CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — A Central Ohio woman who unknowingly delivered her baby while overdosing on heroin is fighting to get her children back.
Elizabeth Sanders and her boyfriend were high on Xanax and heroin back on August 3rd. While her boyfriend was passed out in the car of a Chillicothe Burger King parking lot, she went into the restroom of the fast food restaurant and gave birth.
“I kind of remember having like an urge to go to the bathroom, you know. And then that was it,” she told Columbus TV station WSYX.
“We both were — had no heartbeat, either one of us whenever they got there,” Sanders said.
“It was the Xanax and heroin I was taking, just snorting them both together and that’s the big effect of the Xanax, you don’t remember,” she told WSYX. “I remember being at the hospital and not being pregnant anymore and not knowing what happened. That’s what’s really scary.”
She said the day she delivered her baby Elias was the day she hit rock bottom.
“I was trying to escape reality, and of course not to have to face myself, you know have that shame, that guilt and have to answer to anything that I was doing,” she said.
Nearly four months later, Sanders and her baby are both healthy.
Sanders has been living at “Cheryl’s House of Hope,” a recovery and transition program for women, for more than a month.
While her mother has full temporary custody of Elias and another son, she is fighting to get them back.
“I’m going to chase my sobriety like I chased the dope,” she told WSYX.
She said there aren’t enough programs to help pregnant addicts.
“The place I went to detox. Like I said I got turned away because I had a positive pregnancy test. And here in Chillicothe, there aren’t any resources like that unless you just want to be on an outpatient program,” she said.
She told WSYX she feels like her life is on track for the first time since she got hooked on opioids at the age of 20.
“Nobody should ever feel like that there’s no way to bounce back because if I can do it, anybody definitely can do it,” she said.
Sanders said her boyfriend is also sober. She plans to go to family drug court to regain custody of her sons.