Karen Alley holds her granddaughter Layla Kegg's hand at their home in Portsmouth, Ohio. "When I see someone’s arms, I think of my mom because I saw her shooting up," Kegg said.
Layla Kegg, 17, lives with her grandmother and great-grandfather in Portsmouth, a southern Ohio town with elevated opioid addiction rates. “Every time I come home, I ask, ‘where’s mom?’” she said. Her mother, Nikki Horr, became addicted to painkillers while working as a hospice nurse. She had recently renewed contact with an abusive boyfriend and the family didn't know where she was staying.
A junior at Portsmouth High School, Kegg is navigating teenage life with normal concerns like good grades, the next softball game and her upcoming prom, but as her mom continues to fight back from addiction, Kegg also worries that her mother could overdose like so many others have in her hometown.
For the New York Times: ‘Become My Mom Again’: What It’s Like to Grow Up Amid the Opioid Crisis https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/us/opioid-children-addiction.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nythealth