Rich Stone / NBC News
There were so many hard parts. Overcoming the anger she felt at her daughter, coming to terms with the facts of addiction.”That’s what people need to understand,” Harris said. “They think it’s just you can lay it down and walk away. You can’t do that. It doesn’t work like that.”
And there were her granddaughter’s unrelenting cries. “It was unfair to her,” she said.
Claiborne County, on the Kentucky border, has one of the highest rates of NAS in Tennessee. Harris said nearly every family in this community of green pastures and rolling mountain ridges has dealt with the opioid epidemic in one way or another.
“You have to also look to what’s going to happen to all these kids when there’s nobody to take care of them,” she said. “It’s not exaggerating to say there’s going to be a generation of orphans.”
“Who’s going to step up and admit that they were wrong about a product that caused this?” she added. “People made a choice. But I don’t feel that they knew the force they were dealing with.”