Trio opens up about battling heroin addiction

Published: Feb. 7, 2017 at 3:15 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM EST
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(WWBT) - Chris Ronquest, 36, has been trying to kick a heroin addiction for half his life.

"Heroin is what's been killing me, and that's what pretty much destroyed my life," said Ronquest.

Amanda Rogers had been using the drug for a year when she took a near fatal dose.

"I had no pulse at all," said Rogers. "They estimated I had no heartbeat for about six minutes."

Rogers, Ronquest, and his girlfriend, Rosie Smith, all are battling heroin addiction, and all three say they desperately want to get clean.

Last month, they each entered treatment at the McShin foundation in Richmond. For each, it was a second shot at recovery.

"I hope that, sorry I'm emotional today, that I can just find out where I went wrong and what made me end up wanting to use again," said 23-year-old Smith.

Smith and Ronquest have been dating for almost a year. They met in recovery but relapsed together last summer.

"We're struggling out there. We're sleeping in the car, which is falling apart," said Ronquest. "The car is falling apart because we don't have any money. We give [sic] it all [to] the drug dealers."

Having used the drug just hours prior to treatment, the couple will go into a detox program and then begin a 30-day stay in sober living houses.

Ronquest was clean for 15 months before the urge to get high became too much. He's excited but anxious about what his future will hold.

"Having relapsed and lost everything again, it's like wow. What's it going to be like this time? Am I going to be able to rebuild those bridges that I destroyed? How long is it going to take? Am I going to be strong enough to wait it out and see what happens?" said Ronquest.

Rogers is hoping her future will look like her past, with her own apartment, and a great job. That was before an addiction to pain medication spiraled out of control. Her doctor prescribed the pills after she was viciously beaten by an ex-boyfriend.

"He was giving me 240 pain pills a month, and I was going through them in a week," said Rogers.

Rogers is back at McShin after overdosing on heroin last month in a fast food bathroom.

"That happened a little over two weeks ago. I think about it every single day. I think about it every time I lay my head on the pillow. It is embedded in my brain right now, but that [is] the good thing. Dare I say it's the wake-up call I need," said Rogers.

For Rogers, Ronquest, and Smith, getting clean and staying clean is an uphill battle, but all three say the stakes are too high to give in.

"I wholeheartedly believe that if I do it again, I won't wake up. That's it. That was my last shot," said Rogers.

"We're going to die or go to jail if we don't get it right this time," said Smith.

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