Opioid crisis hits Spring Hill family as grandparents have to raise 5-year-old

SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) – A Spring Hill family is living out the nightmare of opioid addiction. 

Their daughter is struggling with the disease.

Colton, her son, is 5-years-old and full of energy.

His mother is 24-year-old Caitlin Anderson. She played on the high school varsity softball team.

But that’s a distant memory.  A severe addiction to pain pills found her in and out of rehab.

Now her parents have permanent custody of Colton.

“Never in a million years did we think that we would have a 5-year-old in the house at our age,” said Pennie Krietemeier.

Pennie and Randy Krietemeier have reset their retirement plans to care for Colton since his birth.

The prescription drug crisis in America is hitting this family hard.

“Once it’s got you, it’s like smoking or anything else. Any kind of an addiction. You just don’t have any control over it until you get specific help,” said Pennie.

Before Caitlin moved out, drama filled this Spring Hill home.

“You don’t usually have police at your house telling you that either she’s gotta go or she’s gotta go or somebody’s gotta go. That was awful,” said Randy.

At last check, Caitlin was living on Long Island, possibly in a car or hotel.

They’re not sure.

The experience has turned their lives upside down.

“Things I wanted to do as we got older, we could do things when you’re kid-less. That’s all changed now,” said Randy.

These grandparents are parents once again. Despite many setbacks, they are not giving up on Caitlin.

“We have hope that at one point, she will step up and be the mother that I know she can be,” said Pennie.

The opioid problem for Caitlin started in high school and really got bad during her pregnancy and labor.

Her parents hope the latest wave of discussion brings about some good, workable solutions.

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