A woman who had spent years abusing pain pills and heroin reportedly took drastic measures to receive treatment for her opioid addiction this week.
Michelle Hildebrandt, a 32-year-old single mother without health insurance or savings with which to pay for a rehabilitation center, believed that going to jail would be her only chance of getting clean.
So on May 5, Hildebrandt stole a box of Lucky Charms, soda and some plastic utensils from a Largo, Fla., CVS, and dumped all of the contents onto the floor. When Largo police arrived on the scene, she told them she wanted to go to jail because she's addicted to heroin.
Mike Morris, Hildebrandt's father, told Fox 13 that she made sure to get arrested in Pinellas County, despite living in Tampa, as she heard the jail helps inmates detox from opioids.
Hildebrandt said she attempted to get clean in the past, but the withdrawal symptoms were too much to handle on her own. With some inpatient rehab centers charging $6,000 for a 30-day program and some outpatient programs costing $5,000 for a three-month program, Hildebrandt told WFLA that this was what she "had to do to go get clean."
Luckily, Brian Zitt of New Port Richey-based Rockland Treatment Center, saw Hildebrandt's story and was motivated to reach out. Zitt was an addict for 18 years, he said, and was given a second chance.
Because of that, he visited Hildebrandt in jail, offering her a full scholarship for rehab. On Thursday, Hildebrandt was freed on bond, checking into Rockland the same day. There, she will start her 30-day program, both for herself and her 5-year-old daughter. "She's worth it," she said. "I'm worth it, too."
Zitt added, "We've seen a lot of success stories come out of here. And we intend to keep it that way."
Yahoo Lifestyle was unable to reach Hildebrandt and Zitt.
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