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Redmond family shares struggle with addiction


If you know someone who’s been battling an addiction, you’re not alone. For one family in Redmond, addiction is all too familiar.

Three years ago, Sierra Campbell was getting married. She already had one child, and another was soon to come. Campbell was a big part of her family.

“We always did holiday stuff at her house. We did birthdays at her house. She was kind of the center,” Julie Baird, Campbell’s mother, recalled Monday.

Baird said things started going downhill when Campbell started abusing pain pills. Campbell’s drug addiction quickly led her to shooting up heroin and taking methamphetamine.

“It destroyed her life. She lost her house, her dog, her kid, her husband,” Baird said. “Everything, gone.”

Addiction is no stranger to this family. Elizabeth Swartout, Campbell’s older sister, was deep into an addiction of her own four years ago.

She said Campbell offered her a place to stay in her house. Swartout said Campbell helped her out a lot during a tough time.

“It gave me that opportunity to learn to live life as a normal person,” Swartout said.

Swartout is sober again. Campbell is not.

In fact, her family says the addiction is getting worse.

Campbell, who is 24, has five open court cases, with charges including theft, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and attempting to elude a police officer. Her most recent alleged offense came in mid-March.

“If you would have come to me and told me this is where we would be today, I would’ve laughed, because there’s no way she would act like this,” Baird said. “There’s no way she would jeopardize losing her children.”

That’s exactly what happened. Campbell’s 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son were taken from her. Baird now takes care of Campbell’s daughter.

Swartout wants to show that not everyone dealing with addiction has to go down a path similar to that of her sister.

“I hear it talked about that your bottom is wherever you quit digging,” Swartout said. “It’s as deep as you want it to get. I just hope that she decides where her bottom is before it’s too late, because I don’t want to lose my sister to this disease.”

Swartout said getting clean is not easy, but she’s the example that it’s possible to turn your life around.

“It’s just getting through each minute at a time, and it adds up, and then you know, life gets beautiful,” Swartout said. “It has for me, at least.”

If you or someone you know needs help, Swartout said to get in touch with the Oregon Department of Human Services. It has addiction and recovery teams, or ART, that have provided resources to more than 1,600 parents with addictions in the last two years, including Swartout.

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