HOPE, Ind. - One year ago, a photograph of an Indiana woman who had overdosed on heroin in a car went viral. This week, Erika Hurt said that although the picture was humiliating, it also saved her life.
“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,” Hurt wrote in a Facebook post on Oct. 22. “I've clearly decided to go ahead with my choice.
“I've decided to repost the picture simply because it displays exactly what heroin addiction is.”
Last year, police in Hope, Indiana, snapped a photo of Hurt slumped over in the front seat of a car with a needle in her hand, WTHR reported. She had overdosed on heroin with her baby in the back seat of the vehicle, police said.
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On the year anniversary of her lowest moment, Hurt, 26, recalled her worst moment.
“I was sitting in jail viewing the picture on all the news stations on TV and was just shocked, humiliated. I had no words,” she told WTHR.
Hurt became a symbol of the opioid crisis, and she was angry at the Hope police for sharing the photo, WTHR reported. Now, however, she is grateful.
“I was so embarrassed and hurt. I was miserable,” she told WTHR. But, “I’m very thankful that someone decided to capture that moment.”
Hurt said she needed to turn her life around, particularly for her son, Parker, who was in the vehicle when the photo was taken. She has been sober ever since.
"I love him dearly so I wanted to be a productive member for him and raise him correctly, raise him the right way," she told WTHR.
Hurt marked her one-year anniversary of sobriety by posting pictures of herself -- then and now -- on Facebook, using the hashtag #oneyearsober. And she has a message for other people fighting addiction.
“Just suck up your pride and reach out,” she told WTHR. “I feel like I could have received help sooner if I just said, ‘Hey, I'm struggling and I need help.’”
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