When I met Nick in March he immediately told me about his nephew Nicholas who was in rehab for a heroin addiction. I was supportive. Nicholas got out of rehab and I embraced him with open arms. In fact, Nicholas and I really clicked. We would message each other through Facebook, text and talk on the phone from time to time. He came over our house for dinner a month or so ago. We grilled out, chatted and just had a good time. We talked about his addiction a lot. He often thanked me for not judging him and being so kind. I truly thought of him as my nephew. He struggled daily but was fighting so hard. His fight ended Monday, August 12 at 2 a.m. though.
I had just gone to bed and Nick was watching TV when the phone rang about 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8. Nick came running in the room. I knew immediately by his face that something was seriously wrong and my gut told me it was Nicholas. We both rushed around getting clothes on. I was shaking. He was crying. We ran to the car and rushed to the hospital, which is luckily just a few minutes away.
Family was rushing in – aunts, uncles, grandparents, church members. Tears were flowing. I held Nicholas’ hand as the nurse told me that his heart had stopped and he had to be revived. He was not conscience and was breathing through a tube. I asked what the chances were that he’d ever wake up. I knew the real answer by the look on her face but she told me it was hard to tell at this point. I continued to hold his hand and prayed for a miracle. The family took over the ER that night. We all supported each other, made phone calls and prayed.
After several hours, Nicholas was moved to ICU. They told us they had to bring his temperature down to try to save him. That took about 24 hours. Then they had to start warming him up again so a CAT scan could be done. That scan would tell us whether he was brain-dead and what his survival rate might be. Saturday afternoon is when we were told there was no chance of survival. He could not breathe on his own and there was no brain activity. Although we were trying to prepare for this since early Friday morning, it was heart wrenching to hear. I truly can’t remember a time in my life feeling that much pain. The only thing that comes close is when Joey was diagnosed with LCH.
I have lost several family members but never to something this tragic and never anyone this young. Nicholas was only 30 (read his obit). Not long after receiving the diagnosis, we were told that he was an organ donor and that things would be prolonged because we had to find matches and fly surgeons in. This honestly caused mixed emotions. We were all thrilled Nicholas’ heart and other organs would live on. But it did mean spending more time in the hospital and postponing closure. We were told that it would probably happen around mid-afternoon on Sunday but that time-frame kept getting postponed due to finding the right match and surgeons getting there. Around 7 p.m. they told us it would happen at 2 a.m. We decided to go have dinner as a family and return to the hospital around 12:30 a.m.
Just over 72 hours after that initial phone call each one of us took a turn saying goodbye. Stories about Nicholas were told, favorite things about him – like his smile – were reflected on and many tears were shed along with the question “why?” being repeated over and over. I held his hand, kissed his forehead and repeatedly said the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I told him I loved him, that it was okay to leave us now, that his struggle was over and that I would miss him terribly.
Yes, part of me wanted to scream “why the hell did you do this to us?!? Why would you do this to your parents? You were doing so good. Why didn’t you call me?” But there was no sense in that. I’m betting a heroin addict doesn’t know why. He didn’t want to hurt us. Nicholas loved everyone. He loved life. His smile showed it.
Nicholas’ death was senseless. In a weak moment two years ago, after a horrible tragedy in his life, he said yes to heroin. One time and boom you are addicted. He struggled with it ever since. He had been clean but one night let heroin win his fight. We believe he did his “normal” dose, which his body couldn’t handle because he had not been using regularly. He overdosed. His poor father heard a crash in the bathroom and found his son laying in his own vomit and was not conscience. His parents had to watch as EMTs loaded him in the ambulance doing CPR and trying to save his life. His parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends spent 72 hours in the hospital hoping and praying for a miracle. A miracle that we never got.
When I finally got home and saw my own children I hugged them both and sobbed. I begged them to promise me they would never try heroin. I told them all about Nicholas and the last 72 hours. They both cried with Nick and me. They both promised they would never touch it. I will remind them of that promise at least weekly for the rest of their lives.
Heroin can happen to anyone and any family. It’s super easy to come by. Just swing by the parking lot of a busy grocery store (even in an upscale neighborhood) or walk a few blocks in an inner city (or in the suburbs) and you will find it. It’s super cheap too. Apparently you can get really high for $5. You can die for $10. It’s not something that only happens in bad neighborhoods. It happens every where – even upscale towns. Nicholas lived in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He comes from a good family with good values. He was very loved and cared for. (See: Impact of Heroin Addiction on Family and Town and Northern Kentucky is Ground Zero for Heroin)
Dealers will give heroin to kids, adults, boys, girls, poor people, rich people, white people, black people and anyone who will take it. Heroin does not descriminate. They will even give it to you for FREE the first time because they want you to get hooked and then pay. And believe me, you will pay. You will pay with your life. Luckily Nicholas has a huge supportive family who loves each other very much. We are not going to let Nicholas’ death be senseless. We are going to tell his story over and over. We are going to find a way to educate today’s youth and families. We are going to fight heroin and find a way to win! We hope you will join our fight.
As of 2009, 100,000 people were dying from heroin use each year. It has been estimated that 6,500 die each year from heroin overdose. You can learn more about heroin here. Our family will have a website up soon called www.NKYHatesHeroin.Com.
Do you know someone hooked on heroin? Have you lost someone to this horrible drug? Are you ready to join the fight against heroin? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment here.
My heart aches with this loss and I didn’t even know Nicholas. Anytime a life is lost it is a tragedy but when it’s one so young it’s absolutely heart wrenching….and when it’s something so senseless and preventable you just can’t make sense of why or how it could have happened. Heroin scares the life out of me. I will definitely be sharing Nicholas’ story with my own kids in the hopes that they will never NEVER become a victim to this horrible drug. May Nicholas live on through his gift of life via organ donation, and through his story being shared and hopefully saving others from ever falling victim to such a terrible fate. My thoughts and prayers are with you and his family…I am so terribly sorry for your loss.
thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing our story.
Thank your for sharing this story. Please let us know when your website Heroinhurts.com is up and running. We would like to share it on our Facebook page “HeroinKillsYou”. You can always email me articles on heroin for us to post also if you want.
We will keep you updated. Thanks
Hello My Name is Carol and I lost my son on May 31, 2013 from herion. I am glad to see that i am not the only single parent out there that has lost a child from this. Please let me know if there is anything i can do to help to get this message out to parents and children. This has became such and evil epidomic and i would like to see the dealer that killed my son off the streets to. Thank you from a hurting parent.
Hi Carol. Please visit our page http://www.nkyhatesheroin.com. You can message us there to become a volunteer.
http://www.facebook.com/HeroinKillsYou is our page if you wish to share it.
Beautifully put, Gina. As you may know, I work with dependent, neglected and abused kids. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting in that docket right now waiting my turn on another case… With another family. I’ve done this work for years and drug use has always been a problem. Right now, however, I’d say well over half have a heroin element to them. And heroin sucks. Kids are neglected, families are torn apart, and parents die. I’ve seen too many to count at this point. What makes it worse is the complete lack of decent treatment facilities, the waiting lists for the good ones we have, the lack of sober living facilities and the myth that methadone is a viable alternative.
Long story short: I’m in. Let me know. Prayers to my church family, the Spechts and Stegners. May The Lord give them the strength to help others through their grief.
I FeelYour Pain,,I Have FOund My Cousin DeadThen Less Than A Year Later I Found MY Fiancé,,Who Asked Me To Marry Him The Night Before,,I Found Him Dead W Our SoN Clueless Jumping All Around Him,,ItsSad,,I Struggled W The Fight To N I Was Lucky N WonThe Battle,,But Its Hard,,It Controls U No Matter How Many Friends,,Family OR Kids U Have,,
Thank you for sharing your story
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Thank you for sharing your story. My sister was Tabatha Roland who died April 16th from an overdose. We need more people to share their stories and tell of their loved ones who fell to this demon. My family is sharing our/Tabi’s story as well through TabathasFight.org and on facebook Tabatha’s Fight to stop heroin. We as communities can come together to fight this epidemic. My heart hurts for your family and I know pain all too well. Again thank you for sharing.
I am so sorry for your loss. We need to educate our children.
I am so, so, very sorry for your loss. I have been trying to do something about this heroin epidemic for the past 6 years. Talked to politicians, insurance companies, doctors, rehabs, etc and was told things do not happen overnight. Here we are 6 years later and it is worst now then ever. We as a society have to come together to do something. So many people are loosing their loved ones to drugs. I hope your story changes one person and that person changes one person and so on. We have to break this cycle, as too many people are dying. Please contact me if I can help in any way. Again, please accept my sincere sympathy.
Thank you for your kind words. They mean so much to us. Keep up the hard work.
I’m Nicolas’s cousin and also a recovering addict, I have not used heroin since March 2011. It is such a battle everyday every second. I’m so sorry for this great loss, he was such a sweet guy, may he finally rest in peace. My condolences to the family. 😦
Keep clean Lizzie!
My son, Brandon left us on April 12, 2013. It was reportedly an overdose of heroin that gave him the courage to commit suicide. He had been clean for 2 1/2 years. He started hanging out with the same old friends that he hung out with before when he was using. He knew that his family was not happy with the fact that he was using again, and I guess that with a lot of other factors, made him think that it was best to take his life. He was 39 years old, with a 15, soon to be 16 year old son, and a baby that will be a year old in Oct. He just didn’t think of what we would be left with. I was so mad at him, but now I know that he is with God, and is fighting his demons no more. That is the only thing that helps me get through this.
I urge each and every one of you, family and really friends, to do whatever is in your power, to keep them from returning to the same old friends that they were using with. Even though he told me that he was stronger now, and could say no, the pull of the drug was just stronger than my son.
Do not be afraid to use Casey’s Law, if that is the only way to get your children help. Court ordered rehab without a mark on their record, could save their lives. I was not aware of this law until after my son’s death, but had it been known, I certainly would not have hesitated to use it.
So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank goodness for Casey’s law. http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ Hopefully it can save some lives
My deepest sympathy to this family I just lost my husband of 20 yrs in may of this yr to a heroine overdose . My kids are left without a father an it is so unfair to them this drug is the devil he was a hard working man he ha his flaws but I never dreamed this would of taken him over it’s very sad an I’m left with so much anger inside an my kids too . so my heart truly goes out to anyone that is living with a loss like this
I am so sorry for your loss.
This hits so close to home the same thing happened to my own nephew, but we were lucky he survived.. Today he his over 90 days clean.. He to had gone to rehab for several months.. It grabs hold of these kids and for some reason they can’t stop.. My only prayer is that this was his rock bottom and he doesn’t do it again.. I say a prayer everyday that God watches over him and guides him!!! My heart aches for your family and those who can’t kick it.. We need to rally together and try to put a stop to this.. One more life taken is one too many!!
So glad to hear your nephew is clean. My advice to you is to reach out to him often. Spend time with him and remind him daily how proud you are of him.
Story’s like this one should be told all over the world everyday of the we so people can read them but in the long run people are going to do what they want until it happens to them an hopefully there lucky enough to survive I myself am a herion addict I’ve been clean since October of 2012 but I still say addict because I will always b there isn’t anything I can do about that now it will always be with me I jus have to stay strong a stay away from it I still don’t no to this day if I was to b around it if I would b strong enough to say no so for now and forever I’ll just keep my distance I was lucky enough to have someone n my life who cared an kid napped me he spent months not letting tempura his sight watch in me b sick day after day til it was out a my body I hated him for it then but I truly love him for it now 10 months later people if u no someone who needs help but don’t want it give it to them anyway they will hate u only for a awhile but b with forever alive and well
Shannon, please keep up the hard work. I’m proud of you for staying clean.
I have not had a family member or a close friend addicted to this horrible drug, but it seems like it is ruining my hometown, the place where I am currently raising my 6 year old daughter. I am afraid we will have to go if things do not improve. My friend is an EMT and they are constantly getting OD calls. We live in a fairly small city and this drug (and the crime that comes with it) are ruining lives. I cried as I read this story, but I am so glad you are telling yours and his story, as it does need to be told. I wish you and Nicholas’s entire family love, hope, and true healing.
Things in your hometown will not improve until everyone takes awarness to the problem….You can move all you want but it’s everywhere not just in your hometown.
This is such a tragedy. I am a middle child and both of my siblings are addicts. My 23 year old sister has overdosed far too many times on heroin and my brother 34 is a meth addict. It scares me every time my phone rings not knowing if this will be the call that one if them has died. I pray for everyday that all the drugs will be gone and no one has to suffer from this addiction or watching your family members go through it. Trust me I know all to well how this drug can ruin someones life. Nicholas im sorry you had to lose this battle but your family is sharing your story to try and help others just like you. God Bless
Shelly, do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ This law allows you to sign your family member in to rehab. Do it before it’s too late. I will pray for you.
As someone who works at a facility that does substance detox/treatment, know that many of the judges won’t sign off on a Casey’s Law until you have already found a facility that will take the individual dealing with the addiction. So I would encourage you to start looking and have an idea when you go to try to get the Judge to agree to admit under Casey’s Law. Best of luck!!
My cousin lost his wife to this horrible drug my heart aches everytime I here of another life lost to this and my wife is addicted to pills and its horrible to watch someone you love go through this disease and I know I’ll stay clean and sober for my family and children
I am so sorry for your loss Aaron. Thank you for sharing your story.
My beautiful niece is in rehab now for a couple of weeks. We lost her for a little while but after weeks of my sister and mom looking and putting up posters they found her. Now she wanting to leave rehab. I pray she will find strength and stay.
Roxie, do you know of Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/. You can use it to put her in rehab and keep her there. I will pray for your niece and your family.
I am one of the pastors at highland UMC in ft. Thomas. We have a thriving ministry to youth, and we open our doors to many youth in the fort who come for our food ministry. We would be willing to explore ways we could help communicate this message in a safe, loving way using our connections, trust and forum we have with fort Thomas teens. Feel free to contact the church, and they will connect you with me. Pastor Larry
I was talking with a friend today about this very subject. I do not have higher education but I have extreme tough love and will to make things happen. I welcome contact, my ideas may not be politicaly correct, but I believe God sent me to this page to find your church. Thank you Pastor Larry, I look forward to sharing my ideas no promises,
Thank you Angel. Please follow the blog… more to come
Pastor Larry, thanks so much for your comments. I am very familiar with your outreach since my children eat lunch there almost daily. I would love to connect with you and will contact you soon.
I work in the ICU where Nick’s battle with this monster called heroin ended. I was there this past weekend along with the ICU team and we watched with heavy hearts as his parents, sister, grandparents, and many other family members recounted his life memories (happy times) and began grieving for the life lost.
We, too, wanted to scream and ask, Why have you done this to your family? Do you hear your mother’s cries for you ? Why?
Then we heard that Nick would be an organ donor and that family was supportive — how awesome for the waiting recipients. But, as healthcare workers, we knew this was going to be even more draining for Nick’s family as they had to wait through the donation process, basically grieving and re-grieving (if that’s a word) every minute, every hour from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning when all was complete. This family is truly a testament to faith, love and hope — Thank You. None of our ICU team knew Nick outside of room 1608, but, unbeknownst to him, he touched us all in some way and his end of life story will be on our minds and in our hearts for some time to come.
Sadly, heroin overdoses are becoming an all too common occurrence for our ICU. Many times the outcomes are better, the patient recovers, is remorseful and seeks help, I’m not sure this is better because more often times than not, they are back in our care months later.
Today, it hit me — we are doing a disservice to our children and loved ones by just telling them to “say no to drugs”. Somewhere, we have dropped the ball on educating and giving our children the tools they need to cope with the stress of this world. Educating our society on where to turn for help on issues of bullying, educational pressures, work pressures, family pressures and then truly showing our willingness to be there for them — this is what makes saying “no” easier.
thank you for your comments Lisa. You and your coworkers will never know how much you all meant to us. You truly made a difference in our lives and helped us cope with this tragedy. Your comment inspired me to write another post: https://raising2tweens.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/heroin-causes-more-pain-than-it-numbs/ . You are right… we have to teach are family coping skills.
I remember your family coming in to the MICU waiting area. We were originally there because my mom had a heart attack at age 59 and we had been there about 2 weeks when you all arrived. We were just about to get transferred to uk hospital in Lexington when you guys came and took over the room we had claimed as ours. I saw him in the hospital and prayed for you all. I wasn’t sure what happened to him but I know now. We just had a cousin die of a heroin (were pretty sure) overdose in May. She was 54. Her son was getting ready to graduate from college the week after her death. He had to plan a funeral before he could plan his graduation party. Our family is very close just like yours. We spent many nights sleeping on air mattresses in that waiting room. She was also in charge of her nephews fiances bridal shower. So, instead of helping her plan, we had to clean out her apartment and gather graduation gifts and bridal shower gifts. We’ve had 5 people die in our family in the last 18 months. One of them was from this horrific drug. I never thought it would happen to someone in my family!!! I hope some how, some way this epidemic stops before its too late for more people. Praying for you and your family.
Thank you Amanda. I hope we didn’t barge in on you. We claimed that room for several days. I hope your mom is doing well. Thank you for sharing your story.
I my self lost my brother to it….. It destroys me everyday…. And I mean everyday….. I wish that n e one selling it would be tossed in to a grave ….. I miss him so much my 5 yr son and him were beat friends every time I see him or another one my kids cry about him turns me into flames….. And its even sadder that our lame ass police don’t do enough to make a difference in stopping this …. Rather catch ppl speeding while yours and mine r dying ….. Please let me know what I can do…. I made a vow his death will NOT BE IN VAIN….. rip Brian 30years young…. My number is 8599827670
Keep making awarness to the problem….the more people come together,the more it will change things….RIP Brian.
I am so sorry for your loss. Please follow my blog so you will receive email updates and know when we are ready to tackle this epidemic full force.
My little brother was addicted to heroin he has now been clean for over a year now. I work in the healthcare and I see this happening on a regular basis and pray that he will be strong and continue on his path. But I still will always have this fear of him trying it again and it taking my brother.
Im very sorry for your loss Im sure sharing your story will help others in this
I really hope your brother stays clean. Learn about Casey’s Law in case you ever need it: http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/.
Thank you for sharing Nicholas’s story. My thoughts are with the whole family, and I look forward to learning more from your new website.
Thank you for your kind words.
I want to say that heroin is a horrible monster..its affected my small little town in a tremendous way..we have had so many deaths of young people because it and so many other drugs..but my family has fallen victim to that monster..i have beautiful nieces..some have which been overcome by heroin ..i want them to know that life is too precious to let that drug steal your life..please know that we love you and need you in our lives..i dont want to say their names out of privacy..but i just hope they know how much they are loved..
have so many who love you and need you in their life..
Carrie, do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ You can use it to get your niece’s help. My prayers are with you.
Thank you for sharing your story about Nicholas, and my deep sympathy goes out to you and those affected. I still have hope for my daughter who is being assessed for treatment today, but after reading this all too familiar article, the death grip that this drug possesses has come back to mind. The past 3 years have been a living hell, and anyone who has dealt with this situation understands completely of the lack of treatment centers and help available, versus the immense availability of this drug! I work at a local college where our former director of admissions lost her 19 year old daughter to heroin 5 years ago. 2 years ago, I went to local law enforcement with drug pushers’ information that I found on my daughter’s phone and computer – 2 weeks later, another 19 year old girl named Zoey lay in the hospital – brain dead, and went through the exact same procedure as Nicholas (she was an organ donor too). Her boyfriend, who shot her up, was one of the people included in the information I tried to share – to no avail! My heart broke for Zoey’s parents. They had no idea Zoey was even doing heroin. I had adopted a dog that Zoey had named Abby the year before this happened, and she had stopped by my house to visit the dog. I sometimes felt as though Abby knew Zoey was gone. Months later, my daughters lost their Father to this epidemic..standing in the morgue and watching in horror, my kids saw their Dad the way no one wants to see their loved ones – pulled from a drawer and covered with a sheet! Even this experience was not enough to stop the deathly grip this drug has on my daughter! Just like the red haired mother in the counselor’s story, I too have pleaded for help for my child. I have finally had to give it to God, before I let it drive me totally insane trying to fight something as evil as heroin is. My daughter, with her beautiful eyes and constant smile, is in God’s hands, not mine, and I thank him for this because I know too well, on my own I am powerless in this fight! Keep caring and keep praying!
How did your daughter’s assessment go? Don’t hesitate to use Casey’s law: http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/. I am so sorry you are going through all of this.
Thank you for asking, My daughter went to all of her appointments and meetings since the initial assessment…so far! she has a dr. appointment tomorrow and later in the day yet another group therapy. I’ve not heard of Casey’s law before, but I can not afford to pay court and medical costs. I am lucky to keep up with my house payments. Her birthday is 8/26. She will be 22 years old. I’m praying for a miracle because that’s what it will take for her to get rid of this addiction. Keep praying and keep caring! It’s great that you inspire others to share their story, and it helps when someone else truly understands what others are going through as well Thank you
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 18:20:30 +0000 To: email@example.com
In late Feb 2012 I lost my nephew to a heroin overdose. It still is something that the phone call in the middle of the night still comes back to haunt me. He was in his late 20’s, and had been clean after spending some time in jail. Still, things happened and he turned back to it. He sat and had told my mom how it was to come off of heroin and it was crazy insane what he described. The sad part about it, the grandson of a family friend had just died of a heroin overdose a few weeks earlier. I have tried to talk to my boys about all of this, about how kind my nephew was but he still turned to alcohol & drugs. Some days I sit and wonder if my own children will try to walk down the same path of drug use. I question why some people can use it for years & are still here & why my nephew lost his battle. It is something that just is, and my heart misses him.
I worry about my kids too DJ. We have to teach our children how to cope with life and not turn to drugs. Please read and share this: https://raising2tweens.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/heroin-causes-more-pain-than-it-numbs/. I am also haunted by that phone call. I will pray for you.
I have a very close friend who is a recovering heroin addict. He is charming and charismatic, incredibly intelligent, handsome and witty, genuinely one of the most wonderful people I know. He struggles with his desire to use *every* *single* *day.* There have been times when he has “dropped out” (of contact) for months at a time, and I have worried so much that I even checked the obituaries. Thank G-d, nothing more had happened than he failed to pay his cell phone bill or was, otherwise, overwhelmed with work/etc. I am a former smoker, so I do know how powerful addiction can be, but I know heroin is even stronger in its wicked “pull” than nicotine. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be to battle such a strong addiction EVERY day of one’s life. I believe recovering addicts are society’s “unsung heroes.” Thank you for sharing this story and for doing so with such eloquence and honesty, Gina; this really made me weep. You, Nick, Nicholas, and the entire family are and will be in my prayers for a long time to come.
Thank you so much for your comments. Are you aware of Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ Your friend’s family might need to know this.
I am now! Thanks! Nearly three years later, my dear friend is strong in his recovery, had a great job and a wonderful girlfriend, and seems to have “beat” his demons. Would that everyone touched by this drug could have a similar recovery.
My brother was a heroin addict for most of 15 years. He was in and out of rehabs and prison for the majority of his life. Our family watched him go from bad to good then back to bad over and over again…even if he would be clean for years, he always went back. In July of 2012 he went into a very expensive rehab in Iowa. When he came home on Saturday, September 8th he was healthy, happy and we all believed he would be okay this time. He seemed so positive. We always said we felt if we could get him to his 30th birthday he would make it. My brother was found dead in his car in a bar parking lot less than 2 miles from my house from a heroin overdose on September 11th…3 days after he got home from rehab…10 days before his 30th birthday. My brother was a very talented poet, smart, handsome, funny and we were from a very well to do family. His addiction destroyed his life and his death has hurt us all something awful. It will be 1 year in less than a month since we lost him. It has been the hardest year of our entire life. My brother was my mom’s baby boy…even in his addiction he was her favorite. She will never be the same, as none of us will. Heroin is the devil’s disease and if you do heroin you will die from heroin. The recovery rate is less than 3%. My son idolized my brother and he too turned to heroin. He just got out of prison on July 25th. He is enrolled in college, has a job, and an apartment. He is starting his life out on his own and all we can do is watch and wait to see if this disease grabs ahold of him again. We all pray that he learns the tragedy of the disease through the loss of his best friend and uncle and stays clean but with disease there are never any guarantees. I am sorry for your loss and feel your pain…every day it’s like a kick in the gut.
Stephanie, thank you for sharing your story. It’s heartbreaking. Do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/. You can use it on your son if needed. Don’t hesitate to use it. Good luck to you! Please follow this blog so you can continue to get updates on our story.
I am so sorry for your family
My son got hooked in Afghanistan in the Army. His life has been hell. OUR family from Ft. THOMAS TOTALLY turned against us. THEY will not even speak to us anymore. I am praying for your family and all affected by this disease. My son is currently in recovery, but I know its a daily walk.
I am sorry your family turned on you. So many people don’t understand. Don’t hesitate to use Casey’s law on your son if you need it: http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/. Thank you for sharing your story.
I am so sorry for your loss. I happened to be standing next to Newport emts when that call came over their radios. I am in recovery also and this story just sent chills through my body. I will continue to pray for your family.
Nikki, please…PLEASE recover from this!!! Together we CAN beat this. Losing Nicholas to this drug has changed our lives forever.
Please stay clean Nikki. Reach out to others. Reach out to me. Just stay clean.
My close friend from high school ODed July 2012.
My step-aunt who is 26 now has been doing boy for 10 years. She has a 10 year old son that she doesn’t have custody over. She almost amputated her arm and she’s still doing it. She says she won’t OD because she’s not stupid with it and knows how to handle it.
I was hooked for a month myself doing it with her. Following her path. What made me quit was realizing that that’s not who I was and that I didn’t want to turn out like her.
Devastating story. This happens to families every day and its becoming chaotic.
Tara, do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ A family member can force her into rehab. Her body will eventually weaken and she will overdose. Help her now while it’s not too late. Good luck and please stay clean.
Been there… My wonderful nephew Jason, died of an overdose on May 11, 2010. He was 32. He struggled for several years with his addictions, been through rehabs, even jail. I don’t wish this kind of hell on anyone…
So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story.
I have a 31 year old daughter who is a heroin addict. She has been clean for little over a year. Her addiction tore at the core of our family. It causes addicts to lie, steal from their families and can destroy their bodies. She is 5’9″ and her weight got down to 85lbs. She spent time in rehab in Ohio because that is where her 1st arrest occurred. Sh e stayed clean for a few months when she got out but soon started using again. Thankfully, she was arrested in Newport and was in detention center 7 mos until a bed became available at The Wrap House in Covington. She has been out now for 4 mos and doing good but I have to say I worry everyday that she will fall victim to this drug again. I don’t know if our family can survive a relapse. It causes so much destruction to everyone. I love my daughter very much and my husband and I have supported and been there for her thru it all but I can no longer let it take over my life. I only hope & pray she stays strong and clean.
Thank you for sharing your story. Do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ Use this law if she ever relapses. I will pray for her strength.
Thank you for sharing your story about Nicholas with the community. I believe that public awareness will bring change.I am also affected by this heroin epidemic and I am raising my 2 grandsons because both their parents are heroin addicts i became so desperate that I even researched and then detoxed both parents in my home and they both relapsed. Please keep the public awareness going and research how heroin is getting into the USA Sometimes I feel like getting a sign and standing at intersection. Honk if you want to stop the heroin epidemic from killing our kids. God bless your family.
Thank you for sharing your story. Do you know about Casey’s Law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ You can put both of them in rehab with this law. I wish you lots of luck. Education is key.
Heroin has taken my ex husband who was the father of my 8 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter this past Febuary. For the past 5 yrs he struggled with his addiction and did things I never thought the man I loved and married could do. The lies, stealing, in and out of jails and rehab, selling his childrens and family members things, and even being homeless was not who he really was. The demons took over and one night in a half way house in Northside he over dosed in the bathroom and sadly I received a phone call at 8:04 that next morning that his body was found. Telling my babies that Daddy died was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
I work in a dental office and see addiction patients every day. It’s so sad that people have to go through this weather your the addict yourself or a close loved one or family member. It can happen to anyone anywhere.
I am so sorry for your loss and the pain your family has had. Thank you for sharing your story.
Another gut wrenching heroin story… With the same ending as the one written before it..and before that one.. And on and on.
Thank you for opening the door to your hearts and giving addiction a face. Even now, some have chosen to remain derelict to what is happening right across the street or maybe even down the hall. It is the brave families like yours that is beginning to open eyes..a few at a time. I lost my mom not too long ago to opiate overdose from her pain medications following a recent back surgery. And today is my sisters first day of an 18 month program for treatment of heroin addiction. This is her third attempt at a live in recovery and we are praying the third time is really a charm because she is 7 months pregnant. My family has been ripped to shreds from the talons addiction keeps in its victims. Please keep telling your story…. It is only when someone has this hit so close to home that it can’t be ignored any longer do big things begin happening.
I am very sorry for your loss. Much love and many prayers to you and your family… Thank you for all your doing.
thank you for sharing your story. It’s amazing how many people this has impacted. I hope your sister can stay clean.
I lost 2 cousins to heroin. One in a situation very similar to this one. Both of them were in there 20’s and brothers. It was very tragic and horrible for our family. It breaks my heart for other people to have to go through this knowing the heartache firsthand.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you for writing this. This takes me back 3 years ago wen I was doing the same thing to.my family on a daily basis. Leaving without saying a word showing back up sick and starving just to get strength to start running again for my fix. I also went to rehab but for some reason god.made it stick. I now have just alil over 3 years and pray daily.to be reminded how bad it is out there with a habit and how grateful I am to have had my daughter 5 months ago and fighting the daily fight to never go back to that dark and.lonely place.
How are you doing it, how are you able to stay clean? We hear all the stories of those who didn’t make it or made it for a few months and then back to using. We need to hear from those who are making it long term to provide hope and guidance to those who are trying.
Oh Melissa please stay strong and clean. I beg you to find other ways to cope. You can do this!
thet I did not know Nick, nor was I his nurse this past weekend, but I was working both nights. What I saw was an amazing but torn family. Hearing the cries from the room as each of you said your goodbyes individually broke my heart. Seeing his
I did not know Nick or his family but I was working in the ICU this past weekend. Nick and his family touched all of us. When I saw the family, I saw an amazing but torn family. Hearing the sobs as each of you said goodbye individually broke my heart. Seeing his mother and father hold each other tightly before they took him to the operating room will always be remembered. Heroin is an ugly drug and addiction is a horrible disease. Please know that Nick will never be forgotten in the ICU. God bless you all.
Thank you Tracey. You will never know how much the ICU staff helped us cope with this horrible situation. Saying our individual goodbyes was heart wrenching for us but I’m glad I had those last few minutes with him.
I Have a grandson who is on heroin. He claims since he got a job that he quit using. I want to believe him, but he stole most of my nice jewelry and pawned it, along with 2 blank checks of mine he gave to his cousin to cover a drug bill, , along with money, etc. He is no longer allowed over to my house unless he goes to a drug rehab and stays until they tell him he can go home. He doesn’t seem to think he has a problem. From what I have read, he needs rehab to conquer it.. My heart breaks for you. I feel the pain you are going through. One of his friends died this past February from Heroin, etc overdose. A nice young man of 20, That I thought would make the difference and it hasn’t. I’d like to think he can do it on his own, but so far, that is not what I am seeing. He is a wonderful young man with a sense of humor, willing to do anything needed – but heroin has turned him into a thief. I too, want to ,know when your website it up and running. This young man could do anything he wanted without a lot of effort – schooling came easier for him than some. It is heartbreaking……
So sorry to hear this Karen. Have you heard of Casey’s Law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ You can force him into rehab. Please don’t hesitate to use it.
I am aware of Casey’s Law and have discussed it with his mother. I am leaving it up to her. I feel like she thinks he can lick it on his own now that he has a job. I don’t feel that way. Think I have read up on it more than she has. Or maybe it just scares me more.
Good luck Karen!
Be very very careful forcing someone into rehab. 1> its effectiveness is still in question (simply because “curing” addiction requires that the addict *wants* to quit or fix it) and 2> being forced into rehab can have some very serious effects on your legal rights in the future thanks to some very misguided laws.
Obviously if you think that their very survival is at stake then you do what you must, but its certainly not something to take lightly. Forcing someone into confinement (of any kind) is a huge breach of trust and could end up destroying any relationship you might have had with the sufferer. We all know how important relationships are for a recovering addict so one should be very very careful not to damage that relationship or you could inadvertently cause more harm then good.
Its all so complex. We really really need to loosen the laws around these drugs and take the noose off the necks of the medical profession so they can do what scientists do best and figure out a solution. Locking people up, forcing them to deal with the underworld to feed their addiction and treating them as criminals isn’t working. We *have* to try something else, and soon. Right now all we are doing is funneling money to violent cartels and street criminals when the money could instead be collected as taxes (like on alcohol or tobacco) and used for research and rehab. Look at how effective we have been at reducing smoking and DUI’s? We need to think out of the box on this stuff and not let our elected officials keep wasting our money and our lives with methods that have been proven a failure.
It will be through the efforts of everyone willing to help fight this battle that one day this epidemic may be behind us. It is through these stories that people receive some bit of comfort knowing they are not alone and many many people out there want to be supportive. They do not judge the addicts, they want to help. Mostly though we just don’t know how to help. Anyone who can provide guidance as to what has worked for them or for their loved ones please share this as well.
Joan, do you know about Casey’s law? http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/ This will allow family members to force other family members in to rehab. The only advice I can give as to teach other coping skills, encourage counseling, encourage AA meetings and tell your family member how much you love them and how proud you are. Share our story and read this blog post: https://raising2tweens.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/heroin-causes-more-pain-than-it-numbs/ . Reach out to others who have been through it and ask them to talk to your loved ones using. I’d be happy to. Good luck
One day at a time- i will see as many that God helps them find their way there. It is all Him , none of me
We are going on minute at a time right now
I lost my older sister to this beast just one month ago. She got out of a jail based rehab program in December 2012. She went into jail after a heroin overdose three years ago. She tried so hard to stay clean. She was just shy of her 40th birthday when she passed. She left three children behind and a grandchild on the way.
I’m very sorry for your loss yet grateful for the sharing of your story as it hopefully helps others realize that’s this demon is growing amongst us and we need to do everything we can to stop it.
I’m sorry for your loss. We have to teach children how to cope with pain and life. https://raising2tweens.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/heroin-causes-more-pain-than-it-numbs/ . And make sure people are aware of Casey’s Law: http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/
just for the record “forcing someone into treatment may save their life and it is CIVIL and completely confidential and does not even show up on the docket other than John Doe… Drug treatment is one of the most federally protected rights there is PERIOD> People – Family- Loved Ones are not DOING Casey’s Law they are GIVING THEM Caseys Law- the idea is is not to lock anyone up- it you can;t see that the brain had become so diseased that one would rather leave a treatment faciility against a judge’s order and face a contempt as a natural consequence of their actions is evidence that this is LATE stage addiction and just as courts often step in and order legal guardianship for those who have brian injuries or alziheimers or other neurological disorders and can not make decisions abour the best medical care or even receiving medical care at all-Casey’s Law is no different.- NO DIFFERENT- We are very blessed to to have Casey’s Law and the hard work that Casey’s mother Charlotte did – many states have nothing and they watch their loved ones go in and out of treatment with no hope but a prayer. We know addiction is addictiona and it will steal everything you have including the last breath you have but Heroin is different- a drug is not a drug- there relpase rate with Heroin is exponentially higher – WHy? because it goes into the blood stream and directly to the brain and if used IV does not have to break down and circulate through the bloodstream. Addicts know when it comes to the neighborhood of drugs- everyone knows heroin is last house on the left.There is no where else to go
I’m sorry for your loss. We have to teach children how to cope with pain and life. https://raising2tweens.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/heroin-causes-more-pain-than-it-numbs/ . And make sure people are aware of Casey’s Law: http://operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law/
Education is key! This is coming from a recovering addict! I had there years clean on June21st. I found my higher power & he found me and pulled me up from the gates of hell! And then blessed upon my own personal saving grace in the form of a baby girl who is 2 years old. I give all the glory to God & this beautiful baby! I wanted to let people know that there is hope it can be done! Coming from a small town in southeast Indiana it seems like every week there is someone else being taken away intirely too soon. Our problem is our
jails are over crowded & although they offer a
“jcap program”, they only allow so many in. So now you have all these ppl that aren’t getting any tools they need to remain sober. I hate HEROIN’!”” Heroin wasn’t my drug of choice, Thank God. I just want to know what we as parents, neighbors, sisters, mothers, fathers & friends, what can we do to save our kids???
Thanking you sharing your story & I am sorry for your loss! RIP NICHOLS
Our family is working on what can be done and will ask for help with our fight as soon as we are ready. Stay clean and strong Patty! Thanks for the comments.
Addiction is a strange animal. You really don’t get “addicted” at random, nor is it (as much) a fault of the drug as it is unlucky genetics and a combination of (unlucky) personality traits. I really hate the general disdain leveled at “addicts” (where people use the term like an insult) because they really are suffering from a disease. What’s important to remember though is its *not* the drugs fault. Heroin is no different then morphine or hydromorphone, its just another (effective) pain killer. Its commonly used in ERs all across britain with wonderful success.
The whole thing is vastly more complex than most people are willing to admit. Very very few legitimate pain patients ever become addicts even though they use strong pain killers daily for years and years. The medical world believes the reason for this is because of how the body reacts to the drug in the presence of pain versus how it acts when used only for euphoria (not to mention the doses required to maintain euphoria are frighteningly large, even for someone who suffers with chronic pain). Most pain patients consider the “high” an unpleasant side effect to avoid as well which probably also plays into the psychology of the whole thing.
I’m saying these things to try and make sure a dialog stays open on this subject. Our current methods of using “prohibition” and jail are *not* working and are having extremely serious and negative consequences. Innocent people pay the price for these laws every single day. While a few people will suffer with addiction problems (just like with alcohol and other stimulants) others are having their very life saved by these medications. Yet our current regulations are strangling the doctors and patients who rely on these things to live life. I’ve meet many chronic pain patients who live a mostly normal life thanks to strong narcotic pain killers. Without those medications a number of them would have already taken their own life simply because it was too painful to continue. Until you’ve actually suffered through chronic pain you simply can not understand how horrific it really is. I know I didn’t. I remember years ago thinking that those people must just be weak and unable to handle life. Boy what an arrogant fool I was.
We now have plenty of evidence to show that locking up addicts or forcing them to obtain their drugs on the street doesn’t actually save any lives, or work. Legalization of some kind probably would (its been effective in the few areas its been attempted). At the very least treating addicts as legitimate medical patients rather then criminals would certainly save lives.
To provide an example: Some countries in europe will provide drugs for an addict so he can use clean, lab grade stuff rather then dangerous street drugs. More importantly, in addition to that they also give the addict Naloxone which is used to reverse the effects of an overdose. Imagine if nick had that medication accessible? One of you could have given it to him and possibly saved his life. Yet here in the US its fairly difficult to get a prescription for it simply because its unlikely anyone other then an addict would have need for it outside an ER setting. Its the mindset that their a criminal, and not a patient that creates this. That bothers me. I’m not sure providing drugs for abuse is the best answer (certainly not at tax payers expense) but I can say its a fair bit better option then what we are doing now.
I’m sorry you lost someone close to you, its a terrible thing. I will say I’m quite proud of the fact that he was an organ donor. As someone with an illness that will likely someday require me to get a liver transplant its a subject close to me. The fact that he dealt with something like that addiction yet still had the presence of mind and compassion to make sure he was a donor says a lot about what kind of person he was. It tells me we lost one of the good ones.
Hi, you are right… we did lose one of the good ones. Nicholas was an amazing and kind-hearted man. Naloxone is available in our state but still so hard to get. We didn’t haven’t it but honestly, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Too much time had passed. It needs to be easier to get though. You make some very interesting points that we will read over as we decide what our next step is against this.
I am very sorry to hear of this loss. I am a recovering heroin addict myself. I feel obligated to say that this kids life could have been saved easily but currently the law prevents it.
If he was a known addict, naloxone (commonly called “Narcan”) administered when he overdosed by his father would have saved him. Some states give this life-saving drug out to parents of addicts, friends of addicts and addicts themselves. It brings overdoses back from the brink.
More than 50,000 Naloxone kits have already been distributed to drug users, pain patients and their loved ones in the United States and 10,000 successful overdose reversals have been reported.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATOR AND LETS END THESE SENSELESS DEATHS!
Hi Steve, thanks for the comments. Actually we believe that it was even too late for Narcan. The EMT did try it with no success. But you are right, narcan should be easier to get and affordable. Our family, with the help of all of you, will be working on changes in the near future.
Thank you for sharing this story. I work at a psychiatric facility, which also does medical detox. It is becoming more and more common to have young people (as well as older people who had medical issues, became addicted to their pain medication, and have moved up to heroin) looking for treatment. Unfortunately, insurance is being to deny more and more substance abuse treatment (especially for heroin). For example, many Blue Cross/Blue Shield policies no longer approve medical detox for heroin, due to it not “requiring medical treatment.” They acknowledge it may not be pleasant to detox, but they don’t feel it requires medical monitoring. To make makes worse many of the insurance policies (all companies) are reducing (or getting rid of) their rehab coverage, so if someone does detox inpatient, then the insurance wants them to step down to an outpatient program. Although they are intensive (multiple hours, multiple days a week) they are still in the community and many have a hard time not relapsing after such a short stay inpatient, while detoxing. This leaves the people at the facility at a hard place, explaining that unless the family or patient wants to private pay for treatment (which is pretty expensive and many families can’t afford it) then the patient is unable to be admitted for rehab. I am writing all of this in hopes that we as a community, population can work to get the way the insurance looks at treatment for addiction differently. I am so sorry for all of the people who have commented and have lost loved ones or have friends/family dealing with addiction. For those of you who are struggling with addiction, hang in there, keep taking it day by day and use your support system. So many people we see coming in after a relapse say they quit seeking support from their healthy support system.
Insurance companies are horrible and don’t care about anything but the bottom line. These are definitely issues that must be addressed.
My name is Angel.. I knew n
Nicholas personally.. he and I share a past and id hoped to share a future with him… God took him to be with our daughter we lost just 2yrs ago.. I believe that’s when his struggle began with this horrible drug… I ask all of u to please join us in signing this petition. You can click on the link to read more about it.. I’m sure we can all agree that we as a community need to bind together to make a difference please take time to read, sign, and share this petition. . Thank you!!
Thanks for sharing Angel. Let’s get this petition signed!
This insurance aiutation frustrates me to no end- on one hand – “the suits” want to be pc and call it a disease because they know there is no scientific qay to deny that it is one and fits the criteria for a chronic progressive fatal illness -however – what OTHER chronic progressive fatal diseases do we put restrictions and limitations on treatment coverage ? What other disease do we say you only get one covered episode of treatment – if you relapse you are on your own! What is more concerning is the amount of faith we put in our insurance providers to cover what is the appropriate level and length of treatment for ourselves or loved ones- insurance companies ROUTINELY refusw to cover or recommend lower levels of care for patients in active addiction- THIS BY NO MEANS IS THE MEDICALLY APPROPRIATE. LEVEL OF CARE – it is the cheapest! Most any insurance carrier will tell you a heroin user who has had no previous treatment will be recommended to the lowest level of care first- they must then FAIL that level of care first : wake up folks ! In many cases “to fail a lower level of care” for a heroin user may mean death! Malpractice it is!
Insurance companies are the devil.
I dated nick for 2 years, we had talked off and on since we had broke things off. He had such a big heart, I found out about his death yesterday, he had tried to call me a week before he passed, I only wish I could have answered and helped, the last thing I said to him was to be strong. That I was proud of him and he was a wonderful person that deserved to have a beautiful life. I only hoped that he knew I meant it, my soul aches for his family, his mother and father are amazing people. They are in my prayers.
Thank you. I am sorry you heard through the grapevine.His parents are amazing. Luckily they have a huge family and lots of friends who will help them get through this. Thank you for your prayers.
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To the Specht family. I was at Turning Point with Nicholas and was fortunate enough to sit next to him for approx one month. During this period, i became pretty good friends with him. It really hurt me to hear of his passing. I have nothing but good things to say about him and want you to know that he “touched” me emotionally, in a very positive way. Not only in recovery sense, but also personally. He will truly be missed. God Bless you guys and I want you know that his memory will help aid me in my own personal recovery.
i worked construction yrs ago.as a subcontractor,i didnt have med insurance.i fell off a roof,landing on my neck,and my right shoulder.i couldnt turn my head,without turning entire body for over a year.the pain was severe.i learned to live with it.6 yrs later i obtained a job with fantastic med ins.MRI was done,2 “disc” in my neck were broken,effecting the main nerve coming out of my body.was prescribed norco.the first dose was heaven.my life improved.my doc kept increasing my dose,than moving me up to stronger meds,over a 2 yr period(he is in prison now).ppl think im joking>at the end of my addiction,i was chewing up 20 pills at a time(percocet 10’s),just so i wasbt “dopesick”.only opiates(herion,painmkillers) produce this “sickness”.the withdrawls were the worst thing i have ever been thru my entire life.did this with suboxene.shortly after this.my brother in law,19,had just came home from boot camp 9 days earlier,overdosed on herion.my wife was pregnant with twins and this created a void in her life.we seperated 2 yrs later.found out that she herself was living with,and shooting up herion with her :boyfriend.i was stunned,this killed her little brother.i actually vomitted when i found out.long story short.she cleaned up.her boyfriend broke in the pharmacy,was caught inside,went to jail.addiction to pain killers and herion IS COMP DIFF than any other addiction.i refuse to even take 1 vicodin now.it’s a huge,hidden black market item.1 percocet 10 mg can fetch $8,i had 180 of those prescribed every 30 days,along with 150 30mg,instant release oxycodone.got $20 a piece for those,you do the math.herion is cheaper.I THANK GOD FOR SAVING ME.pls believe every word i wrote.this caused me to be divorced,go to jail,lose a lot of valuable time w my children.my life is boring and sad now,but im clean!when a doc offers pain killers,pls refuse,no physical pain is as bad as the emotional pain i have suffered.i hate myself.my best friend commited suicide,was addicted.sorry to ramble so much,thomas
I lost my brother to heroin. Very similar, not an addict but just took it recreationally and overdosed because heroin at least in 2001 was very pure and doses can be lethal, he didn’t think he was getting high so he did more than he should have and it shut down his brain. He didn’t show up for work, guy friend went to check on him, thought he was oversleeping, left him to die mistakenly, maybe fortunately since we may have had to make the sad decision to end his life. I know your pain, he was practically my twin, we were 11 months apart. I recently got the courage to donate the $60 he had in his wallet the day/night he died, to a free rehab church downtown. I think he would have approved. I don’t think they want to hurt us if that means anything, just a stupid deadly decision. This was in 2001 and I knew then that Heroin overdose would get worse and it has predictably. Still pains me to read about another amazing kid with amazing friends and family with an addiction. So sorry for your loss. I would be happy to help in anyway possible, speaking sharing my story, whatever helps.
I have a grandson who has lived with me since a small child with his mother and siblings. He stole most of my jewelry and several checks a while back. He is now in jail on a different charge for 90 days. When he gets out, he will need a place to live, hopefully a place where he can fight the heroin addiction. Does any one have any ideas. I am not comfortable with him living in my house, not only because he felt he could steal from me, but because we cannot motivate him to get a job, etc. He says the right words, runs up to the temp service, and no job. He needs to be at a place that can motivate him and help him grow into the man I know he can be. This is the most stable home available to him. Any ideas greatly appreciated.
I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Your grandson needs rehab. 90 days in jail is not enough. He’s not getting treatment there. Most rehabs have a waiting list so get him on the list now while he is in jail. Hopefully he can go straight from jail to rehab. Call Charlotte at Transitions. She can help you. 491-4435.
Good luck to you.
This story Really Touched My heart I’m a recovering Heroin Addict And i lost My brother back in 2007 at the age of 30 due to a drug overdose we had to take him off life support My life went down from there in 2010 i chose to pick up heroin I ended up gettin clean and got pregnant with Twins i went into labor at 24 weeks my daughter ended up passing away and i then Turned to Heroin again I lost everything in my life Almost lost my life I forgot about all the good things in my life Like my baby boy that made it Spite what the doctors said I ended up going to treatment And have been clean a year Reading this story Reminds Me that i dont wanna go back to that life i dont want my son growing up with out his mother Thank you for writing this story sooo sorry for the Loss of His life and i hope this stroy will make people see This drug kills and dont care what age you are It can take your life in just a min with one moment of weakness
Thank you for your note. Please stay strong and clean!
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Compelling and moving account. I am so sorry for your pain and your deep loss. My son, gabriel, was 31when he overdosed. Your story is so similar to my family’s. He was in a sober house, used, hit the bathroom floor, CPR, ER, ICU, cooling blanket, CT Scans, coma, never woke up. He was a beautiful, sweet sweet young man, just like your Nicholas. Could I reblog this on my blog? God’s comfort, grace, and strength to this family and to his friends.
Thank you for reposting.
Fabulous article! Grieved for your loss.
Reblogged this on Shy Rice and commented:
It’s been awhile since I last blogged.
But today I was prompted to reblog: “72 hours of Heroin” because this story is so similar to what our family experienced. The young man in this story, Nicholas, could be anyone’s child. A guy with a loving family and supportive family. A boy who was cherished by many. But yet he fought heroin addiction. His family and friends have decided to be bold, speak out, and to advocate on behalf of others who are struggling with addiction. A family, moved to action despite their grief.
Just like this family, life this past year has been bittersweet as our family is learning to live without our sweet brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, and son, Gabriel.
As a matter of fact, if you read the last blog, on his birthday, Sept. 30, 2013, you will see part of the blog’s 32 Reasons to Rejoice is missing.
I was editing the blog for some typos I had found, and accidentally deleted all but 8 reasons to rejoice in his life. The 24 reasons will one day be reblogged, but for now, I can’t seem to force myself to retype the words.
Since his death last April, I have found it difficult to post here, but yet wrote a book: Parent of An Adult Addict: Hope for the Broken Road.
Crazy, I know. I just can not seem to pen the words about Gabriel, again, not yet, for whatever reason. As I have worked through the unbelief of his death, the reality has now hit me strong. Gabriel is not coming home. He had begun to make plans to marry a girl, move into a house, and start a family, clean and sober. But in a moment of “one more time,” his dreams came to a screeching halt.
No wife. No house. No children. Heroin had tricked him again. The evilness of addiction stole my son.
The day Gabriel passed away, I lingered in his hospital room, laying in the bed with him, holding him as long as the hospital staff allowed. I felt his heart flutter to the end, and stop. As his heart ceased pumping, and he took his last breath a stillness filled the room. A quietness I had never experienced. No more breaths. Only silence.
I must have laid in bed holding him for another twenty minutes or so. I could feel his head leaning against me, and his lips touching my head.
Once I finally was able to let go of his physical body, kiss him once last time, and leave his bed, I reached up to wipe my right forehead. I had felt a wetness and even said, “My head is wet. I wonder how I got my head wet? My sister Tinker made a comment: “Gabriel kissed you goodbye. God knew he was not able to kiss you goodbye, so this was the way God allowed him to kiss you.”
Yes, indeed, the moisture was from Gabriel’s lips touching my forehead. And yes, I will look at the last moment, as his lips touched my head, as a sweet kiss of grace from God.
There is a family of a young girl her name is Tabitha Roland and they have came together much like your friends and family to beat this addiction. I believe if the two of you joined forces you could move mountains. Please reply by email I can forward all info
We know Tabitha’s family. Thank you
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group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
Please let me know. Cheers
My dad was doing heroin since he was 14 years old he passed away at 57 years old on March 31 of this year. My dad was a great man, hard working, and loved life. He was so proud of his family and friends, especially his grand children. My dad never wanted his grandchildren to know his addiction. He wanted to see his grandchildren all the time but didn’t see them that often because of the addiction. My dad explained to me the first time he did heroin he was hooked the feeling was powerful not like any other drug he tried. He told me that once a person tries it they are hooked. A person can stay clean for a little while but will eventually do it again. His words were that a person falls in love with the high. I seen my dad stay clean for awhile and get back on after a little while. My dad seen so many of his friends overdose within the 43 years and still couldn’t stay clean. My dad overdosed many times. On December 1, 2015 he overdosed and the hospital explain to him that next time this happens he might not be so lucky to make it. My dad had a high tolerance many people said he was indestructible because he lived to be 57. On March 31, 2016 my dad lost his life. I was told my dad overdosed and he is gone. His mom who is 77 found him. I was his only surviving child and I have 4 kids ages 14, 11, 9, and 5. My youngest daughter turned 6 the day after he died. I am against heroin it has hurt many people and will continue to hurt many people.
I am sorry to hear about your father. Stay strong.
We lost our beautiful, intelligent, college-educated, charismatic daughter on Valentines Day, Feb.14, 2016. One day before her 29th birthday, Two days after her son had turned 4. She had a smile that enveloped you up until her son’s father shot her up with heroin six years ago. She (& heroin) we’re masters of disguise. She timed visits with us to fit the habit. We only found out in Dec. that she was using. Her mother, brother, grandmother, boyfriend & MANY friends knew….and did nothing, she died, alone, in the apt. they shared. Her dad knew she liked clubs, drinking & occasional pill, never imagining until her OD, the truth: She was an addict, and had been for years. She’d changed, lost her glow, seemed tired, or anxious, or manic. Loud & nearly obnoxious or sullen and silent, she came over less & less. And with her, our eldest grandchild faded from our lives, now forever. A boy lost his mommy, a father lost his little girl. Our hearts are full of grief. And anger. At all of her enablers–we got her into rehab within 24 hrs back in Dec. Mom drove her home days later. Not one of that family told us a thing. Until our Valentines Day was forever heartbroken.
I am so sorry for your loss. This is a horrible drug/disease.
I’m sorry you had to go through this. Have you heard of Hope Over Heroin? It started in Cincinnati but I know it’s now national. I wonder if somehow you could connect with the ministry and help others going through things. It is very clear that your post is helping a lot of people. I just thought I would share about it in case you haven’t heard of it.
Thank you. My family is behind NKY Hates Heroin. I think we have worked with Hope Over Heroin.
Just buried a great friend with a heart of gold this morning. He had gotten released from jail and 3 days later was in a heroin overdose induced coma with no brain activity. It hit home as he was a very close friend and also due to my own struggles with the drug. I’ve been clean for 403 days.
Sorry for your loss. Keep up the good work!