Dopesick

Dopesick

by

Beth Macy

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Patricia is the mother of Tess Henry. She remains committed to getting help for her opioid-addicted daughter right up to the moment of Tess’s death. She seeks help from Hope Initiative members like Jamie Waldrop, and at times they really do seem to be making progress in treating Tess’s addiction. Ultimately, however, Patricia’s story is tragic, as Tess is murdered just days before her 29th birthday. The final image in Dopesick is Patricia grieving over Tess’s body, suggesting that the toll of the opioid epidemic is not just the lives lost but also the devastated family members that they leave behind.

Patricia Mehrmann Quotes in Dopesick

The Dopesick quotes below are all either spoken by Patricia Mehrmann or refer to Patricia Mehrmann. 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
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of Dopesick published in 2018.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Tess was nearly seven months pregnant when she left jail in June 2015. For a month, she lived with her mom and tried to make a go of it with her boyfriend, the baby’s father—“disastrous,” Patricia and Tess agreed—before they found a private treatment center two hours away that would take Tess during her final month of pregnancy. Private insurance covered most of the $20,000 bill while her dad paid the $6,500 deductible, using the remainder of Tess’s college-savings fund. The Life Center of Galax was one of the few Virginia facilities that accepted patients on medication-assisted treatment (methadone or buprenorphine). Tess was now taking Subutex, a form of buprenorphine then recommended for some pregnant mothers. (Suboxone is typically the preferred MAT for opioid users because it also contains naloxone, an opiate blocker; Subutex, which is buprenorphine with no added blocker, was then considered safer for the baby but more likely to be abused by the mom.)

Related Characters: Tess Henry, Patricia Mehrmann
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

I just left goodwill, can you please transfer $4 so I can get a pack of cigarettes please?

Related Characters: Jordan “Joey” Gilbert (speaker), Tess Henry, Patricia Mehrmann
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Epilogue Quotes

Tess was still homeless, and another week passed before she called Patricia with an address via a borrowed phone, possibly belonging to a current or former pimp. “Are you in danger?” her mom asked, and Tess claimed she was not, repeating a line she often said: “I’m a soldier, Mom. I’ll be fine.

“Yes, love.” Patricia responded. “But sometimes even soldiers fall.”

Related Characters: Tess Henry (speaker), Patricia Mehrmann (speaker), Beth Macy
Page Number: 304
Explanation and Analysis:

It was January 2, Tess’s birthday. She would’ve been twenty-nine.

Patricia tucked the treasures of her daughter’s life inside the vest—a picture of her boy and one of his cotton onesies that was Tess’s favorite, some strands of Koda’s hair, and a sand dollar.

Related Characters: Tess Henry, Patricia Mehrmann
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Dopesick LitChart as a printable PDF.
Dopesick PDF

Patricia Mehrmann Character Timeline in Dopesick

The timeline below shows where the character Patricia Mehrmann appears in Dopesick. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
The Value of Science Theme Icon
...felt that the drug was too easily diverted to be used for abuse. Tess’s mother Patricia discovers that Tess has figured out how to abuse the drug, having relapsed shortly after... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
...night asking Macy to come get her. Macy ultimately decides to forward the texts to Patricia and Jamie Waldrop, and the subject doesn’t come up again. (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
In February 2016, Patricia believes Tess is using again, but her family disagrees about the best treatment methods. Eventually,... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
...father gets out of jail in early June. They argue violently, and Tess disappears, prompting Patricia and Jamie to worry and file a missing-persons report. It turns out Tess stole a... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
The Value of Science Theme Icon
The next time Patricia sees Tess is in an ad on a prostitution website. She has been able to... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
...moment of wanting treatment seems to have passed again. A week before Christmas that year, Patricia plans to mail a card to Tess with pictures of her son in it. She... (full context)
Chapter 11
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
...In early 2017, she doesn’t seem close to being ready to accept help, according to Patricia. She is back in a psych ward, weighing 90 pounds and with hepatitis C. (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Patricia and Jamie arrange it so that Tess can go immediately from the hospital to treatment... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
At the memorial service, Patricia is moved by Joey’s family. She can’t help wondering how she would feel if it... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Six weeks later, Patricia intercepts a message between Tess and a drug dealer in Las Vegas. She sends her... (full context)
Epilogue
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
From Las Vegas, Nevada, Tess texts about going back into rehab. Her mother, Patricia, has tried to get Tess into MAT in Virginia, but the limited resources in Roanoke... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
In the days leading up to Christmas, Tess sends Patricia scattered text messages, still vaguely promising to come home. She keeps putting off picking up... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
The morning after Christmas, Patricia gets a call from the Las Vegas police department. Someone has discovered Tess’s body, naked... (full context)
Poverty as an Obstacle to Recovery  Theme Icon
Cycles of History Theme Icon
...for a viewing, in part because her head was shaved in order to collect evidence. Patricia sees the body on January 2nd, which would have been Tess’s 29th birthday. Inside her... (full context)