Many teenagers try drugs or alcohol in high school or college and most will go on to have perfectly normal lives, but others won’t. Doctor Rachel has a powerful story of a local mother who lost her daughter to addiction and suicide.
Kristi Hart says, “She was the light of my life.”
All Kristy Hart has left of her 22-year-old daughter is her favorite scarf and a lock of her hair sealed in a plastic bag.
“Her last words were, please, keep my story out there because addiction does kill,” adds Hart.
Kaycee’s story starts just a few years ago when she had the world at her feet.
“She in her senior year had received a full scholarship for college and was headed off for what we though was a wonderful life and wonderful future and watching her grow up,” says Hart.
It was in college, where a grown up Kaycee started experimenting with drugs.
Hart explains, “At the time, even being a nurse and a parent, I did not realize this was what was happening with her.”
Kaycee’s life quickly spun out of control and she resorted to stealing to feed her addiction.
“How desperate for any parents to say about their daughter, we don’t know how else to save her but to have her arrested,” says Hart.
Teens who become addicted to drugs or alcohol go through four predictable stages: Experimentation– when the use is sporadic, like on the weekends, with friends. Regular use– when the teen develops a predictable pattern and they’ll usually try to hide their drug use at some point. Risky use– when they no longer care about hiding their problem and the teen begins to suffer emotional, physical and social problems. And addiction– when the teen has a difficult time facing the day without drugs.
“She was sleeping all the time at this point. She had lost so much weight. She had withered away to nothing. She was dying in front of her eyes,” says Hart.
Unfortunately by this point, Kaycee felt there was no way out and over the summer, took her own life.
“She felt she was making everyone unsafe and that she felt that her family would only be safe if she were dead,” says Hart.
Now those Kaycee left behind are learing how to move forward.
“I could handle anything in the world. I could survive. I couldn’t be able to survive the death of one of my children. And I did. And I have. And somehow I am going to have to keep on surviving.”
Kristi Hart and her family do a lot of speaking engagements now, warning students about the dangers of drug addiction.