Mitchell was one of five young heroin addicts whose harsh lives were depicted in the top-rated HBO documentary Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. A doctor gave Mitchell opioid painkillers when she had her wisdom teeth removed at 17. She got hooked, chasing a euphoric high that progressed to shooting heroin. Living in an alley in San Francisco, her skin covered in abscesses, Mitchell expected to be found dead – like her boyfriend Ben or Jake, from the documentary. But instead, she found healing through rehab treatment and peer support groups such as LifeRing Secular Recovery. Today, Mitchell is a longtime recovery advocate, married with three children. She’s earned a master’s degree in public administration and is a certified addiction specialist who has been drug-free for 18 years.