An Update from Susanne

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A woman's shadow.

We met Susanne* and Mike* earlier this year, when they shared how they overcame heroin addiction together.

They started dating when they were teenagers, and began doing heroin together only a few weeks into their relationship. What followed were years of overdoses, jail time and three unplanned pregnancies. But after several false starts, Mike and Susanne were able to wean themselves off of heroin with methadone. They got clean, they moved away from their home state of Texas, and Mike found well-paying work. But true stability still eluded the couple. 

After our interview, we learned that Mike had been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. When I asked about the allegations, Mike denied them. But last month, Mike entered a guilty plea. He now faces jail time. 

I called Susanne to talk about what's happened in her life since we last talked. "I feel like I wasn't abused, but I should have known that I was married to someone who had the ability to abuse somebody," Susanne tells me. "I should have left a long time ago."

*Names changed

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If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, you can call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP for confidential, free information about substance abuse.

If you need support, assistance or information about sexual abuse, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

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