Mother and daughter discuss addiction, recovery

Judy Cain stood next to her daughter, Chelsey Cain, and asked, “Can I start?”

“I think it started in her teen years,” she began.

When Chelsey was 24, she lived at home with her mom. She’d spend hours alone in her room in the basement “like a mole” and others told Judy her daughter was using drugs, but Judy “dug [her] head in the sand.”

Finally, Judy realized that she needed to kick Chelsey out. Shortly after, Chelsey was arrested after stealing guns from the man she moved in with in order to buy drugs. Judy and Chelsey’s father refused to pay her bail.

“I think being incarcerated saved her life,” Judy said.

Chelsey was imprisoned for 18 months.

When Judy finished telling the story, Chelsey chimed in with a few corrections.

“She said ‘borrow’ her car,” Chelsey said. “I was totally stealing her car.”

Chelsey said growing up, partying was her “main priority.”

She had been using oxycontin consistently for nearly five years when she started using heroin because it was cheaper and easier to find. For the last eight months of her active addition, she said, she was using heroin and crack.

Now, Chelsey has been in recovery for seven and a half years. She regularly attends meetings and has a newfound passion for running. She works two jobs and interns at the mayor’s office. Recently, she was accepted to a criminal justice doctoral program at Temple.

“I’m learning that I am one of many that are out there doing the same thing,” she said.

About the author

Erin Moran

Erin Moran is a junior journalism major and political science minor at Temple University. She currently works as a Deputy Features Editor of her college newspaper, The Temple News, and a regular freelancer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chestnut Hill Local. Contact Erin at tuf62032@temple.edu.

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By Erin Moran