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'I fully expected to die': Woman tells her opioid addiction, recovery story


Brett Coppock's story is one of addiction, persistence and recovery. Our affiliate WGXA in Macon, Georgia reports.

A prescription of opioid pain medication for a back injury was enough to get Coppock hooked.

"From the moment I took that first pill, my entire life changed," she said.

Coppock says the opioids hijacked her brain.

"The only thing that mattered to me was where my next prescription was going to come from," she said.

Dr. J. Paul Seale of Navicent Health says when you're addicted to opioids, it becomes a brain disorder.

"I fully expected that I would not live -- and I was OK with that at one time."

"Opioids cause permanent changes in the chemistry of the brain and they create craving," he said.

Coppock says the addiction drove her to do things she never thought she would do.

"I was a police officer and forging prescriptions," she said.


Coppock says guilt and shame about the addiction kept her suffering in silence.

"I fully expected to die from this disease," she said. "I fully expected that I would not live -- and I was OK with that at one time."

Until a judge gave her an ultimatum.

"You can either go sit in jail or you can go sit in rehab," she said.

That's when Coppock went to River Edge Behaviorial Health. She got clean and went to long term care, where she found she wasn't alone.

"With 50 other ladies who were just like me," Coppock said. "They were sisters, mothers, daughters, wives -- beautiful people who had done the same things I had done."

River Edge now has a Suboxone clinic, which uses certain drugs to block the craving and withdrawals.

After 8 years of being sober, Coppock now serves on the board of trustees for River Edge.

More importantly, she says she's able to be there for her family.


"It doesn't get any better than an 11-year-old boy telling you they look up to you," Coppock says about her son.

If you or someone you know wants to take advantage of the new Suboxone clinic, its open every Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. at River Edge. Screenings run one day prior to treatments.

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