She started using drugs at 16. After moving around the country and trying to quit several times, she came back to St. Louis four years later, hoping for a fresh start.
After a few months, B. started using again. She has borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that makes it difficult to regulate emotions. She used drugs, mostly illegal opioids, to deal with the mental pain.
Last winter, she had a chest cold and went to an urgent care center to get a steroid shot. After an exam, a nurse called her over and explained she couldn’t get the medicine, because it might harm her baby. Soon, she would need help with prenatal care and overcoming her addiction, the kind of treatment a Washington University clinic provides.