Close to death
At one point in her substance use, Stout recalls taking up to 30 pills a day. She became dependent on them and sought unconventional ways to obtain them when she ran out.
Eventually, Stout purchased a bottle of pills that were cut with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is often the root of many opioid addictions and overdoses.
One day, Stout took too many of the mixed pills. She was traveling to Grand Junction for her grandchild’s baseball game and vaguely remembers being so unconscious that she hit a guardrail with her pick-up truck, leaving a dent in her bumper. She didn’t know it, but she was experiencing an overdose.
Her son, Ty, told her that when she arrived at the game, her eyes were vacant, and she was fabricating insensible stories. He knew something was wrong.
“He told me, ‘Mom, I looked at you and no one was home,’” she recalled.
Ty, who was a law enforcement officer at the time, was concerned about his mother’s behavior and took her to the Emergency Room. Stout woke up in her hospital bed the next day, completely unaware she had suffered an overdose. She credits Ty for saving her life.
“It was scary,” Stout said. “Had he not noticed, I would have died. When I woke up in the hospital, I felt helpless. I was afraid of what people were going to think and I was afraid of how my family would react.”
Stout realized she needed to make a change, and luckily for her, Ty knew exactly how to connect her to local rehabilitation resources, thanks to his training at the Meeker Police Department. If not for him, Stout says she wouldn’t have known where to start.
“I didn’t know where to get help and I was ashamed to tell anyone,” she said. “People tend to judge you and I was embarrassed. Education and acceptance are so important in making sure people can start their recovery process.”