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The first years were a learning experience, Norris said.

Family members often suffer a significant physical and emotional toll while dealing with the addiction of a loved one.

Research has shown that addiction within the family means higher health care costs — not only for the addict, but for their relatives, who can suffer severe stress, sometimes leading to depression and trauma.

She still remembers the fear that one day a police officer would arrive at her door to deliver the worst news.

Norris is among hundreds of thousands of people in the U. touched by the opioid epidemic through a family member suffering from addiction.

"I suspected he was doing pills, but injecting heroin?

No way."It wasn't until months later that she realized what was happening — why his behvaior had changed, why she never saw him in the new clothes she had bought him, why he had recently been so sick.

] I don't think of him every day; I think of him every hour of every day.