‘She wasn’t ready to go. She wanted to live.’


RICHMOND, Va. — Cassie Godsey was simply 34 years previous when she died on January 22.

Godsey had a decade-long wrestle with habit to opioids.

Her habit began with painkillers.

She endured three painful surgical procedures and a MRSA an infection earlier than changing into hooked on the medicine that handled her ache.

Her habit ultimately shifted to heroin.

Cassie’s mom, Patricia Godsey stated she all the time clung to hope that her daughter might get better with the proper remedy.

“She had such a stunning smile,” Patricia Godsey stated. “She wasn’t able to go. She wished to dwell, and she or he wished for tomorrow to come back.”

Whereas Cassie’s wrestle with medicine was obvious lengthy earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 shutdown made issues a lot worse.

“It did take a trajectory, quick downhill over the previous yr,” her mom stated.

A free circulation of cash from unemployment checks gave Cassie funds to buy unlawful medicine, whereas many drug remedy facilities shut their doorways.

Cassie ended up in jail in December on a drug cost.

When she was launched a month later, a COVID-19 prognosis prevented her from getting into a rehabilitation heart.

She died whereas quarantining in her mother and father’ residence.

Her mom stated she discovered her daughter slumped over within the laundry room.

She stated she was not sure how Cassie gained entry to the drug that claimed her life.

“I need to blame any person, that may make it a lot simpler,” Patricia Godsey stated. “I need to blame myself.”

Patricia Godsey stated probably the most devastating a part of her daughter’s demise was that she was about to start injection therapies in Maryland to assist management the nervousness that was usually hurting her possibilities for restoration.

Godsey stated she spent a number of months researching using Stellate Ganglion Block or SGB to deal with Submit Traumatic Stress Dysfunction. Current research confirmed the therapies have helped facilitate remedy for addicts by controlling the sympathetic system liable for struggle or flight that has lengthy been recognized to play an element in PTSD.

Godsey stated the remedy might assist 1000’s of struggling addicts.

“It is heartbreaking,” Godsey stated. “I am thrilled and heartbroken all on the similar time as a result of I simply had a sense it was our ticket, that lacking piece for her particularly.”

Cassie’s story is acquainted to many addicts and their households. Whereas deadly drug overdoses have been the main methodology of unnatural demise in Virginia since 2013, the pandemic has resulted in an infinite 63% improve within the variety of overdose deaths since 2019.

Preliminary outcomes from the Workplace of the Chief Medical Examiner present that 2020 would be the worst yr on document, by far, for deadly overdoses in Virginia.

John Shinholser, the co-founder of the McShin Basis, a non-profit restoration group in Henrico County, stated the pandemic has compounded issues with drug and alcohol habit.

“A whole lot of habit is a direct results of emotions, psychological well being, trauma, and stress,” Shinholser stated.

Shinholser stated stress and uncertainty through the shutdown have led to new addicts, individuals who have by no means had issues with medicine or alcohol. For individuals already fighting the illness of habit, the lack of face-to-face peer assist providers has been detrimental.

Shinholser stated authorities funding is essential as greater than 80% of addicts have a combating probability of restoration once they proceed with peer assist applications for no less than 5 years after detox and preliminary therapies.

“We’re not going to resolve habit, deaths usually are not going to go away,” Shinholser stated. “Nevertheless, I do consider we will scale back by 50% the affect habit is having in our communities simply by participating in funding these non-governmental organizations and we’re uniquely certified to do what we do.”

Godsey stated classes realized from her household’s heartbreaking loss, might assist pave the highway to restoration for different addicts. She’s encouraging narcotics investigators to be extra clear with the general public about drug overdose deaths in communities, particularly when it turns into evident {that a} “dangerous patch” is circulating and leading to a number of deaths.

Godsey stated no guardian ought to should bury a toddler. She’s hopeful that households will obtain the assist they desperately want and understanding from others that habit is a illness.

“Cassie was who she was,” Godsey stated. “However she did not need to be judged.”

Useful Hyperlinks

Substance Abuse Free Environment
List of addiction and recovery resources including online meetings and 24/7 crisis helplines

The phase is sponsored by WHOA Behavioral Well being.


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