MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — From afar, they seem to lead picture-perfect lifestyles — suburban moms living in large homes with white picket fences, sweeping their kids off to school in the morning.
But some of these women lead a darker night at night, turning to drugs to deal with the pressures of staying perfect.READ MORE: Strome, Panarin Lead Rangers To Win Over Blackhawks
The suburban party culture sent one Long Island mom into a downward spiral — one that she is still recovering from.
“For a long time, it was a party mentality,” Justine told CBS2’s Jessica Schneider. “Growing up here on Long Island, everybody was partying. We partied with parents, you know.”
Justine, who chose not to reveal her last name, partied to relieve some of the the stress and to have a good time with friends.
“Women do so much; they are responsible for so much; they carry so much weight emotionally that there needs to be some kind of relief,” said family therapist Dr. Jane Greer.
But for too many women, getting that relief can get out of control, Greer said.
Justine said she ended up developing a heroin addiction — and lost custody of her kids.
“Heroin was just there. It seemed to be everywhere,” Justine said. “It was popping up. Everyone was doing it.”
Kirsten Cerveny also apparently let it get too far. The 38-year old mother of three was found sprawled in the doorway of a Chelsea apartment back in October. Her death was determined to be caused by an overdose of alcohol and cocaine, according to the medical examiner.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 12/5 Sunday Morning Forecast
Cerveny’s life seemed picture-perfect too — with a career as a dermatologist and a $1 million Long Island home.
She had been out in the city with her friends hours before her death.
“That degree of high-level functioning reinforces and perpetuates the notion that, ‘What I’m doing is not a big deal, see? Look how well my life is going. Look at everything that I’m doing,'” Greer said.
But experts said there is a lot of denial going on there.
“These substances are extremely detrimental. They’re taking human life loss at a rate we’ve never before seen.” Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Director Steven Chassman.
According to Chassman, the fast-paced social media culture is having a multi-faceted effect.
He said that current culture is leaving people with more anxiety while trying to keep up with an ‘in your face’ social scene.
“I think adults, much like adolescents, are dealing with pressures like never before,” Chassman said.
Justine, who has been drug-free for more than a year, said keeping up an image isnt worth the pitfalls. She has since regained custody of her kids and is trying to piece her life together — without the goal of ‘perfect.’MORE NEWS: LaVine, DeRozan Lead Bulls To Win Over Nets
“Life happens. You just have to learn how to make it through to the other side,” Justine said.