It may not look like it at first glance, but in a country where almost 100 people die from an opioid overdose every day, Ashley* has been extremely lucky. First there’s the fact that her mom, Cindy Koumoutzis, is the kind of committed parent who would bring Ashley back to Ohio and put everything she had into keeping her from using drugs, tracking her movements and keeping her on lockdown. (It didn’t work.) There was the lenient judge who’d seen enough cases of addiction by the time the possession charge came up, years later, to mandate rehab over jail time. And, of course, there’s the extremely fortunate circumstance of Ashley being a college-educated white person in America.
But according to her mother, there was also the fact that some of her kid’s darkest days coincided with the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio, as part of the Affordable Care Act.
“It saved her life,” Koumoutzis says. “Well, it saved her life or my house. One or the other.” Read more.