Dopesick

Dopesick

by

Beth Macy

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Kristi Fernandez is a mother from the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia whose son, Jesse Bolstridge, dies of an overdose in 2013. Fernandez becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her son—how he went from a high school football star to an opioid-addicted construction worker to a victim of a fatal overdose. She and her family continue to visit Jesse’s grave and keep it clean. Despite her grief over her son’s death, Kristi’s relationship with Jesse wasn’t always easy when he was alive. At one point, Fernandez had to install a lock on her bedroom door so that her son wouldn’t be tempted to steal any valuables (which he could sell to buy more pills or heroin). Fernandez eagerly agrees to speak with Beth Macy for Dopesick, hoping the experience will shed new light on her son’s death. She is disappointed, however, when Ronnie Jones (the dealer who sold Jesse his fatal heroin) doesn’t apologize and when his arrest doesn’t seem to do anything to stop the flow of opioids into the region. Kristi represents not just the heartbreak that families of opioid victims have experienced but also the frustration—much of her son’s drug use was hidden from her, and she struggles to learn what even happened to him, long after his death.

Kristi Fernandez Quotes in Dopesick

The Dopesick quotes below are all either spoken by Kristi Fernandez or refer to Kristi Fernandez. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
).
Prologue Quotes

Three months before visiting Jones, in the spring of 2016, Kristi Fernandez and I stood next to Jesse’s grave on a rolling hillside in Strasburg, Virginia, in the shadow of Signal Knob. She’d asked me to meet her at one of her regular cemetery stops, on her way home from work, so I could see how she’d positioned his marker, just so, at the edge of the graveyard.

It was possible to stand at Jesse’s headstone—emblazoned with the foot-high number 55, in the same font as the lettering on his Strasburg Rams varsity jersey—and look down on the stadium where he had once summoned the crowd to its feet simply by running onto the field and pumping his arms

Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

NIDA, the Institute of Medicine, the World Health Organization, and the White House drug czar’s office would all agree that indefinite (and maybe even lifelong) maintenance treatment is superior to abstinence-based rehab for opioid-use disorder. And even Hazelden, the Betty Ford-affiliated center that originated the concept of the twenty-eight-day rehab, changed its stance on medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, offering Suboxone to some patients in 2012.

But the rehab Jesse went to was aimed at abstinence, as most were, then and now.

Related Characters: Jesse Bolstridge, Kristi Fernandez
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

I hoped the stories of Ronnie Jones and his victims would illuminate the ruts in both a criminal justice system that pursues a punishment-fits-all plan when the truth is much more complicated and a strained medical system that overtreats people with painkillers until the moment addiction sets in—and health care scarcity becomes the rule.

I hoped, too, that my interview with Jones would help answer Kristi Fernandez’s questions about what led to her son Jesse’s premature death. Was Ronnie Jones really the monster that law enforcement officials made him out to be? Had the statewide corrections behemoth that returns two thousand ex-offenders a year to Virginia’s cities, counties, and towns played a role in his revolving door of failures?

Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Dopesick LitChart as a printable PDF.
Dopesick PDF

Kristi Fernandez Character Timeline in Dopesick

The timeline below shows where the character Kristi Fernandez appears in Dopesick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Seeking to understand the opioid epidemic from another angle, Macy visits Kristi Fernandez in Strasburg, Virginia, in the spring of 2016. Kristi’s son, Jesse, has died of... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Jesse was a popular, energetic boy in a small town where football is everything. Kristi and her family maintain Jesse’s grave, keeping it clean and even bringing decorations. Kristi also... (full context)
Chapter 1
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
In the Shenandoah Valley, a preschool teacher tells Kristi Fernandez that her then-four-year-old son, Jesse, is too wild in class, so a doctor suggests... (full context)
Chapter 5
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
...high school student who trades his Adderall to classmates in exchange for painkillers. His mother, Kristi Fernandez, knows something is wrong but can’t pinpoint the exact moment that her son’s life... (full context)
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Kristi is a local businesswoman, and she doesn’t believe it the first time someone tells her... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Kristi faces a similar situation to Hadden, but she didn’t encounter Hadden’s advocacy. Kristi knows her... (full context)
Chapter 8
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Kristi Fernandez (Jesse’s mother) is worried in May 2013, when Jesse asks to come home from... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
The Value of Science Theme Icon
...takes a construction job with his father in the D.C. suburbs—a 90-mile commute one-way from Kristi’s house. Despite being a good worker, he is soon overwhelmed with expenses, and he finally... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
...911, but by the time Lutz arrives (two to six hours later), Jesse is dead. Kristi suspects that Dennis is lying and that he may have waited to call 911 for... (full context)
Chapter 12
Race, Healthcare, and Criminal Justice Theme Icon
After speaking with Ronnie, Macy drives back to Roanoke, too tired to visit Kristi Fernandez in Woodstock. She dreads telling Kristi how little light her interview with Ronnie shed... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
Race, Healthcare, and Criminal Justice Theme Icon
...order to chase a higher high). A day after Macy interviews Ronnie, she finally tells Kristi that Ronnie doesn’t even recognize Jesse’s name. (full context)