A beautiful former cheerleader is dead following a heroin overdose. She tried to get extensive rehab, but her insurance company refused her desperate needs.
The opioid crisis in this country has claimed another victim, and sadly she wanted help in kicking her heroin problem, but her insurance company wouldn’t cover her rehab needs. Samantha Huntley was just 16 and a happy, healthy Missouri high school cheerleader with a bright future when she was in a car accident that broke her back. She was prescribed the addictive painkiller hydrocodone for six months and was later unable to shake her addiction to the pills. Sadly, it snowballed into a terrifying heroin habit. Now at the age of 20 she has died from an overdose, and her mother is speaking out about how the tragedy could have been prevented if their insurance had covered proper rehab care that Samantha desperately wanted.
In a heartbreaking interview with the Daily Mail, Samantha’s mother Julieann Gideon said that she became aware of her daughter’s addiction about a year after her accident. “I knew something was going on. She just didn’t want me to see. She was ashamed,” she told the site. “I found pills in her room. She, of course, said it wasn’t a problem,” her mom said. It totally was and in the winter of 2015, Samantha confessed that she had turned to heroin and desperately wanted help to quit using the dangerous drug. “She thought she could just use it one time, [but] it changed her brain chemistry,” Julieann revealed.
She took her daughter to a treatment center near their Springfield, MO home, but was told there was a week’s wait for admittance. Poor Samantha was already going through withdrawals in the waiting room and fortunately a kind doctor saw her and put her on Suboxone, which is used to treat addiction to pain killing narcotics. She eventually relapsed as out-patient therapy wasn’t working for Samantha.
That’s when Julieann made the devastating discovery that her daughter might never get clean as their insurance would only cover 30 days in rehab at a maximum, while it takes 90-120 days of intense treatment to fully kick a heroin addiction. Samantha tried four different rehab facilities, but would ultimately relapse after the 30 day inpatient program ended. She even begged to stay at her final treatment center for weeks of additional help, but her insurance wouldn’t cover it. On Sept. 3, just three days after leaving rehab, Samantha died of a heroin overdose at her mother’s home. She was just 20-years-old.
Now Julieann is on a mission to make sure this kind of avoidable tragedy doesn’t take another life. “It can happen to anybody. We need to fight for longer treatment,” she told the site, saying she hopes to open an inpatient treatment center in Springfield and name it after Samantha. “Insurance just won’t pay. That’s why people don’t get help.”
HollywoodLifers, should insurance companies cover longer rehab stays?