HOPE, Ind. – Back in 2016, police photographed Erika Hurt after she overdosed on heroin in a parking lot.
Her son, who was an infant at the time, was sleeping in the backseat.
Hurt said she had only been home from rehab for two weeks when the incident occurred.
“So I was driving home, and I just knew that at some point I wanted to use, because I didn’t want to feel the pain that I was feeling,” Hurt said. “My son was asleep in his car seat and I used the justification that he’s too young and he doesn’t know what’s going on if he does see me.”
Last year, a police officer photographed Erika Hunt overdosed on heroin with her son in the backseat. Here’s how she’s doing today. pic.twitter.com/LCVP2sbNCQ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 25, 2017
The photo of Hurt went viral.
Hurt said she was embarrassed when she first saw the photo and wanted to blame police for “showing the world my private addiction.”
Now, she says she’s had a change of heart.
“But I’m thankful now that the cop did take the picture. The fact that I’m able to look back on that picture and see where the addiction had taken me, and I’m able to use that picture now to show others that addicts can recover,” Hurt said.
With one year of sobriety under her belt, Hurt is now hoping the photo can teach others.
“I wanted to be able to give people hope that they can recover, and show people that I could do it too,” she said.