Actress Jodie Sweetin,known for her role as Stephanie Tanner on the TV Series, Full House, spoke to a nearly full house Tuesday night at Northern Kentucky University about her 10-year struggle with alcohol and drug addiction.
Sweetin says her story is one of hope, "We all have things we want to share. Things that maybe we’re not proud of or things that sort of are our triumphs and our downfalls. But I think the more we share those things the more we get to share our humanity. And I think sharing our stories is one of the things that connects us and makes us more human."
The 34-year-old says, whatever their addiction, people have a choice to let their struggles define them or shape the person they want to be. She hopes her story will give others the courage to share theirs, "My hope is that in sharing my story it lessens a little bit of the shame and the stigma and some of the judgment people have about those people that struggle with alcoholism and addiction. It is an incredibly prevalent disease and also one we don’t like to talk about very much."
Heroin overdoses in Northern Kentucky exceeded 1100 in 2015, according to Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Task Force co-ordinator Jim Thaxton. He adds, in the last three months in Northern Kentucky, there were 600 overdoses.
He attributes the increase to synthetic opiates. Thaxton says treatment is a long process and usually a lifetime of support is necessary. He thinks Jodie Sweetin's story sheds light on what it really takes to get clean, "We see somebody who has made that journey and it gives hope to people who think I can’t even face a day of detox."
All proceeds for the talk by Sweetin benefit Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin, a community organization battling the region’s heroin crisis.