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While investigating rampant drug use in Ohio, Lisa also befriended Merry, a young mother who is five months pregnant with her second child. Like many of the men and women in her community, this 24-year-old is battling a powerful heroin addiction.

Growing up, Merry says she spent her days cheerleading and dreaming of a career in education or nursing. Then, during her teenage years, she says she began living a double life. "I was getting drunk on the weekends," she says. "I was doing cocaine and acid and other drugs. I guess heroin just wasn't too much of a further step."

Merry says she tried heroin for the first time when she was 17 years old. "Right away, I was hooked," she says.

Over the years, Merry's dangerous drug addiction has affected every aspect of her life. "It's destroyed my family. It's destroyed my self-esteem," she says. "I have been in so many bad situations."

When her daughter, Riley, was just 1 1/2 years old, Merry had to forfeit custody to her mother. Now, she fears for the safety of her unborn child. "I think about it every day," she says.
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FROM: Oprah Talks to a Family Addicted to Heroin
Published on September 29, 2008

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