ALAMOSA, Colo. -- Mariah Casias and the father of her two children, Jesse Lopez say they'll never take their happiness for granted after successfully battling addiction together.
Casias tearfully says, “I don't know where I would be, I don't know if we'd have our kids.” Their journey started with access to prescribed painkillers.
Jesse tells FOX31 he took the opioid Percocet for six years.
They both became dependent on the highly addictive drug then turned to heroin.
Casias says the hardest memory to bear is that they couldn’t hide the pain of addiction from their children.
Hope arrived when the couple decided to visit Dr. Barbara Troy of Valley-Wide Health Systems in Alamosa, Colorado. Dr. Troy, a beacon of light for those battling addiction says, “they say to me 'but i didn`t know there was treatment' I’m heartbroken.”
Dr. Troy uses a drug called Suboxone and counseling to gently wean patients off of prescription and street drugs.
She explains, “..just like having diabetes, having hypertension, these are all chronic diseases so what do we do? We treat them.”
Lopez says Dr. Troy’s program has put his family on a new path, one they feared wasn’t possible and adds, “she's changing our lives big time, if she wasn't here (we’d) probably still be using or dead.”
Dr. Troy also helped new mom Caitlin Geiser truly experience the joys of being a parent to her new daughter after her battle with addiction.
She says the best thing is “being able to wake up and focus on the things that matter like her and my family.”
Dr. Troy helped Caitlin’s brother as well and many others who are starting their lives anew.
The renowned physician says the key to stopping addiction is having a plan before the first prescription is filled, “ask ‘how long are you going to need these’ and make a plan for stopping them.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction FOX31 has resources that can help.