”THIS” is not my personal story but one that needs to be repeated.
Sadly, it has now come to my family.
Heroin use and overdoses are skyrocketing. Deaths have tripled since 2010, a fact that can often be dismissed until there’s a face to this reality.
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death in 2014 put a face on heroin addiction. But what if the most powerful face of the disease, at least to you, is your own son’s?
Our oldest son, Richie, became addicted to painkillers at 21 after he broke his wrist skateboarding. He moved from OxyContin to heroin when the former became too expensive and the latter was seen as a cheap substitute.
Richie became an addict over the span of a few short months in 2013. As soon as we discovered his addiction, he went to drug rehab and sought help. Home for the holidays, happy and clean, he was contacted by his old drug dealer, and in a moment of weakness, he relapsed and died at our home, literally in my arms, from a heroin overdose.
He is not alone.A hundred Americans die every day from drug overdose. Drug use currently affects 7 percent of the population, or about 16 million people, with youths now exhibiting a higher incidence of drug use than adults. Studies suggest that some 38,900 deaths occur annually from drug overdose.
Who can deny that this scourge is a profoundly moral issue? Instead of recognizing it for what it is and seeking national healing, many of us have called it “sin,” turning victims into perpetrators who are punished rather than treated as having a disease. The
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I am sharing this now… Something I never thought I would “personally” have stake in.
Death took my daughter, in an instant of weakness, he took her from her family.