In March, we gave you a frightening look inside an 18-year-old's battle with a dangerous cocktail of prescription drugs that nearly ended her life. Today, our Kiran Chetry goes back to visit Melissa to see whether or not she's serious about getting clean. Tomorrow on American Morning, Melissa takes us inside her new world of sobriety. We'll show you the challenges she faces – old habits and old friendships that could pull her back into addiction.
By Kiran Chetry, CNN
(CNN) – We first met 18-year-old Melissa a month ago. She’s a self-described addict of prescription drugs.
“My mother's prescribed Xanax. … I began taking them as well, and um, it was just kind of like an immediate comfort from them,” she says.
Melissa and her best friend, who didn't want us to use her name, told us snorting crushed up pills was a daily habit.
“I wouldn't really say that I'm addicted, like I've been on and off.”
Melissa's cousin Adam, now sober, says he overdosed 15 times before getting clean.
“It's just like, you need it, and you don't want to do anything else and you don't care about anything else and you spend every last penny you have on it, just to have that feeling and for me that was immediate,” he says.
All three of them say they started abusing drugs when they were just 13. Fast forward five years, Melissa's been in an out of rehab three times, is a high school drop out and has a criminal record. She told us she was well aware of her losing battle with pills, yet continued to abuse.
"I most certainly am an addict, like, ‘Hi, my name's Melissa and I am an addict and I am an alcoholic.’ Like I know that I am, like, I really do just make excuses. I need to clean my room, but I have no ambition. I'll take an Aderrall, yep, my room needs to be clean, that's why I took it. Yep, that's why. Just dumb excuses, dumb reasons, telling myself it's ok, it's not okay.”
After having that self realization, where does she take the next step, what's next?
“Honestly, from here like I don't know where everything's gonna go, but I want to try, I want to try really, really hard to stop making excuses for why I do these things because its not getting me anywhere.”
Two hours after we finished our interview, Melissa and her friend were snorting Adderall in their car.
“Prescription pills suck. They suck, they suck. I am currently high on them and sit here and say they suck. It's not worth it, it's not worth it,” Melissa says.
But even that wasn't her lowest. She would hit rock bottom in two days.
“I went over to a friend's house and I thought I was having a good time and I ended up trying to commit suicide. I felt really lonely, and I guess a lot of times when you're using drugs that's how you end up feeling.
"I don't remember calling an ambulance or how it got to me, but I went to the hospital. I was in intensive care for four days. They told me I was fifteen minutes away from death."
It wasn't until her fifth day in the hospital that Melissa saw through her addiction...
"I've been in rehab and it wasn't enough for me. It didn't strike me as that serious. But being 15 minutes away from death, that was my bottom. That's as low as I can get. And it’s made me realize what I need to do."