Mom Whose Overdose Photo Went Viral Hits Sober Milestone

By Kelly Burch 11/01/17

A young Ohio mother turned the "absolute worst moment" of her life into one year of sobriety.

erika hurt and her son
Erika Hurt and her son Parker Photo via Facebook/Erika Hurt

Last year, a photo of Erika Hurt went viral. The Ohio mother was passed out in her car with a syringe in her hand and her 10-month-old son crying in the backseat. While photos like this have been controversial, Hurt says that the experience is part of the reason that she is now celebrating one year of sobriety.

The 26-year-old mother said that the overdose captured in the photo was the “absolute worst moment” of her life, which she used as a “wake-up call,” according to Fox 59.

One year after the photos were taken, she posted on Facebook about the experience. Her post included the overdose photo, a picture of Hurt and her son, and a photo of her today.

“I've seriously debated for the past month, on whether I should repost such a painful picture displaying the absolute worst moment of my life. I've clearly decided to go ahead with my choice. As you all know, I overdosed in my car at a parking lot.. Yes, with my precious baby boy inside the car with me.. but what you may not know is, that overdose happened one year ago TODAY!” she wrote.

“I've decided to repost the picture simply because it displays exactly what heroin addiction is. Also because I do not want to ever forget where the road of addiction has taken me. Little did I know that day, my life was about to change, drastically. Today, I am able to focus on the good that came from that picture. Today, I am a mother to my son, again. Today, I am able to be grateful to actually have solid proof where addiction will only lead you, and today I am able to say that I am ONE YEAR SOBER! I have thousands of shout outs, too many to list. Just know that I DO NOT tackle recovery alone, I have a very large group of supporters standing behind me each and every day to help make sobriety possible for me!”

Hurt told Fox 59 that she is using the photo and the experience to motivate her to sustain her sobriety long term.

"I posted it again so I never forget where addiction takes me. There were multiple points in my sobriety period that I was even sober for 28 months and I ended up relapsing because I forgot where my addiction takes me," said Hurt. "I'm keeping that photo so I can always look back on it so I don't relapse."

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.