Featured on WNYT 13

Story by: Mark Mulholland

Link to full article can be found at: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3780015.shtml

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – SARATOGA SPRINGS – Maigan Richardson admits to trying booze and pot as a teen.

She says she’d do it because her friends were, but she didn’t really like it.

In October 2005, Maigan got in a car crash when she was 17 and broke bones in her back and neck. Doctors prescribed opiate-based painkillers.

“When I found the opiates, the prescription painkillers, it was my first true love,” she said during an interview Tuesday afternoon.

Maigan said after several months she began abusing them.

“I would get a prescription from my doctor and I would go through it in three days” And it was supposed to last a month.

Maigan says she woke up one day and was sick from withdrawal from the painkillers.

She called around to find some pills, and couldn’t find any. But one guy had something for her.

“I didn’t even ask what it was, I just gave him $10 and sniffed it,” she said.

It was heroin. It took away her withdrawal illness right away and she says she “felt like Superwoman.”

But not for long. Her addiction to painkillers transferred to the heroin.

The former “A-student” was now 22 and a desperate heroin addict.

“It took everything away from me. It consumed my life. It was a black hole that consumed my life.”

She credits a stay in jail with saving her life. “I’ve been clean and sober for three-and-a-half years now.”

Now 26, Maigan has a college degree and works in the hospitality field. She’s urging parents to have a conversation with their kids about the prescription drugs that led to her addiction.

“It’s real. People are out there dying because of this.”

Maigan was scheduled to be a featured speaker at a Tuesday night forum on heroin and prescription drug abuse put on by The Prevention Council and Saratoga Springs City Schools.