Maybe you’ve seen her running on Steamboat’s trails. Or maybe you’ve bought a car from the dealership where she’s a manager.
Her name is Kristen Corrier, and in late November 2021, she will have been sober for one year. But today, in early September, the 30-year-old is happy to be celebrating her nine-month anniversary, and from there she’ll be taking it one day at a time.
In Kristen’s experience, that’s how recovery from heroin use works. It’s not pass-fail. It’s not clear-cut.
“Once you get hooked on a drug, it’s really difficult to get yourself out of that,” she said. “It often takes a few tries. It took me a while to realize what I needed to do and how I needed to do it.”
What is Heroin?
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, which is a natural substance taken from the seed pod of poppy plants mostly grown in Asia, Mexico and Colombia. Synthetic opioids like Oxycontin and Fentanyl are in the same drug class and have the same effects as heroin, and people who use one of these drugs will often use another. Opioid use disorder ranges from mild to severe.
People inject heroin, snort it or smoke it. In the U.S., heroin use is increasing. Overdose deaths involving opioids are up sixfold since 1999.
In Northwest Colorado (including Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Jackson and Grand counties), there have been 26 total drug-related overdose deaths since 2018. Of those, 11 have been recorded as opioid related.
Addiction to heroin is something Kristen wouldn’t wish on anybody.
“Being in active addiction is so miserable,” Kristen said. “You feel so stuck.”