But it was like she knew she was going to die, in certain respects, and had the best last 30 days with him.He was left with that memories that his mom loved him. My mom asked me mom questions.’ She left rehab to go see him.I want the world to know that she had a huge heart and her laughter was contagious. She loved helping people.” —Christina Ponte, 28, Malden, MA | Died October 3, 2016“I want people to know that she was so much more than her addiction.
She was loved and is greatly missed.” —Crystal Ringgold, 27, Stevensville, MD | Died September 14, 2016“Crystal was a good kid.
She’d been shooting heroin since she was 18: a party girl who made drugs look cute on her Insta (Xanax laid out as hearts, swirls of codeine cough syrup on ice), with visible tan lines from the Ugg boots she wore even in the Arizona heat—they were where she stashed her needles and spoon.
So after the bathroom incident she OD’d again, once in August and then again in September; it happened for the ninth time in January, when she accidentally did heroin laced with fentanyl—and even that wasn’t a turning point.
By then Chayce was having trouble finding a vein and, if she had to be honest, was tired of her whole life, tired of doing anything to not get “dope sick” (the stomach-turning sweats of withdrawal), tired of spending her days sending naked Snaps to guys for or so she could buy a hit, tired of sneaking into restrooms at Arby’s and Taco Bell and praying they had a mirror because by that point she’d resorted to shooting up in her neck. After landing in the emergency room in January, she walked out of the hospital looking to use, searching for the friend who’d given her the fentanyl-laced drugs. Chayce found his buddy and did more heroin, but the next day he turned up dead too. It’s not that she hadn’t tried—countless times, it seemed—to get sober.
But without insurance she’d had trouble getting into an in-patient program. I don’t wanna ever not feel like I feel right now.” She talks about getting a job and becoming a drug counselor. “I am filled with anxiety every day since she’s been out,” says her mother, Tracie Knittel. But with each overdose, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I might lose my daughter to heroin.