Sixty to 70 percent of female inmates in West Virginia prison were taking some form of psychotropic medication in September of 2018 according to Lawrence Messina, the Director of Communications for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Shortly after Amanda Jollie was incarcerated, she became part of that statistic. She grew up in the small-town of Franklin, where she found little to occupy her time. She said she began her spiral into addiction at the age of 14 when she picked up her first alcoholic beverage. Later, she began abusing opioids.
Jollie experienced her lowest point in 2017 when she was arrested and indicted on a charge of furnishing a false or fraudulent prescription. The nurse, who sold Jollie and her boyfriend Klonopin and blank prescription pads, lost her job but faced no charges. Jollie was directed to complete drug court, but she decided that an alternate sentence of eight-and-a-half months in jail was a better route for her recovery and growth.
Video by Mehgan Haskiell