The heroin epidemic in the United States has claimed countless lives, and while it’s easy to overlook the individual cost of the drug, one South Carolina mother hopes that her child’s death can bring about some change. Jennifer Woodward recently lost her 22-year-old daughter Reghan Berry to a heroin addiction, and in a heartbreaking obituary, Woodward wrote that her daughter “was [her] everything.”
According to the obituary, Reghan “had been sober for a little over two weeks [when she passed away].” Her mother wrote that in her daughter’s four year battle with addiction, “she fought like a warrior every step of the way.” Woodward declared:
To the person who doesn’t understand addiction, she is just another statistic that chose to make a bad decision. A very uneducated statement indeed, but none the less that is what they will say, along with some other hurtful statements. We don’t care though, because for people who do understand, this is our baby, our oldest, our child, our daughter and my everything.
She turned to drugs to make her feel normal like everyone else. Heroin told her “I can make you feel accepted, I can make you feel alright, I can make you feel worthy, I can make you feel normal, I make you feel loved and I can make you feel nothing and make you feel like everything will be okay.” What it didn’t tell her was how it would devastate her family and tear it apart, take her job and leave her penniless, take her home and make her homeless. How it would take her sparkle and smile, how it would take her humor and how it would take and take and take until it took her life. We need to talk and educate the world about this epidemic.
Fox Carolina caught up with Jennifer Woodward to learn more about Reghan’s struggle with addiction. Woodward said that her daughter’s heroin addiction began, as many do, with prescription painkillers. She discovered her daughter’s struggle in 2013, when “she tested positive for meth, fentanyl, heroin and ground-up glass.”
Berry had been through four rehab centers and was preparing to go into another one when, after two weeks of sobriety, she decided to give heroin one last go. According to Fox Carolina, she was at a “family friend’s home” and when they got home from work they couldn’t wake Reghan up. Jennifer tearfully said that she hopes the nation can do something about the addiction wave that is claiming so many lives.