Danielle talks about "a variety of topics from addiction and recovery to growth, change, parenting, relationships, and ultimately beating the odds."

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