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Mollie Fernandez


I kept in contact with Mollie through email during my story gathering process. She was prompt and excited about sharing her story. Every email had an exclamation point at the end! When I had offered her the option of sharing photos, she immediately wanted to send a photo of her and her husband on their wedding day, as well as a photo of her and her kids. It was so warming to see her love for the people in her family. While reading through her story and looking at the images she shared, I knew that her experiences would be extremely inspirational to others.


I was first exposed to opioids when I was prescribed Hydrocodone for a car accident. 


I kept using them, not because of the pain from the accident, but because they helped numb the pain I was feeling inside from my moms death. I realized I was addicted when I moved down to Myrtle Beach and I didn’t bring any with me and went through the worst withdrawal.

I believe my mothers suicide was the biggest factor in my substance use. When I was prescribed pain pills, they numbed the pain caused by the loss of my mother that I never dealt with.


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I used opioids for 4 years.

The turning point in my life that caused me to seek help was when my children were taken from me and I knew I needed to get help in order for them to have their mother back.

I first found help when I went to a 30-day rehab in Rhinebeck, New York. The day I completed the rehab, my children’s father was murdered. I knew then I needed to go into long term treatment. I was not strong enough to stay clean at home. After the 30-day rehab, I went into Riverside Halfway House in Catskill, New York for 6 months then to ACCA (Addiction Care Center of Albany) in Albany.

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The most helpful experience in my recovery was moving to Albany and going to Heroin Anonymous. I found my  sponsor there and created a huge network of people in recovery who loved me until I could love myself.


They showed me that I can

have a beautiful life without using drugs.

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Blossoming flowers
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I have been in recovery for 4 and a half years.

I maintain my recovery by going to Heroin Anonymous meetings, holding commitments there, bringing meetings into Albany County Jail, and rehabs. I also maintain my recovery by sponsoring other women. All of these help me maintain my recovery because they keep me accountable. They show me that it isn’t getting better out there. Just seeing someone come into the meeting with a few days (in recovery) and deciding to reach out to me for help is enough to keep me going.






I was able to get through these back surgeries without using because the desire to get high is long gone as well as having a huge support network that always makes sure I’m okay.

One challenge I have faced during my recovery is having three back surgeries, but one thing I don’t do is pick up a drug or a drink!

The most influential people in my recovery are my sponsor and my old counselor Lamar.

They showed me it’s possible to recover from addiction. They both are in long-term recovery and they believed in me which is all I needed.

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Spirituality is number one in my life because I know I can’t do it alone. I need my Higher Power to take a hold of my life. Without that, you have nothing to rely on!

My life has changed in many ways during my recovery.

My children have been back home with me for the past three years, I work for the state...

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Image of Mollie with her two kids

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Image of Mollie with her husband

...I met my husband in recovery, and we now own a house. I’m a present mother for my children and I show up when I say I’m going to show up. I’m accountable and honest.

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One of my goals is to go to college for human services.

I always wanted to

be a school counselor or a therapist for children and adults.

Mollies Advice

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Some important lessons I have learned during my recovery are not to be selfish and that you can’t save everyone.


You only can show them the way.

The advice I would give to those still experiencing opioid addiction would be that there’s hope!! As long as you’re alive you have a chance. Advice I would give to those in early recovery would be to stick and stay, reach out and don’t give up! It gets better!


If you or someone you know would like to reach out for help, here are some resources located in the Hudson Valley.

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