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Teenager Films Heroin Detox In Last-Ditch Attempt At Sobriety

By McCarton Ackerman 10/23/15

Mariah Powers hit rock bottom and recorded a video cry for help.

Mariah Powers
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A teenage heroin addict from Ohio filmed her own detox in the desperate hope that she could get clean, but it appears to be working for now as she recently celebrated 60 days sober.

Cleveland resident Mariah Powers, 19, was first introduced to heroin at age 16 by her boyfriend. It quickly turned into a $100-per-day habit that was putting her life in danger. Powers had overdosed four times in the previous month.

"I would steal, lie, cheat, sell my body,” she admitted to CBS News. “It starts with your first high where it is just complete euphoria. And then when I didn't get that high after I did it again, I thought I needed to do a little more."

Powers made the video while high on heroin at a moment she claims was her rock bottom. Unable to find a facility to take her in, she detoxed at home and told the camera that “I don’t want to live my life this way. I’m going to end up dead or in prison ... I want my dad back. I don’t want to end up this empty hollow shell anymore.”

Her father, Joe, said that watching Mariah overdose repeatedly convinced him that she would never get better.

"I pretty much buried my daughter at that point, in my mind," he said. "That sounds cruel. It doesn't mean I gave up with her, but I figured that the disease would get her."

Although he isn’t yet convinced that his daughter’s 60 days of sobriety is a permanent turning point, admitting that “there’s always going to be that waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Mariah said she’s simply happy to be sober for now.

"I can only take it one day at a time. I can't say I'm going to be sober for the rest of my life," she said. "But as of today? Heck yeah, I'm going to stay sober."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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