Heroin Support Blog

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I Wish You Had Never Met "Heroin" Your Special Friend

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Rest In Peace - May 3rd, 2016 Burlington, Kentucky
 
I wrote this in memory of my brother in law Justin Houze, I hope that this can help someone who is going down the same road that he did.  #NKYHatesHeroin
 
Loving an addict is a dangerous game
For you never know if they will be the same
They will break your heart and keep you up all night long
Wandering if they will live to see the light of day
I never fell asleep without praying for you
To hopefully find your way back through
We waited for days, months and years
And shed more than a million tears
 
I don't understand why you had to leave
Leaving us all alone to grieve
Life isn't fair, of this I am sure
For your beautiful face we shall see no more
You fought so hard until the very end
I wish you had never met "Heroin" your special friend
It took you from us and left you all alone
Taking your last breath far away from home
 
I saw you struggle, I could see it in your eyes
We could never compete because you believed all it's lies
Every time you tried to get back on track
It found a way to pull you right back
Now you're with Jesus, finally welcomed home
At least you're at peace and no longer alone
How can one be a giant and gentle at the same time
I often wandered how this could be
You were loved by so many, that was plain to see
 
I had to pull away to protect myself,
Now I wish I had stayed closer and saved you just one more time
This is all so senseless, I can't comprehend
How it can possibly actually be the end
Foolishly I thought I had prepared myself for this day
How naive was I to think that I wouldn't break?
I wanted to hate you for the things you had done
You wouldn't allow it, somehow you always won
 
I can't bear to look at your pictures or posts
The tears won't stop falling down my face
Because I can't imagine not having you in this place
You were always such a tortured soul
Who never could find peace along the road
I wish this didn't hurt so bad and that we wouldn't all feel so sad
I know you’re in Heaven and finally free
Just wish this wasn't the way it had to be
I will think of you often and remember the good times
Until the day we finally reunite in Heaven
I know you were a saved Christian who just lost his way
We will all see you again one day
 
The world lost a great man, whom was loved by many
Justin was a kind soul who loved kids
I don't think he ever met anyone who didn't like him
Justin loved Holly and his kids more than anything
He just wasn't strong enough to win in the end
I swear if love could have saved him from his addiction
We would have had it beat without a fight.
Heroin doesn't fight fair
I know we did all we could and I feel at peace with that
I just wish he could have seen how much he was loved and
That he could have beat this demon before it beat him.
Fly high with the Angels

AMY SLUSHER HICKMAN  

justin

 #AskMeAboutMyAngel     www.HeroinMemorial.org      www.HeroinSupport.org  

 Below is a video we created from pictures that members from the private group at Heroin Memorial gave us permission to use in our public YouTube video to help break the STIGMA around addiction.

Click here to Purchase Wristbands to support Heroin Support Inc, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit.  Below are some of the wristbands we carry.   

DestroysBlack   HeavenPurpleBlack    IHatePurple

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I'm Openly Sharing My Child's Tragedy to Bring Light to the Heroin Epidemic That is Killing Our Future

StacyTaylor

People want to know what happens. I'm openly sharing my tragedy to bring light to this epidemic that is killing our future.  It's unfortunate that people are ashamed to tell the stories about their family members who battle drug addiction. Afraid that society will look at their loved ones as being 2nd class, low life people. I am an emergency Nurse who's job it is to save everyone who enters my ER. Once upon a time I too was guilty of being judge-mental of drug addicts or junkies as some would call them. Until it happens to my boy...... MY BOY 

I can assure each and everyone of you that if it can happen to my boy it can happen to anyone of your family members. People who are educated, smart, charismatic, beautiful and have the world in the palm of their hands. Not low life 2nd class junkies. My son Nick Antich was an A student who never got into trouble in school and never caused his father and I much trouble other than a few typical teenage issues. He scored 120 on the IQ test. So dumb he was not. Low life he was not. He was raised in a normal family and played baseball his whole childhood and wrestled in middle school. He was accepted into the engineering program at IUPUI which was his default program only because he did not want to spent 10 years in school to become a doctor which was his first choice. He moved to Indy, attended school as planned. During his sophomore year he started dabbling in drugs. Nothing I would consider hard core drugs but never the less drugs. He was honest to a fault with me and I as his mother, preached not to Screw with that stuff. As you know our kids at some point will do what they want. My boy was smart. He knew the dangers of hard core drugs so I never in my wildest dreams imagined anything serious was happening. I certainly never imagined or prepared myself for journey I was about to embark on 22 months ago.

My son called to say he was sick in bed for 3 days. I knew in the pit of my gut something horrible was not right. My son had been sick a bunch of times since going away to college, no big deal normally. Take some Tylenol and get rest. This time something told me not this time. Something was wrong. I called an ambulance from my job and sent them to his address in Indy. I told my boss something is wrong, I don't know what, but something bad. Jumped in my car and 2 hours later arrived in the ED to see my son curled up in a ball on a cot and nothing has been done. Why? They knew he was going through heroin withdrawal but the mom in me knew something was horribly different and WRONG with my son. due to Hippa they were not able to tell me what was really occurring, withdrawal. Instead my son held up his arm and said mom it's bad. I dropped to my knees and my hell began as a parent. Within 24 hours he was on a plane to Arizona and admitted into rehab for the next 2 months.

After his rehab stay, he moved back home with Jody and I. Within 3 months I once again seen changes and kicked him out. In September of 2014 he came to me and said mom I'm using again. And again in 24 hours he was back on a plane to Arizona for a 2nd stint in rehab. This time he was there for 4 months. He came home Christmas of 2014 and has been clean of Xanax and heroin since then. He worked for the state of Indiana and had been promoted because he was a great worker and mentor to his coworkers. But my boy felt miserable inside and unhappy. Nothing I could do as a mother could fix his mind or his feelings of loneliness. He was diagnosed with bipolar and faithfully took his anti depression meds and followed up once a month with his doctor. He did not want to be miserable. Was my son depressed and that led him to use drugs to feel better, or did the drugs mess up his brain and make him depressed? This question will haunt me forever.

Research proves that mental illness occurred in young 20's. It's like what came first the chicken or the egg. Last week my son worked mandatory 12 and 16 hours plowing during the snow storm, and was stressed and tired. Something went terribly wrong. He got Xanax from one of the many drug dealers in the area. I found out and he said mom, I just wanted to take something to make my miserable job tolerable. Sitting by himself plowing for 16 hours alone did something to him. If you believe Xanax is not a gateway drug your wrong. Once he did the Xanax that was all it took to wake up that devil in him that had been dormant for 16 months. I was petrified last week, knowing in my souls that here we go again. He said to me Thursday mom I would never use heroin ever again. Friday March 4th he went to Indy to stay with some friends for the weekend and then he had plans on going to Bloomington Monday to stay with his sister since he was on vacation for a week. My husband and I flew out Saturday for a weeks vacation to Arizona. Sunday afternoon I got the call that my son never woke up after parting all night and I'm quite sure he used heroin. I don't have toxicology test back yet. But when you drink alcohol, take Xanax ones inhibition or ability to use good judgement or think about the consequences is gone. The boys he was with claim they all were up till 4am and that when they all awoke at 3pm the next day Nick did not.

StacyTaylor2

So my point is people don't hide this anymore. Share your stories. Get this out there. If it could happen to my boy it could happen to your family. It could be your mom, dad, brother ,sister, cousin, or friend. 

I hate drugs. They robbed my son of his life, they robbed Kasie Antich of her brother, they robbed me and Marc of a life time of happiness and grandchildren we will never have from our son. His wake was a testament to how loved he was with over 450 people attending. He had teachers from elementary through high school who he himself impacted and they came to share that. He just did not realize how much love there was for him in this life. I'm an emergency room nurse with the resources in place to to help my son and he used those resources. Even so i just could not save him, something I must learn to live with forever.

I will be taking some time off work to grieve the loss of part of my life, my first born Nick who showed me what it was to be a mother and feel that love that only a mother can feel. With all my strength I will try to continue on in my endeavor at being a Nurse practitioner and most importantly I will do my best to be a great mom to the only reason I get up each morning, my Kasie and family. Please don't hide this issue anymore. Out of 450 people I have at least a dozen say it happen to them too.

Stacy Taylor - Nich's mom

StacyTaylor3

Nicholas was born on September 3, 1990 and passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2016.
He was a resident of Merrillville, Indiana at the time of his passing.  Nick had a love for animals.

You can read his obitiuary online here.

 

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

Click here to submit your own public heroin memorial tribute to our website here.

 

 

* Feel free to make supportive comments about this article at the bottom of this page using your Facebook profile.

#AskMeAboutMyAngel  #HeroinMemorial   www.HeroinMemorial.org      www.HeroinSupport.org  

 Below is a video our nonprofit here created from pictures that members from the private group at Heroin Memorial gave us permission to use in our public YouTube video to help break the STIGMA around addiction.

Click here to Purchase Wristbands to support Heroin Support Inc, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit.  Below are some of the wristbands we carry.   

DestroysBlack   HeavenPurpleBlack    IHatePurple

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To: Anyone Who Has Lost A Loved One To Addiction - A Letter From Heaven

AR 151029116

To: Anyone Who Has Lost A Loved One To Addiction - A Letter From Heaven.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Words can’t begin to describe how sorry I am. I’ve put you in a position that no parent should ever face. I left – before you. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The natural order of things was skewed by my addiction. I can only imagine the agony you must be in. I know you’re angry, enraged and sad, all at the same time. If only you could reach back in time and pluck me from the path I’d chosen, but you can’t. You never could. God knows, you tried. I wasn't completely oblivious, to all that was being done for me. I always believed I had time and the truth is – I was too dammed smart for my own good.

I underestimated the power of my disease.

I know you tried to tell me this. But I wouldn't listen. After I began using drugs I became desensitized. I thought I was immortal. I liked living on the edge. I felt so alive! Drugs filled a place in me that nothing else could. With them I was King. Without them, I was just, well, me.

Maybe that was part of the problem.

I never did feel right, about being me. I always needed something more. At first it was candy, and then video games and eventually, girls. I adored money. I felt entitled to nice clothes and nice things. I wanted the best. I hated waiting for anything. When I wanted something, it was all I could think about – until I got it, and then, I wanted something else. There were times I felt guilty for the stress I created in our family. But it was fleeting. The burning need inside of me was stronger, than anything else. This need had no conscience, integrity, or morals.

This need – was my addiction.

I know I hurt you. I rejected your love. I rolled my eyes at you. I called you names. I stole from you. I lied to you. I avoided you and finally, I left you – for good.

I was so smug.

There wasn't anything you could have said, or done, to prevent this from happening. I thought I knew it all. Death by overdose was something that happened to other people. Foolish people – people who didn’t know sh#t about using. It wasn't going to happen to me, no way, no how, not ever.

You begged me to stop. I tuned you out. Your words were like angry wasps in my ears. Although they stung, they were nothing more than an annoying buzz. When you cried, I cringed. When you put your arms around me. I wanted, away from you.

And now – I want back.

But there is no back. There is only forward.

Please bring me forward.

Tell my story. Say my name. Have conversations with me. Include me in your celebrations. Rejoice in the time we had together. Cry, if you must, but not all the time. I know you’re sad. I know you miss me. I know you love me. I know you did your best. But you were never stronger than the disease of addiction, and sadly, neither was I.

Please don’t blame yourself, or me. It will only make things worse. We all did the best we could. You must believe this. If you don’t, it will be like me dying all over again, each and every, day. We will all stay stuck and that would be a tragedy.

I hope you take all the love you have for me, and put it into the rest of our family. Every time you want to hug me, grab one of them. Then it will be like I'm part of the hug. Give them a great big squeeze and I promise, I’ll feel it, all the way up in heaven.

May you find peace in knowing I'm free, in a way, I never before was.

Up here, there is no addiction. There is only love.

The kind of love that is greater than any of us will ever know, below.

You might tell yourself that I am gone. But you’re wrong. I'm right here.

I’m the wind on your face, and the stars in the sky. I’m the raindrops, falling, outside your window. I’m the song of a bird, and the dawn of each new, morning. I’m the rustle of a leaf. I’m the clouds and the sun, and the waves in the ocean.

We will never be truly be parted from one another. For love breathes life, even, in death.

I am flesh of your flesh.

Standstill - and you will feel me.

 

Love always, your Son.

Lorelie Rozzano
www.JaggedLittleEdges.com

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Addiction - "If what I’ve said here saves one person then her death will not be in vain."

AddictionKilledMyWife

Addiction.

It was truly the saddest day of my life. Looking at the many funeral attendees and seeing all of the pain. Not just for the loss of my kids’ mother, but for how the loss would forever affect all of us.

Seems like 100 years ago, I would be down at the local pool and I would see a young girl in a green, one-piece bathing suit, with nose plugs.

She would be doing all sorts of crazy things off the diving board. Front flips, back flips, back dives. A very talented young lady.

Who would have thought that some years later we would be getting together and having four kids? Through the good and the bad, she was a part of my life for over 30 years. And now, sadly, we are all saying our good-byes.

I knew her as well as anybody, and I think she would be OK with me telling this story.

She became my best friend and loved to have fun. That may have been her downfall.

What I am saying is going to impact you all in various ways. Some will be shocked, some horrified and some angry that I am exposing her in this way. For that, I am sorry.

Denying what happened or continuing to not talk about it is not helping. It’s a problem.  Thousands of people are dying because of it.

With the funeral so recent, is it the proper time to be discussing it? Maybe not, but I have a grieving audience- and audience who cared enough about her and her family to attend the services. People who have just lost a loved one because of it.

A friend, a mother, a sister. She could be stubborn. She didn’t ever wear her back brace as she was supposed to. She felt she didn’t need it.

And, she stubbornly resisted the fact that she really did have a problem with addiction. She overdosed on heroin and her oldest son had to perform CPR while waiting for the ambulance. The crew administered Narcan to revive her and she was rushed to the hospital. She still didn’t have a problem with addiction. In the end, it was a combination of addictive drugs that took her life. She wasn’t a bad person, she just made some bad decisions.

If any positive things can come from her death, one would be that she is no longer hurting. Her back issues were crippling her. She faces more surgeries and was in a lot of pain.

The second that could be positive would be to raise awareness of the disease. Addiction is affecting half of my family, which means it is affecting ALL of my family. And I know it is affecting many of you.

Her death is tragic. She had four great kids and four grand-children that she will not see grow up. She won’t see her youngest two children get married or start their families with more grandchildren to watch grow up. She is missing so much- all to addiction.

Addiction is everywhere: cigarettes, pot, cocaine, alcohol. All bad. All can have serious health consequences and eventually kill you. But not quite like opiates or heroin. One overdoes, one bad packet or injection can kill you.

No time to turn back. Gone.. Forever. Big cities and larger communities all across the country are being ravages by drugs. Clearly now it is in small towns and close-knit communities like ours.

A Syracuse forum I attended places some of the responsibilities on us as parents. Refuse a prescription for opiate-based pain killer, or at least limit it to a week supply with no refills. Throw away any unused portions.

I personally feel this is an issue to be dealt with by the physicians, but if we must deal with it ourselves until they catch up with the problem, then that may be our best chance. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, get help. More and more help is available every day.

If what I’ve said here saves one person, one family, one grandmother from this horrible disease, then her death will not be in vain.

I think she would like that.

mom

- Lawrence Blanchard is a resident of Cincinnatus, New York. His former wife, Jody Loomis Blanchard, died Jan. 25, 2016.

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People who suffer from heroin addiction – and their suffering is unimaginable - from this evil disease are not bad people.

JoshuaJanneSandkuhler

Dear Family, Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances, Co-Workers, Music Associates, and Our Heroes in “The Program,”

In the early morning of December 10, 2015, our son, Joshua, died from a heroin overdose. We believe his addiction started about 12 years ago but it’s hard to say for certain because this disease of the Devil entered our home as slowly and quietly as a snowflake hits the ground. Over time, we came to realize there was a lot of snow on the ground.

You may be wondering: Why in the world would anyone want to share such a dark family secret…expose the “Scarlet Letter?” There are several reasons.

Joshua’s life cannot and will not be defined by his addiction. Josh had this evil disease but his disease is not who he was. So, who was Josh? In his “professional” life, Josh was:

A brave firefighter and BLS technician with the BCFD
A skilled bridge inspection technician
A prolific and profound guitarist-singer-songwriter
An extremely talented engineer and producer of music for live performances and studio
A creative writer of stories
An aspiring photographer, woodworker, jewelry maker

All these things greatly impacted many people. All are now discontinued. This is WHAT addiction stole from the world.

But these things were his occupations, hobbies. Although they offer a glimpse of who Josh was, we don’t believe Josh, any addicted person, or any person, really, should be defined by their occupation. So, again, who was Josh?

A strong believer in, defender of, and evangelist for his Catholic Faith (Yes, you can have ugly faults and still remain true to your Faith.)
A loving, caring son, brother, uncle, nephew, and cousin (He always ended his phone conversations with “Tell everybody I love them very much and give ‘em a big hug for me.”)
A loyal friend to many
An empathic listener to anyone
A believer that “Right” was right and “Left” was wrong (I had to steal this line.)
A gifted storyteller and always an entertainer

Those of you who knew our son could testify to this being Josh. (Many already have on social media.) All these things greatly impacted many people in a positive way. But they are all now discontinued. THIS is WHO addiction stole from the world.

People who suffer – and their suffering is unimaginable - from this evil disease are not bad people. When not recovering, they are dreadful but it’s not who they really are. They are like our Josh. They are somebody’s mother/father, son/daughter, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, niece/nephew, cousin. Those with substance addiction have a devastating disease that requires intensive medical care, tough love, and an unearthly measure of patience and understanding. It’s very hard to look into those glazed eyes and recognize there’s a breathing human being inside. We know. We have looked into the eyes of our son but couldn’t see our beautiful Joshua. But, yes, sadly, it was. And as long as any one of these suffering people is still breathing God’s air, there is Hope, Hope for recovery that the person can again be who they are, not what they do. Hope is, many times, all they have left to lose. Hope is the last line of defense.

Warning to parents: Your children are the Devil’s target. If you don’t believe in the Devil you need to know, nevertheless, that your children are particularly at risk. If you have young children, don’t give them too much slack on their tether line. Discipline them with your love without destroying their spirit. Pray with them. Talk with them about drugs (and sex, too). Have meals as a family - - - daily. Monitor their use of the internet, facebook and the social media du jour, television, and the like. Although these are today’s sources of knowledge, communication, and entertainment, you must know they are also the world’s tools that, very insidiously, advocate all of the seven deadly sins and addictive behavior and lifestyles. Sure, we did all these things and, as it turned out so well for us, where’s the value in our advice? At some point in your childrens’ lives they will choose their own path. You’ll want to explore your hearts for some peace that their chosen path, especially if it’s not a good one, was one of their choosing, not a result of your ambivalence or negligence.

We thank all who have offered kind condolences, cards, gifts, and most of all prayers. Eternally love your family and live with the Faith that God keeps you all, always, in His Loving protection.

 

With Love,

Steve and Linnea Sandkuhler

 

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

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