CINCINNATI -- If you saw Samantha Frashier and Martha Hill walking down a street together, you’d have no idea that heroin brought them together.
Frashier, of Symmes Township, is a recovering heroin addict.
"I got my wisdom teeth pulled, got a prescription, and I really just kind of fell in love with it,” Frashier said. “It made me feel like this totally different person. I wasn't self-conscious. I didn't have any issues. I wasn't sad, depressed, angry or lonely."
Frashier didn’t meet Hill until she was behind bars. That’s when Hill started writing to her.
"I wanted her to know I wasn't passing judgement on her, and that I loved her and God loves her just the way she is, and he's a God of second chances and she could have one if she wanted," Hill said.
Frashier said it wasn’t until she was in jail that she realized she needed to get into treatment and that she wasn’t alone anymore.
“I had people to love me and surround me -- give me rides because I don't have a license -- just to help me and be a good support," Frashier said.
Now, Frashier wants to help others make the transition from addiction into treatment and recovery.
She is a member of the Community Advisory Board, a committee created by the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition in an effort to increase conversation about opiate addiction in Greater Cincinnati.
Frashier said it’s important for those who have been personally affected by heroin to speak out and share their experiences.
“So, if we hear from the parents and we hear from other recovering addicts, we can kind of figure out what's working for this person and what's working for this person and figure out maybe what the breakdowns in the system are,” Frashier said.
Frashier believes the advisory board will help unite the community in finding a solution.
"How can we stop this? How can we help? There's too many people dying,” Frashier said.
“I've lost a ton of friends lately and it’s just -- we've got to figure out what we can do together to help these people."