Diana's oldest son was introduced to marijuana when he was just 12, and a few years later, he introduced it to his younger brother and then sister. Diana did not realize the extent of her children's substance use until her son was expelled from school for stealing a digital scale. Diana's husband passed away shortly after, which exacerbated her children's substance use.
They then got settled in Colorado, and all was going fairly well until a year later when her daughter came to her and admitted she was addicted to heroin. Her daughter asked for help, but struggled with beginning recovery and continued to use for about three years in total. Shortly thereafter, Diana's oldest son was beaten severely and ended up in the ICU with two brain bleeds; only then did Diana finally realize that he was addicted to heroin as well. Her second oldest son was using marijuana, opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines. Diana found herself in a situation where all three of her children, who were living with her, had a substance use disorder.
Diana's oldest son eventually ended up homeless and then was arrested for outstanding warrants. He was in county jail for over a year, then asked for help. He went to a treatment facility and was part of their program for 3-4 years. He is now in long-term recovery, which Diana is extremely thankful for. Diana's daughter is now also in long-term recovery and has been for five years.
One of Diana's children, who battles with various mental illnesses, is still currently struggling with alcohol use disorder.
Diana continues to support all of her children, and she started a NarAnon Group in the town she used to live in, just South of Denver. She also continues to help others and advocates heavily on social media, trying to educate others and reduce the stigma of addiction. Diana is passionate about the mission of Addiction Policy Forum and wants to do everything possible to stop more loved ones from being lost to this disease.