14 News Special Report: The Pill that Kills Pt. 2
“I just went straight to the worst of the worst.”
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - 20-year-old Skyler Huff says she’s been through a lot in her life.
To cope, she says she turned to drugs in high school. It started out with marijuana, but her drug use spiraled out of control with harder drugs and she’s been fighting ever since.
“I just went straight to the worst of the worst,” Huff said. “And I didn’t even know that I was addicted.”
Huff grew up in Morganfield, Kentucky. A small town, and Skyler had big dreams.
“I wanted to be a flight attendant,” Huff said.
At a young age, she was surrounded by situations that brought on difficult situations.
“I surrounded myself in areas, and with people I was miserable in,” Huff said.
She grew fond of depressants, like Xanax and Percocet. Her life would forever be altered when she moved on to fentanyl.
“I was just dabbling and doing it for fun, but at this point, it wasn’t fun anymore, because you’re dependent on it,” Huff said.
Huff says that getting high deprived her of many emotions during her addiction.
“I was angry, and I didn’t feel nothing,” Huff said. “It just has a hold on you, and nothing in your life even matters.”
The money she would work for went directly towards funding her addiction.
“You go to work all day, and that night you spend it all on drugs,” Huff said. “It makes you lie, it makes you a totally different person.”
Skyler’s dream of being a flight attendant was drifting away. She would find herself in jail for 15 days.
She knew that a felony conviction on her record meant she could never be a flight attendant.
“I had to face the realization that my dream had just been ripped away from me,” Huff said. “You tell yourself, ‘I won’t never do that again, I don’t ever want to feel that pain again.’”
15 days in jail would mean that Skyler would deal with withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, and unimaginable pain. But when she would get out of jail, she’d go back to using fentanyl.
“It makes you miserable, but you’re dependent on it, and you know that you’re gonna be hurting, so it’s just a constant loop, over and over and over,” Huff said. “In the moments I wasn’t feeling it didn’t take away. Because whenever I got sober, I felt everything.”
She would cycle in and out of jail throughout her addiction, but that would end in December 2022. When she failed her drug test in drug court, Skyler would be forced into a treatment center in Owensboro.
“I was more scared of going to treatment than I ever was of going to jail,” Huff said.
She spent six weeks in rehab, and ever since, she’s been clean. If she ends up back in jail, she’ll have to serve out three years.
If she stays out of jail, in 2027, her record will be expunged, and she can continue pursuing the dream she’s always had.
But, as for right now, Skyler’s priorities to stay clean are rooted in support.
“I’m fighting for my mom and for my siblings, so they don’t have to bury me,” Huff said. “So one day they won’t find me up in my room, OD’ed.”
Skyler says the past year has been a difficult journey, but she’s thankful to be at this point in her recovery.
“I feel like I’ve been fighting my whole life,” Huff said. “I’ve just been in survival mode.”
She journals daily, continues to work and attends weekly counseling, all to remain committed to her sobriety,
“My brain will never be what it was before I started using,” Huff said. “It’s not worth your life, it’s not worth anybody’s life.”
She hopes that people can learn from her story, and that the community can retain a better understanding of the dangers and pain that addiction carries.
Skyler also hopes that current addicts struggling with recovery can see her story as a sign of hope, that they too, can find recovery.
“I promise you even if you feel alone, even if you think that nobody cares, there is somebody that cares,” Huff said. “There is somebody that will be crushed and devastated if you don’t make it.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or drug abuse, here are some helpful links to resources:
- Shatterproof is a free website that can provide you with tools to help fight addiction. They also have links to additional resources on their website.
- WARM (Women’s Addiction Recovery Manor) is an inpatient recovery treatment center for women located in Henderson, KY.
- River Valley Behavioral Health in Owensboro, KY provides substance abuse recovery,
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a toll-free number to provide callers with addiction and recovery treatment facilities near them. The SAMHSA hotline is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- The National Suicide Hotline (988) also offers suicide and crisis intervention options for those dealing with substance abuse issues.
For more information on fentanyl, including the distribution of counterfeit pills, you can visit the CDC’s informational page on it.
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