An Ohio woman whose husband died of a heroin overdose posted a viral photo smiling with her children near his open casket to illustrate the harsh realities of addiction.
Eva Holland said that her 26-year-old husband, Mike Settles, died from a relapse on Sept. 2, less than a year after becoming "a new man" in rehab, the Daily Mail reports.
On Thursday, Holland posted the picture to Instagram and Facebook, where more than 250,000 people have shared it as of Monday.
"I'm sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable," Holland wrote in the caption. "It may even piss a few people off, but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction."
The cold hard truth is heroin kills. You may think it will never happen to you but guess what that's what Mike thought too. We were together 11 years. I was there before it all started. I knew what he wanted out of this life, all his hopes and dreams. He never would've imagined his life would turn out this way.
The couple had been together since Settles was 15. The Daily Mail reports that they split up earlier in the year but reconciled in May.
"He loved us all so much he decided enough was enough and went to rehab at the end of last year," Holland wrote. "He got out right before Christmas as a brand new man. He had found His purpose for living again, he found his gorgeous smile again, he became the man, the son, the brother, the dad that we all needed him to be again."
But everything went downhill months later, when Settles took "a single pill for a 'tooth ache'" that derailed his recovery, Holland said.
"He said he could handle it, that he could stop on his own and didn't need to get help again," she wrote. "Well he was wrong, last Wednesday he took his last breath. My kids father, the man I loved since I was a kid, a great son and a great person lost his battle."
Since she shared the image, Holland said that people have started approaching her about the image to share their experiences.
"Talking about the problem is truly helping," she said.