(WKRG) — Denise Bolton was diagnosed first with uterine cancer, then ovarian cancer. Opioids were a medical need. But they soon grew to more than that.
“I had to take two Lortab 10’s just to get out of bed,” says Bolton.
Her addiction lasted ten years. After a while, she knew she needed help.
“What you find out real quick like, before you even realize it is that golden apple becomes a snake in the weeds very quick,” says Bolton.
In the span of one year, Bolton says she took over 6,000 pills, averaging about 45 pills a day.
“22 Lortab 10’s during the day, and then at night time I took six Tylenol PM’s, four or five Xanax, two Ambien CR, and about five or six Soma’s every single night on top of all of the Hydrocodone that I had in my body. My husband, he came to me one day and told me ‘I am going to find you dead. Every morning I expect to wake up and find you dead. You have to stop’,” says Bolton.
In the end, it was a close friend who went through rehab successfully that inspired Bolton to get help. She’s been sober since 2009.
“We’ve got to take the stigma. Parents don’t be ashamed to say your child is addicted, stand up and scream your child is addicted.”
Bolton says it’s a miracle she’s alive today and says she now has a mission.
“I believe I was left on this earth to fight for the ones who are still trying to get out and to live a good life for the ones who didn’t make it out,” says Bolton.
Bolton has been cancer free for 17 years and sober for eight.