Saving My Sister

On June 13, 2019, Nicole Woodruff got the call she had been dreading for years. Her sister, Amanda, had suffered a fatal overdose.
Amanda had become addicted to heroin as a young woman. For five years, Nicole and her family struggled to help as Amanda cycled through the process of getting clean, starting to recover, and falling back into using.

Saving My Sister is a memoir about navigating addiction told through a sister’s love, sharing the fear, hope, disappointment, stress, frustration, and ultimate loss that all too often finally ends the cycle, leaving families wondering what else they could have done—or whether they did enough.

Whether you have experienced addiction firsthand, or love someone who has, Saving My Sister is a poignant reminder that addiction affects not just individuals but families, that you’re only human, that you’re all going to need help, and that you’re not alone.

“Addiction is not an individual disease. It’s a family disease… This is our story. The story of my sister Amanda, the progression of her addiction, and the consequences of her decisions along the way. And this is my story. The story of my grief, hope, frustration, disappointment, and everything in between. Whether you have personally experienced opioid addiction, or you are a family member or loved one of someone with this disease, I hope reading this will impact you in some way or another.”



Nicole is a Tampa-based occupational therapist and yoga teacher who specializes in treating chronic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. After losing her sister to an opioid overdose in 2019, Nicole dedicated her life to helping others find alternative ways to manage pain through her holistic occupational therapy practice.

Through her memoir, Nicole hopes to raise greater awareness around addiction and how it affects family systems, sharing her story to help destigmatize the way society views addiction and encourage others to speak out. She has also started two virtual support groups: Siblings of Addicts and Siblings of Addicts Who Have Passed Away. Learn more at
Listen to Nicole on the 'Author Hour' Podcast

Read more from Nicole...

Life After Loss
"As I sit here and stare at this pile of sympathy cards in front of me, it’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since we said goodbye to my sister. I’ve held onto these cards and have been meaning to send out thank you’s to those who sent them, but most days I just can’t bring myself to do it. And to be honest, most days this still doesn’t seem real..."
Read More
Intl. Overdose Awareness Day – A Date I Wish Meant Nothing To Me
"International overdose awareness day. A date that previously had no real significance in my life. I wish I could say the same today. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to lose somebody close to you, especially to something that feels as preventable as a drug overdose..."
Read More