Addict's Story Touched Obama; Months Later, She Was Dead

Jessica Grubb died of 'oxycodone toxicity' on March 2
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2016 8:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2016 6:59 AM CDT
Addict's Story Touched Obama; Months Later, She Was Dead
Jessica Grubb   (Facebook)

"I have sobriety, good books, Netflix, and a wonderful family," Jessica Grubb wrote from a Michigan hospital on Feb. 23, ahead of hip surgery. On March 1, the 30-year-old recovering heroin addict left the hospital with an IV port in her arm and 50 prescribed pills of oxycodone. She was found dead of "oxycodone toxicity" the next day, reports the Huffington Post. Though she'd been sober for six months, she "still had that addict's brain," says father David Grubb, a former West Virginia state senator. Among those to mourn is President Obama, whom David Grubb had told of his daughter's addiction at a Charleston town hall in October, per the Charleston Gazette-Mail. The story "left a powerful impression on me and has helped accelerate efforts to deal with this national epidemic of addiction," Obama says in a condolence letter. (This week, the president rolled out new initiatives on that front, notes CNN.)

David Grubb says his daughter was "an incredible achiever" and "smart as a whip." But then she was introduced to heroin, and "all her problems went away and she didn't feel any pain." Four stints in rehab over seven years ultimately failed. In August 2015, her mom found her turning blue from a heroin overdose. That "literally scared her to death," David Grubb says of his daughter. She got a job and apartment in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she attended meetings. But when she was handed 50 oxycodone pills, "I think it was just too much temptation for her to resist," her dad says. He adds the prescribing doctor later said "he had no idea" that Grubb was a recovering addict, even though her parents had informed doctors. The Grubbs plan to advocate for "Jessie's Law" to block doctors from accidentally offering opioids to addicts. (The drug that Americans worry about the most is perfectly legal.)

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