Her life was way too short
Erin was beautiful, smart, and talented. She was a poet and writer and loved singing and dancing. Erin enjoyed nature and animals and could be found outdoors most of the time. She had a photographic memory, loved to read, and knew a little about everything.
The family enjoyed going to amusement parks and riding the big rides. Erin and her sister Theresa were always together until addiction began controlling Erin’s life. She dropped out of high school and later got her GED while in treatment. Her dream of becoming a forensic pathologist faded when life became chaotic because of her drug use. She could never hold a job. All plans for her future were shattered. Her mother Marie stated, “Unfortunately, the only plan she had each day was where to get money to buy drugs.”
“When Erin started using drugs, she became a totally different person,” Marie said. “I told her once I didn’t recognize her, and she said “I don’t recognize myself Mom.” It was so hard knowing that she could die at any time and that no matter what I did or said, I couldn’t save her.”
Marie dedicated her life to telling Erin’s story in schools for twenty years, and advocated for better addiction treatment both before and after Erin’s death. She also wrote a book “Dope Help,” that is used to teach young people about addiction.
Erin’s mother, Marie Allen, provided the information for this narrative.
April 3, 1976-June 23, 1997-Age 21
Portrait Artist: Maia Palmer
Narrative Writer: Barbara Francois