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Utica family shares story of heroin fight

Hayley Mitchell's family shared their story of helping her with her heroin addiction. (WSYX/WTTE)

Heroin addiction was at the center of a community conversation at Dublin Scioto High School on Wednesday.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he wants to hear from students and families about possible solutions to the heroin epidemic.

Julie Mitchell's daughter Hayley was a Utica cheerleader, but became addicted to pills and then heroin at 18 years old.

"I went through a period where I thought I was the worst mother in the world because there were a few times where I prayed that maybe this overdose was the last one just to bring her some peace, and selfishly bring our family some peace," Julie said.

She said they want to share their story. Hayley has been 11 months clean after a five year battle with what she calls the devil drug.

"This drug, it eats their soul. This drug is the devil because they can't get away from it, this is something that makes them so sick that when they try , all they can think about is giving up and going back to it," Julie said.

Julie's husband Leonard said it has been a difficult journey for the entire family. The couple has two other children, one still in high school

"There were nights we cried together and fall asleep holding each other , it's rough. I wish nobody would go through this," said Leonard Mitchell. "It's cheaper to do heroin than get the drug to help you, sad to say."

The Mitchells said Hayley did not have insurance as a young adult, so she couldn't afford rehab.

"This isn't a spectator sport, the whole family gets to join the game and play it, and you lose a little bit of who you once were in the meantime," said Julie.

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