Drug Use Drops for America's Youth, Rises in the Over 50 Crowd


"Before I knew it, I had a $200-a-day Percocet habit, and I was robbing and lying and manipulating and doing whatever I needed to do to get one more," she said. "I had become a monster. My mom used to sleep with her purse under her pillow out of fear that I was going to come in and rob her."

Her drug use didn't stop there. Ultimately, she moved onto heroin, hanging out in neighborhoods she said she had "no business" visiting. Then she was arrested and thrown behind bars.

"From that jail cell I started to see hope. I had this moment of clarity, and in that moment I no longer wanted to die a using addict with a needle in my arm," she said. "I wanted to live."

Bertino entered a rehabilitation program, during which she learned about herself and how to cope with life's challenges, she said.

She finished the rehabilitation program in 2010. Since then, she graduated college, and now she is starting graduate school.

"It's amazing that I have a purpose," she said.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Elephants perform at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. in this Jan. 3, 2015 file photo.
Feld Entertainment Inc., Gary Bogdon/AP Photo
Eva Mendes
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
PHOTO: From left, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld as himself, and Jason Alexander as George Costanza are seen in an episode of Seinfeld.
Spike Nannarello/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images