A young man in sunglasses is seated on a front porch in a colorful tee shirt and high yellow socks.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has made it harder for people struggling with drug addiction to cope with day-to-day living. The overdose rate during COVID-19 has surged. Yet the opioid crisis ravaging our communities remains largely a private experience, frequently hidden because of misconceptions and stigma.

Tonight we share nine stories about the opioid epidemic, COVID-19, and grief. We begin with Clay’s story. Warning: some of these narratives contain references to self-harm, death, and suicide.

A young man in sunglasses is seated on a front porch in a colorful tee shirt and high yellow socks.


Clay: “I have been expecting a phone call from my hometown since quarantine began. Even if the pandemic wasn’t surging through the United States and

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A woman with long wavy hair in distressed jeans and white high tops is seated on a brick stoop.

Jeane Anne

Jean Anne: “I am from Ashland, Kentucky. It borders West Virginia. I heard about a lady in Huntington that found a dead body of someone

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A woman is seated on a concrete garden bench beside a porch wearing a bun and a dusty pink woven sweater.


Stephanie: “Mia wasn’t the first person I knew who died from drug-related complications. But she was the major one that impacted my life. She died

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A woman with neat, blonde and pink bangs is seated on a concrete apartment entryway beside a young man with neatly combed hair and Van Dyke style facial hair.

Hannah and David

Hannah: “When I first took a Percocet, I was mostly ignorant about the opioid crisis. As a teenager, I had done my fair share of

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A man and woman stand closely together wearing University of Kentucky athletic wear next to a grave decorated with flowers.

Adrian and Callie

Callie: “My older son Averi struggled with depression because of a bone disease. He hurt a lot. On the day he passed away, he had

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A man with shortm unkempt hair stands in a green and blue flannel shirt next to a blonde woman in a thin yellow sweater on a porch while a tan dog peeking through the rails.

Ryan and Jennifer with Blue

Jennifer: Blue Valentine It was a divine intervention. That’s the only way I can describe it. The realization of what happened left me stunned, leaving

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A woman with long dark hair parted to one side sits barefoot stooped on a limestone fence in front of a green brick building with hanging abtract painted panels.


Riley: “four years ago this week, my twin brother overdosed in the shower and almost died. it had been a long time coming. since our

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An older woman sits in a garden in a wooden rocking chair next to an antique water pump.


“I have the gift of perspective, endowed simply by my time spent on earth. I am 65 years old. I see lives lost, mourned forever

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A woman in a gray tank top stands on a front porch featuring Fall decorations and a small American flag.


Caroline: “My name is Caroline and I suffer from anxiety and severe depression. I just want to start by saying to others that deal with

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