Abbey was a beautiful soul inside and out. She cared deeply about her family and friends, was an excellent student (torn between her love for both science and art), and a free spirit who loved to travel.
Abbey had many health problems from a young age: asthma, severe food allergies, fibromyalgia, and anxiety, to name just a few. From those early problems, she was often on multiple medications in order to function. Abbey's problems with substance use started in her mid-teens after she lost her beloved grandmother. They worsened in the next two years, but at age 18, she came to me and asked for help; she wanted to stop the use and get her life back on track. Abbey's brother and I got her into an inpatient detox and rehabilitation center out of state (there were no beds in New York!) within a few days.
Abbey came home determined to succeed. She was successful in outpatient treatment, was working for the family business side-by-side withe her brother and grandfather, and going back to college. But, after nearly a year without substance use, she died at home after a family Valentine Dinner full of laughter and love, of fentanyl-laced cocaine - next to her Calculus textbook and her dog, her constant companion.
We will never stop missing our Abbey Anne - her hugs, love, and laughter cannot be forgotten. All we can do is try to make change so that no one has to lose a child to this scourge. I will continue to support organizations that assist people in getting the care they need and that support healthy alternatives for people with substance use problems.