Madison Bailey Marini was only twenty-two when she died of an apparent drug overdose on Thursday, December 29, 2016.
Her mom, Claudia Marini, was devastated to learn of her daughter’s death, especially because she knew her daughter had been struggling with addiction for years. Now, Claudia is speaking out about the dangers of heroin.
Claudia said that growing up, Madison was an engaged, bright child, who “had so much compassion deep in her.” She told WGHP-TV that Madison “loved to read, and sing and she was brilliant.”
Madison was a straight-A student all throughout high school and was even a goalie on the soccer team.
After high school graduation, though, Madison got involved with a different group of friends and started going down a different path.
She stopped going to school and didn’t care as much about sports or singing. Madison denied that something else was going on, but Claudia knew that Madison’s drug use was getting out of control. Although Madison claimed she didn’t have a problem, she started getting into trouble with the law.
Madison ended up in court multiple times, and even landed herself in jail. When Madison finally admitted she was a heroin addict, her mother was able to get her to go to rehab. Claudia explains, “We’d convince her to go into treatment and she’d be fine… she was wonderful and it was like the old [Madison].”
But the draw of heroin was too powerful, and every time she got out of treatment, Madison would find her way back to the drug. When Madison was last in court in December, Claudia begged the judge to give Madison mandatory rehab instead of jail time, fearing that if Madison just went to jail, she would be back on the drug in no time.
Claudia knew that if Madison found her way back to heroin use again, it might be the last time — and she was right. Madison passed away before her next court date after an apparent overdose.
Now Claudia is fighting for reform — instead of immediately sentencing addicts to jail, they should be offered alternatives like rehabilitation. Many of the people who die of heroin addiction are just kids, like Madison, and Claudia believes they need more help.
Claudia said, “Heroin, heroin is the devil. If anybody ever asks me what the devil looks like, that’s what the devil looks like, and that’s why these kids need help, because nobody ever wins against the devil. Not without help.”
If you’re inspired by Claudia’s mission to save other people from heroin addiction, please SHARE this important story on Facebook.
h/t KTLA 5
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