Heroin Support Blog

Our goal here is to provide our readers with the latest information about the signs substance abuse disorder, support groups, treatment options, life in recovery, prevention & advocacy in our communities, and how to deal with the grief of a lost loved one. If you have ideas or suggestions that you wish to share with us here please use our "Contact Us" page at the very bottom of this page to email us. You can click on our Memorial Map to add your loved ones tribute to the map and then a few days later we will add them to our memorial blog.

When Someone You Know Dies from an Overdose

When Someone You Know Dies from an Overdose


Heroin Memorial Private Facebook Group - www.facebook.com/groups/HeroinMemorial

Author: Becca Suvalsky
Editors: Buffy Peters & Sasha Mudlaff

Grieving the death of someone you love is difficult. When someone you love dies from an overdose, in addition to the myriad of typical grief responses after a death, there is an added level of complexity due to the nature of the death. When there is a stigma attached to a manner of death it can prevent the survivor from openly talking about their grief leaving them feeling isolated and alone. When my brother died from an overdose in 2016, I certainly felt this way but I quickly realized I was not. The year my brother died, there were 63,600 overdose deaths in the United States alone. Someone dies of an overdose every 14 minutes and the numbers of overdose deaths continues to climb each year. Behind the staggering statistics are real people, like my brother, who were loved by their family and friends that are left to sort through the shattered pieces they are left with. Here are some things you should know about surviving after your loved has died from an overdose.

Feelings of Guilt and Shame:
The grief after an overdose death is complex because the death feels like it was avoidable or preventable. You can’t help but feel as if there was something else you could have or should have done to stop this tragedy from happening. You can’t help but wonder if only they would have listened or accepted the offer for help then they would still be here. Some may feel guilty for feeling relief that their loved one’s struggle with addiction is finally over. It can be hard to talk to others when you have an overwhelming sense of shame over how your loved one died. It is important that you take your time in processing the circumstances of your loved ones death and find a way to accept that there is nothing we can do to change what happened. It is important to not avoid feeling these difficult emotions but instead find ways to process them and healthy ways to release them.

So many unanswered questions:
When a death is sudden it is followed with unanswered questions which can be difficult to grapple with. These questions start coming the minute you find out that your loved one has died and they really don’t stop until they are either answered, or you find a way to come to terms with them never being answered. And sometimes when you get the answers you are looking for, they don’t always help you in the ways you thought they would. It is important to come to terms with the facts that you do know and to find a way to let go of the questions that will never have answers.

Not knowing the exact date of death:
For a lot of families, including my own, the date of death may be in question. Rather than a single date, it may be more of a period of time spanning from when the person was last seen/heard from to when their body was found. While the death certificate will note the date of death as the day they were found, survivors may feel that another day feels more like the actual date of death to them. While from the outside it may seem odd to focus so much on the date of death, to the survivors it holds special significance and deserves to be recognized. Do what feels right to you. For my family, it brought us peace to be able to answer this otherwise unanswered question ourselves. You may find that all the days within a specific timeframe are significant to you and become the “anniversary of the death” and that is okay, too. Do what feels right for you.

Societal stigma and isolation:
Sometimes it can feel to survivors that the words “addiction” and “overdose” overshadow their special person who died. Society tends to believe that addiction is something that happens to other people or only certain types of people, when the reality is, it can happen to anyone in any family. Society also tends to believe that addiction is a problem that can easily be remedied if the person (or the family) would just try harder. The more educated we as a society can be about addiction, the better we can understand the difficulties and complications involved for individuals and families. To break down the walls of stigma and shame we need to be able to be honest about it, to talk about it and to teach others from our own experiences. It is also important for you not to focus solely on how they died but to remember them as a whole person. Remember: your special person is not defined by how they died, nor are they defined by their addiction!

Overdose Death Support:
The stigma of having a loved one die from an overdose can prevent survivors from reaching out for support. It is important to note that support looks different for different people. Some are in search of a support group in order to connect with others who understand what they are going through. Some people are more comfortable talking one-on-one with a counselor or therapist. Others prefer the anonymity of online support groups from the comfort of their own homes. Thankfully there are great resources available for those whose loved ones died from overdoses all over the internet. Facebook even has some specific support group pages for people to connect to. Consider contacting your local Al-Anon or Nar-Anon chapters. While these are not specific grief groups they are typically very open to people who are grieving the death of a loved one from an overdose, and can be great resources.

Online resources:
Heroin Memorial Private Facebook Group - www.facebook.com/groups/HeroinMemorial
GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing) – www.grasphelp.org
Broken No More – www.broken-no-more.org
Mom’s Tell – www.momstell.org

Explaining an overdose death to a child:
It is important to be honest when talking with children about any death. When the death is sudden and traumatic, sometimes our instinct is to shield them from the reality and truth about the situation. However, it is vitally important that you not lie to the child. Kids need to know the facts and truth about the death of someone they love before they can truly begin to grieve. If a child is not told the truth at the outset, eventually the truth WILL be discovered – from the media, a neighbor, a classmate…better it first come from a caring adult in that child’s life. Children deserve to have the grown-ups in their lives be honest with them rather than confuse them with half-truths or lies.

♥ It is important to use age-appropriate language. Start with a basic explanation. One way you can explain an overdose is, “Daddy died from an overdose. When we say that someone has died it means their body has stopped working. An overdose is when someone takes too much medicine or the wrong medicine and it makes their body stop working. Does that make sense?”

♥ Answer their questions as openly and honestly as possible. The amount of information should be determined by their age and understanding. Keep it simple and short, then provide additional information as they ask questions. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions! When children don’t have their questions answered, they will come up with their own answers often much more scary than the truth.

♥ Sometimes adults worry that telling a child the truth about the cause of a loved one’s death might diminish the love the child felt toward that person. However, if we have honestly explained the facts of the cause of death to the child, we can easily and naturally move forward from there to the important task of honoring that person’s life for and with the child. The meaning of one’s life is never solely defined by the moment of his or her death. A great thing to do with children is to share good memories and talk about things that you could do to honor the person’s life. Children have wonderful ideas for how to honor life – explore them together!

Resource: http://hamiltonsfuneralhome.com/academy/detail.aspx?p=11

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Dear Heroin: You have ruined the last 3 years of my life

Dear Heroin

You have ruined the last 3 years of my life. Actually, who are we kidding. You know everything so let's be honest. You made my life passively fun the first year or so in your lesser form. You gave me an escape from the stress, the pain, the boredom. When it 'felt' like I was caving in from everything you made it bearable, fun, warm and comfortable. What you didn't tell me was this reprieve would come at a cost. The highest cost I would ever have to pay, and I would have to pay it back with interest for all the time that passed each day. If you had told me then what I know now, I would have stayed as far away from you as I knew how. I would of picked myself up any other way. I would of made myself heal with hard work and sincere effort. Or I could of done nothing. I would of been better off the way I was when you got a hold of me then I am now. I would of viewed you as you are. As the plague. As something evil. As nothing more than lies wrapped in a pretty package and handed to me by someone I should of been able to trust. Someone that should have wanted the best for me but brought me death through you instead.

The last 2 years you have shown what you really are. How much you take for what you give. How truly robbed I have allowed myself to become because of you and you will not stop until you can take everything from me or I can find the strength to throw you away first. You've had my mind and my body but you crave my soul. My eyes are wide open now. You are an ugly thing. You take something broken and make sure it's thrown away instead of fixed. You have kept me chained to a life I don't belong in. To a situation I would have left years ago. You have truly taken me and tried to break me in every way. You have tried to keep me just below the surface of the water, gasping, struggling for my life, swallowing water. It's time for me to grab the strength I have left and fight. Fight for the sun, the air, dry land. I have worked too hard to keep you from drowning me completely. It's time to say goodbye to everything I knew and find myself again without you.


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Dear Heroin


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Create Your Own Personal Facebook Fundraising Page Benefiting HeroinSupport.org

Create Your Own Personal Facebook Fundraising Page Benefiting HeroinSupport.org

Facebook Fundraiser

Click Here to Start Your Personal Facebook Fundraising Page

Start an online fundraiser to help us continue the work we do. Facebook Fundraisers are a great way to rally your family, friends, and network to join the cause. The fundraisers are easy to set up, in about three minutes you’re friends will be contributing to helping our nonprofit.

Nonprofit fundraisers let people raise money for your nonprofit on Facebook. Your supporters can set up a dedicated fundraising page to share their story, tell others about your mission and rally around a fundraising goal.

Click here for more information and additional tips for running a successful fundraiser

Reach friends who care

Fundraisers give people the tools to get the word out through Facebook, Messenger, Live video and email, all in a place their friends already visit every day.

Easily collect donations

Friends can donate in a few taps without leaving Facebook, making it easier to collect donations. Donors can now choose to give a one-time or monthly recurring gift.

Find new supporters

Each time someone donates they are prompted to share and invite their friends. Shares and re-shares also contain a donate button making it easy to donate right from the News Feed.

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Dear Heroin: I Lost My 24 Year Old Nephew

Dear Heroin

Dear Heroin: I Lost My 24 Year Old Nephew

I just lost my only nephew, aged 24, to alleged heroin overdose.  I wish my friends never started using. It has torn me to shreds each and every day for the last 5 years.  I wake up every day afraid to check my phone to see if they have overdosed or died. I get a sense of relief when I find out they have been arrested and are in jail. Somewhere warm, detoxing (not in the best way), and having a meal or two. Not out on the streets, running at your every call. F#ck you heroin. You have ruined countless lives. I watch drug documentaries in disgust at the dealers. They arent just dealers anymore they are murderers. This has been going on for 5 years, I'm only 20.

Tracy - Gaithersburg, Maryland

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Dear Heroin: You Took My World

Dear Heroin

Dear Heroin: You Took My World

I hate you, you took everything from me. On April 21 st at 1034am you took away my angel. We had so much ahead of us, 3 beautiful babies, and one on the way. You were so happy and proud that we would be welcoming Gunner into our lives. My angel was trying so hard to stay on the right path, and be the righteous man. Now because of heroin our babies are without daddy. Heroin because of you i do not get to see that beautiful happy smile anymore, heroin because of you our son will never get to meet his dad, heroin because of you i feel so lost and empty and I’ve never even touched you, heroin because of you i can’t get out of bed because my heart aches for the person you took from me. He wasn’t prefect, but he was my everything. He was my happy place, he’s heart was my home. Heroin because of you i can never hear his voice again. He was trying so hard, why couldn’t your demons just leave him alone!? Why!? He had so much joy ahead of him! Heroin because of you i can’t even go into my house without picturing the love of my life laying their lifeless. Heroin because of you i know cry myself to sleep, instead of in the  arms of the one person who loved me for me. Heroin because of you my whole world is completely destroyed. Heroin, i hate you!

Heidi - Bethel, OH

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Dear Heroin: My Demons Couldn't Drown Me

Dear Heroin

Dear Heroin: My Demons Couldn't Drown Me

You destroyed my life.  I used to be a good kid. I never got trouble. I stood up for what was mine.  Don't get me wrong.  I had a house, I took care of other people's kids, I had a car.  I had it all going on until I snorted my 1st slide of heroin.  After that my life went downhill.  I went from snorting it  to smoking it to finally injecting it.  After I started injecting it my life took a complete 360.  I lost my cars and my house.  Then it took me down to the worst part of the neighborhood.  I had moved a couple places down there and was evicted from everywhere.  Me and my boyfriend were then homeless.  We would go to his dad's house to shower and pretty much get ready to go back.  It was horriable the things you have to do to stay alive.  I did some horrible things for which I am not proud of. 

We had to stay alive and we had to make sure we had money and heroin so we weren't sick.   You know when you're out there in the city that's filled with nothing but dope dealers, drug addicts and prostitution it's crazy and unfortunately that was exactly how my life was.  I used to be 180 lb and I went all the way down to 98 lb.   I walked so much that I literally walked right out of my shoes.   It ruined my life and ruined everything I ever had going for me.  After a few years of living that lifestyle in and out of jail all the time I went from not having a record to now having a bad record that I'm not proud of.  I woke up one day and I couldn't take no more.   I wanted to go to rehab and I wanted to go right now.  I told my boyfriend that he had to either go with me or I was going to have to leave him.  He chose to go with me and get help as well.

Unfortunately I was able to get into a treatment facility and he was not.  As time went on I finally had got discharged from detox and my mother let me come stay with her.   I was so happy but I was so sad at the same time because I couldn't be around my boyfriend because he was still using and I could not be around it so eventually I talked to him and I found out that he got into a treatment facility so that he could be with me.  I did great as time goes on we both experienced a lot of health issues and damaged our body so bad he ended up with stage 3 cirrhosis hepatitis C and I ended up with the same thing.  I just wasn't as bad after 2 years of being clean that is when my boyfriend found out he had stage 3 and he was very ill he could barely get out of bed sometimes.  It was hard but he relapsed and then he tried to get it together again and then he relapsed again and again unfortunately the last relapse was the end.  He overdosed while I was babysitting at my mom all night and his mother found him in our room.  It was the most devastating thing I think I ever been through my whole entire life.  He was my world.  We were together for 8 years today and I am three years clean.  He passed away on the 7th and it will be 5 months in May.  I'm still grieving and I still feel like I want to use sometimes now.  When I think about all the things that I had went through it makes me not want to go back because it killed somebody that I was very close to.  Somebody that loved me very much in and that had see me at my worst.   

His mother is my world as well and we will always have each other but I will say this is not something that you use recreational. It is not a game people need to start waking up and realizing that everybody's dying.  I don't have anybody left as everybody is now passed away except for two people but they're in prison for a very long time. I work really hard to stay clean and I do everything that I possibly can to make sure that I do not ever go back to it.  If you're reading this please get help.  It is available you just have to take one day at a time did not let the devil get the best of you.  There is a God.

Jennifer - Franklin County, Ohio

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If Anything Good Can Come Out of My Daughter's Overdose Death


Pictured: Ashley and I two years ago when she was recovering

My daughter Ashley Chere Wise, 29 died of an overdose to heroin. She battled an on going drug addiction since teenage years. Her story is similar to so many other victims. She was sweet, had so much potential, has a 6 year old daughter. And it is a horrible disease, an epidemic. What I want to touch on is all the talk about what to do about this horrible truth that's robbing all of us parents from all walks of life, of our precious children. I was a follower of this Facebook Heroin Support Group, well before my daughter died. I read the many sad story's and just got more scared, prayed harder, but still didn't know what to do for my addict children.

When I was a young parent, if you would have told me that two of my children were gonna be heroin/drug addicts, I wouldn't have believed it. I was in shock when I found out my son was shooting up with needles. Ashley's death threw me for a loop, cause I thought she was in a treatment center for long term and was finally getting the help I had prayed for and I had a faith that I honestly felt God would not let that happen. Apparently she walked out of sentenced treatment and I didn't know they could just walk out so I was unaware that she was on the streets. I asked my 27 year old son, who also is an addict, on the way back from lowering Ashley into the ground, was there anything I could have done to save her?! Him, being the same way, if he was "jonesing " and had it on his mind to get fixed, could I have called or said something to make a difference. He didn't feel so. And I realize everyone's story is similar but different too.

I have come to the conclusion that once they come to be addicts, it is tough as nails to get them to quit and if they don't want to be helped, it's hard to help them and I'm sure they really do want to be helped and it's gotta be extremely difficult! And a small percentage make it and live to tell their awesome recovery story and we all hope that that's gonna be our child. I feel the focus for the future of this epidemic is to get through to our children now, who are not users. Before they try it. To really educate if possible. I believe it would be maybe easier to prevent it, then to cure it. I have a third child who is 19 years old and he is the youngest. He is 8 years younger then my middle son. He has watched all the awful things his siblings have gone through over drugs over the years and he has his own issues that surely would have caused him to experiment with drugs and didn't. When he was 14 he had major surgery where they put a bar in his chest to raise his sternum and rib cage and they put him on morphine and he didn't want it, so the doctor really felt he needed pain meds though, so changed it to vicadin and when we went home, he wouldn't take them. He was in slit of pain but he refused. I couldn't force him. And a few months back, I had a hard time convincing him to come to the funeral but he did and he had a hard time and missed the burial the next morning cause he was complaining of medical issues and so his father took him, (Ashley's stepdad) so that I could make it to the burial and they diagnosed it as being anxiety.

So I can't help but wonder if him being raised with the knowledge and seeing what happened to his sister and how badly his brother suffers, even though he struggles himself with life, that he realizes drugs and alcohol aren't the answer to a better life. If anything good can come out of my daughters death, perhaps it was helping preventing her brother and her daughter and maybe others from ever trying it, cause it's easier for us to say "NO!" when we aren't already addicted to it. 

Thank you.

Ashley's Mom


If you would like to join one or several of our online Facebook support groups click here.  We have groups for those actively struggling with addiction or grief as well as groups for familiy members to join to understand the disease of addiction better.

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

Click here to submit your own memorial tribute.

#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 and window decals and more to support Heroin Support Inc, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit.    


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Dear Heroin: You Took My Only Nephew

I just lost my only nephew, aged 24, to alleged heroin overdose. What does one do with this kind of tragic waste? It’s further destroyed our family and driven even more wedges in dysfunctional family relationships, at least for me.

This kid was offered and availed himself of every resource - psychiatric interventions for his diagnosed mental illness, regular counseling, hospitalization for mental health (six stays in under two years), in patient programs, out patient programs, sober living and jobs - low wage and dead end admittedly.

None of it helped.

The current “treatment” models don’t work. Beyond the complication of addiction, These people - addicts - do not have the life skills necessary to survive, compete and be productive citizens in society.

I believe that anyone tagged due to illegal drug use needs to be offered either jail time OR a mandatory 3-year minimum lock down - with housing, Social and life skills, job and career training and a life plan put into place being provided. Two, three and 6-Week programs do little to nothing.

I personally feel that drug dealers who are caught and prosecuted for causing death should be jailed and then executed.

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Support Heroin Support on #GivingTuesday

Help Us Help Families In Need.
Our nonprofit Heroin Support tries to purchase and donate 2-3 urns per month at an average cost of $125 per urn.  We rely on donations and proceeds off the sales of our wristbands.


Support Heroin Support & Heroin Memorial on #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching up to $2 million of funds raised on Facebook for US nonprofits. Facebook is also waiving its fees for donations made to nonprofits on Facebook this #GivingTuesday.

Donations to Heroin Support made through Facebook’s charitable giving tools on November 28th will be matched up to $50,000 or $1,000 per individual fundraiser (see below!) or donate button, until the $2 million in matching funds run out. The match will begin at 7:00 a.m. CST.

There are many ways to take advantage of the matching funds and 'lend your face' to Heroin Support on Facebook. Here are some easy ways to get started:

Create a fundraiser!

To take advantage of the match on #GivingTuesday, complete a few easy steps:

  1. Visit Facebook.com/fundraisers, click “Raise Money,” and select Heroin Support from your list of nonprofits for your fundraiser.
  2. Determine the amount of money you'd like to raise forHeroin Support --donations will be matched up to $1,000 on #GivingTuesday. Next determine when you want your fundraiser to end. If you want to participate only on #Giving Tuesday, then select November 29, 2017.
  3. Tell your story. This is when you get to name your fundraiser and explain to family and friends why Heroin Support is important to you.
  4. Pick a cover photo.
Update Your Facebook Profile Picture to Show Support

Click here for our Heroin Memorial frame for your Facebook profile pic

      HeroinMemorail profile

Click here I Hate Heroin frame for your profile pic

      ihateheroin profile

Add a Donate Button

You can also support Heroin Support by adding a donate button to your Facebook post or live video.

  • Write a Post: Tag Heroin Support or add “#donate” to your post. You’ll see a prompt to add a donate button after you post.
  • Go Live: Tap “Live” at the top of your News Feed on mobile, and click “Add Donate Button” from the menu.

Click & Donate

Click here to goto Heroin Support’s Facebook page to donate directly

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Dear Addict Haters:


Dear Addict Haters:

Hello, you don’t know me but I am an addict. I am one of the “junkies” you love to bash whenever someone mentions addiction on social media or hear it in conversation. I know it’s hard to forgive the things we sometimes do because of our addiction, but I have a question for you. What is the worst thing you have ever done? Obviously, I won’t get an answer to this question but think about it. The thing that you hate that you did. You know, that one thing that not too many people even know about. Well, what if everyone knew about it? What if for the rest of your life you were labeled by that one act that you would erase in a second if you had the chance? That is what being an addict is like, kind of. Now, I don’t feel like being an addict is the worst thing a person can be or do. You, however, feel like it’s a terrible thing. Don’t get me wrong: If I could erase it from my life, I would. In an instant, it would be gone, but I don’t have that option. I can’t even do what you do and pretend that this thing I did didn’t happen. In order for me to ensure it never happens again, I have to work hard on making sure it doesn’t. If I don’t, my disease will tell me I can have a drink or do a line and not fall back into full-blown addiction, but I will.

Do you work hard to make sure your worst thing never happens again? Let me guess... you are thinking, Addiction is not a disease. It’s a choice. Right?
Yes, all addiction starts with a choice.

The same damn choice you made when you were young and hanging out with friends. You drank the same beer I drank. The same pot I smoked. You even tried the same line of white stuff someone put in front of you at a party. You were able to walk away and not take it to the extreme.

Since I have the disease, I will spend the rest of my life either struggling to stay high or fighting to stay clean.
As children, we don’t decide we would rather be an addict instead of a cop.

You don’t see children pretending that their dolls and stuffed animals are dope sick.

When is the last time you talked to a little girl who told you she couldn’t wait to grow up so she could turn tricks to feed the insatiable hunger of her drug addiction?

My sister didn’t tell me about her exciting plans to become homeless.

My dad, not one time, told my mother to think twice before marrying him because he had high hopes of becoming an angry drunk.

I damn sure didn’t blow out my candles as a child wishing for a substance abuse disorder because I couldn’t wait for the day my beautiful daughters were taken from me by CPS.

Nobody wants to have substance use disorder.

Some of us just do.

So always remember:

You made those same choices, too.

You just got lucky that it was me and not you.

If you still have doubts, you can take those up with the Center for Disease Control or the United States Surgeon General. They have classified addiction as a disease, but then again... I am sure you know more about it than they do, right?

I pray that you don’t have to reevaluate these opinions because you find out your child or parent is an addict. If you do, just know that we will accept you into our community. We will help your loved one. Do you know why we would do that? Because we are good people who just want the chance to live like everyone else.
So please, before you write another post bashing people who are suffering, think about it. Not only are you hurting the people who have the disease, you could be hurting everyone that loves them. You have people on your friends list or might overhear you at work who have children who are suffering right this moment from addiction. What did they do to deserve the awful things you put out into the universe that do nothing but perpetuate hate and judgment?

You have a right to your opinion. But no matter what, hurting people is wrong."

- Author Unknown


Mi-HOPE (Michigan HOPE)(Michigan HOPE) is a passionate group of individuals personally affected by the heroin, prescription and substance abuse epidemic in our state and in our communities.



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Do You Know What Heroin Addiction Is Really Like???


Hi, this is the first time I've put this all into writing. My name is John and I'm in love with a recovering addict. A little about me first. Just a short while ago those words would have been bizarre coming from me. I was a single dad (my son lives with me) he was 12 When i met her. I was an EMT for over 20 years with 3 OD /CPR saves under my belt, so clearly i knew what this whole addiction / sudo epidemic thing was all about (Ha, what a joke).

When I met her she was not an active addict. She told me that she had abused pills in the past but she got treated. Ok, so a "yellow" flag went up and was soon forgotten. Clearly she was cured. (Most of you are laughing right now) She owned her own home, car, was a single parent herself, had a great job (almost 6 figures). So, whatever had happened was clearly resolved. Besides, she was beautiful inside and out. The most gentle soul. Her favorite hobbies were crafting and sewing. We fell in love hard and fast. It wasn't long and she moved in with me. Her teenage son wanted nothing to do with this. This was a lot of uncertain change beyond his control. To me, it didn't seem like too big of a deal "we'll work it out". I said. I figured when you're in love, things will work out one way or the other. I was clueless and completely unprepared for what was about to happen.

She confided in a "less than" friend about some of the stresses she was dealing with, and knowing her past, offered her a synthetic pain killer that she didn't have to worry about getting addicted to. (Clearly more to this story, but that's not relevant right now). This went on for a short time before it was revealed that it was heroin. But, it was too late. She was hooked. Ashamed and hooked, she kept her secret hidden for a while. I knew something was off but, I just couldn't put my finger on it. She started missing work, she was gone strange hours, sleeping a lot, becoming distant in general. Of course not being able to pull one over on me, I figured it out. She must be cheating on me. Crying and full of shame she swore to me that's not what it was. Of course with no plausible explanation I didn't believe her.

(Pause: rewind... I'm an EMT. I recognize drug abuse from 100 feet away. I know the signs. I can tell you what people are abusing with pretty good accuracy. My spidy senses never kicked in.) Before long, she stopped coming home. But I didn't care. I was mad. Cheat on me will you? However, I was currently stuck with her 2 dogs, 2 cats, all of her belongings, and oh yeah.... Her teenage son. So, with her phone shut off, Not knowing exactly where she was....I emailed her. Boy did I let her have it. I laid it on thick. How dare she abandoned her responsibilities on me. All I got in response was "I'm sorry". That wasn't good enough by far. But, it wasn't the response I was expecting. I had been far too mean and sarcastic. It was dawning on me that something was askew. So the next email I changed my tone. I wanted to start a dialog. This time she responded. "I messed up. I'm hooked on heroin. The kind you inject. I'm so sorry. I love you".

What?! How? No! B.S!, confusion, denial anger. But, if that's true..... I missed the signs. I was all wrong. What do i do now? She made a bad decision, but she doesn't deserve to die for it. I know how to handle an overdose but I had no idea how to handle this.

My world was spinning out of control. I decided to immerse myself in this heroin addiction thing. What it was. What is heroin. How it works. Why it happens. How to fix it. I wanted a solid understanding of what it was. So I googled it. I went to forums for users, for addicts in recovery. I went to doctors and nurses. They had the same understanding about addiction that I did. (That's a huge part of the problem, the front line of the war on drugs doesn't understand what it really means to be addicted) keep in mind, something like 5 out of 7 opiate addicts started with doctor oversight. I talked to recovering addicts. Finally, some useful insight. I talked to active users. I listened to every word like they were my professor and I was cramming for finals. I talked to recovery counselors. (They are the first professionals in this battle that actually grasp the problem). I learned that quitting heroin is brutal. I'd come to see it first hand. The sweats, anxiety, mood swings, graduating to restless legs and arms. That's about the time electricity shoots through the bones. The excruciating pain. The grief, and shame. The insomnia and nausea. Desperately trying anything to bring relief. Truly believing that happiness may never be felt again. Sometimes feeling a loss hope. If a terrorist were subjected to this, it would be considered inhumane.

One thing kept coming to the forefront. This is their addiction. It will have to be their recovery. She needs to want it or it will all be for nothing. I can't force her. But don't count me out of the picture yet. I can learn how to be a healthy part of her recovery. How to encourage. How not to enable. How to draw the line in the sand and stick to it. I can go to meetings and learn the steps. Boy did that backfire. I'm not the addicted one but, apparently I needed to make some personal changes (before my flaws were pointed out, I was pretty sure I was close to prefect). I learned that some of my actions weren't healthy in this relationship and they couldn't continue. I had to do some deep soul searching be honest with myself. But, if she is willing to get help, I'll do it. Whatever it takes.

Finally weeks had gone by and I had been able to keep some dialog going through the emails. Several other events occurred in the meantime, but I'll save that for the movie, lol. Suffice it to say, the police may or may not have been involved and I may have made a few mistakes along the way. (Note: don't waste your time being vindictive to their supplier. It may feel good, but it takes away from the objective).

She finally said the words......"I'm in over my head. I need help but I'm scared". I told her "don't worry, I have a plan" and she said "ok". Well, That was music to my ears. Now i just had to come up with a plan. What i came up with was a good solid plan. Unfortunately it ended up requiring about 18 contingency plans. There were times when faith was thin (to put it mildly) on both sides. Ultimately in order to detox without her supplier walking and taking her out knowing she was still too vulnerable to resist and the staff taking the cavalier attitude of "well, that's what addicts do".

We decided to go out of state and detox in a motel room for two weeks. (Not highly recommended even though it worked for her. I can not stress enough that this is not for the faint of heart). It was nothing short of cruel. But, she was determined. She truly believed it was this or death. With the heroin out of her system. Clear headed (more than she had been in a while) We were able to get her into a very helpful inpatient program back home and drove straight there. This was not the end of the struggle by far. The battle continued for some time to come.

During this ordeal I watched her resolve herself to die rather than face the shame of what she'd done. I had her family members tell me things like "don't walk away from her.... run" , she's just being selfish, if she dies I'd like to have her photo albums. They turned their backs on her because she made her selfish decision. She hadn't done anything to them. Not borrowed money, not stolen, pawned or pilfered. Inconvenienced them in no way. But, because of the stigma, of this dark mysterious "H" word, turned their backs on her. Police made it clear that they will not go out on a limb for a junkie. Admitting that it was less of a liability to wait until they overdosed and just do the paperwork. The general consensus amongst first responders was "thats sad, I hope they get help but it's most likely a waste of time". A notable lack of compassion. And the ignorance in general (including myself until this and still learning) shows the need for education at every level of this battle.

Yes, initially this was a choice that your loved one made to take this drug. People need to understand that this drug gave the greatest, most euphoric feeling ever felt by your loved one. It allowed them to escape from the stress of everything. That is, until it didn't. And stopping means feeling the worst hell you never even imagined or spend a few dollars to get well enough to keep going. But, then it consumes you and spirals out of control ruining everything you were. It's a viscous cycle that takes an act of bravery and courage to face head on.

I didn't write this for those in recovery. They know this better than anyone like me could. That's the one group that is compassionate about heroin abuse and passionate about helping other addicts and those affected by addiction with their recovery. (Imagine that, the same people written off as waste by general society, are the most compassionate of all of them).

I wrote this for people like me, that just don't have a clue what the battle of heroin addiction really looks and feels like. What they can do to help. Where they fit into their loved one's recovery. To help break the stigma of this dark back alley hardcore drug to the #1 painkiller of the last 3000 years that it is, affecting every demographic in this country. And for loved one's to get an account of some of the things to expect as their loved one faces their journey into their recovery. And to give hope. Because, recovery does work. And as a family member affected by addiction. I'm here to tell you, not only did I survive. But, I'm stronger for it.

My loved one is now 3 years clean and we're planning our wedding now. I still come to this amazing support group of active users, those in recovery and parents for inspiration and guidance. (I suspect I always will). There's a lot of love and knowledge in these posts in this private group.

Best wishes

John Gold

Support our fundraising efforts here at Heroin Support by purchasing wristbands via our website or donating below.


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Brackets For Good Fundraiser


The tournament tips off Friday, February 24th at 8 pm

We’re in #BFG17! Find out how you can play and help Heroin Support win $10k! 

How to Donate (click here)

View Heroin Support Current Matchup (click here)

View the Entire Bracket (click here)

Q. What is Brackets For Good (aka “BFG”)?
A. Brackets For good is the sport for nonprofits. Inspired by college basketball brackets, Brackets For Good is a charitable, online fundraising tournament where up to 64 hand-selected, local nonprofits with a 501(c)3 status in good standing compete for donations while earning increased awareness along the way. All participating nonprofits have a chance at winning $10,000 unrestricted grant courtesy of the tournament’s presenting sponsor.

Q. How does it work?
A. Picture the annual college basketball tournament in March. Now, replace the teams with nonprofits. Organizations go head-to-head in a single elimination, bracket-style fundraising tournament at bfg.org. During each week-long round donors visit bfg.org, select the nonprofits they wish to support, and donate money to help them advance to the next round ($1 = 1 Point). At the end of each round the nonprofit with more points advances and the points reset.

Q. Who is Brackets For Good for?
A. Brackets For Good is designed to engage local philanthropists no matter if they are the CEO at a multi-billion dollar company, a director at a small nonprofit, a full-time mom, a local sports fanatic, or a young professional with new found disposable income. Brackets For Good is a platform for activating these like-minded individuals who want to support and continue the good-natured initiatives happening in their community.

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NKY/Cincinnati Companies that Will Consider Hiring You With a Criminal Record


The companies on the attached list have verified they will consider hiring someone who has a criminal record. If the entry says “assorted locations,” each location has their own policy, but the corporate position is positive. Each company has said they will review each applicant on a case-by-case basis. There may be restrictions. Be honest, and focus on the good things you have been doing. Stay positive and upbeat. If you dont get the job, do not become discouraged. Just keep applying and keep putting your best self forward. You will be successful, dont forget that.


Type of Work Company Address
Aerospace Manufacturing Boeing CGV Airport
Airline Support Delta Airlines CVG Airport
Airline Support United Airlines CVG
Apparel Printing SRO Printing (OH) Small Business
Assorted Careers.org (KY, OH, IN) Assorted Opportunities
Assorted Positions - Non-Profit Org. Salvation Army Assorted Locations
Assorted/Airport Allright Parking CVG 613 Petersburg Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Auto Mechanic Aamco Transmissions (Erlanger) 3210 Dixie Hwy., Erlanger, KY 41018
Auto Repair Midas Muffler Assorted Locations
Auto, Insulation, Roofing, Manufacturing Bridgestone (OH)(IN) Headquarters: 535 Marriott Dr., Nashville, TN 37214
Automotive Machining Black Maching & Technology 4020 Bach Buxton Rd., Batavia, OH 45103
Automotive/Tires - Need clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Ft Wright 476 Orphanage Rd., Ft. Wright, KY 41017
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Walton 620 Chestnut Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Newport 63 Carothers Rd., Newport, OH 41011
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumeral Tire Company (OH) 40 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Headquarters)
Aviation Manufacturing General Electric Aviation 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215
Bakery Busken Bakery Assorted Locations
Bakery Klosterman Baking Co. 4760 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45229
Batteries - Sales and Distribution Interstate Batteries Cincinnati, OH
Building Products Bridgestone (KY) 8170 Holton Dr., Florence, KY 41042
Car Care Firestone Complete Auto Care Assorted Locations
Car Rental Avis Rent A Car Assorted Locations
Car Rental Dollar Rent A Car 3114 Loomis Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Car Rental & Customer Service Budget Rent A Car 7107 Dixie Hwy., Florence, KY 41042
Chemical Company & Agriculture Research and Inventory DuPont (Seed Consultant's, Inc.) Seed Consultant's, Inc. 853 E. Washington St., Sabina, OH 45169
Cleaning Service Master Assorted Locations
Clothing Calvin Klein, Inc. Cincinnati Premium Outlet, 207 Premium Outlet Dr., Monroe, OH 45050
Clothing Nordstrom Assorted Locations
Commercial Printer RR Donnelley 7405 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Computer Technology Dell Cincinnati, OH 
Computer Technology IBM 250 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Customer Service & Maintenance Alamo Rent A Car 3230 Loomis Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Delivery DHL (Erlanger) 236 Wendell Ford Blvd., Erlanger, KY 41018
Delivery, Merchandising, Sales Dr. Pepper/Seven Up 1115 Regina Graeter Way, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Exterior Remodeling Arco Remodeling 876 Lebanon St., Monroe, OH 45050
Food Distribution Castellini 2 Plum St., Wilder, KY 41076
Food Distribution ConAgra Foods 7308 Central Park Blvd., Mason, OH 45040
Food Distribution US Foods 5445 Spellmire Dr., West Chester, OH 45246
Food Manufacturing General Mills 11301 Mosteller Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Food Manufacturing Grippos 6750 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45239
Food Processing Archer Daniels Midland Cincinnati, OH; Silver Grove, KY
Food Processing Hillshire Brands (Tyson/Sara Lee) 1099 Bob Huber Dr., Alexandria, KY 41001
Food Product Supplier Frito-Lay 3740 Turfway, Erlanger, OH 41018
Food Product Supplier Kraft Foods 8805 Governors Hill Dr., Loveland, OH 45140
Food Service Aramark (KY, OH, IN) 5 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Food Service Supply Chain Company McLane Food Services 3755 Langley Dr., Hebron, KY 41048
Food Service Warehouse Sysco 10510 Evandale Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Furniture Ashley Furniture 8040 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 41042
Garage Door Installation Overhead Door 9345 Princeton Glendale Rd., Hamilton, OH 45011
Gasoline Retail Pilot Flying J Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Shell Oil Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Speedway Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Sunoco Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Super America Assorted Locations
Gate and Fencing Installation and Service Automatic Gates Plus 10866 St. Rte. 744, Hamersville, OH 45130
General Contractor Paul Michel’s & Sons (Hebron) 1547 Youell Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
General Temporary Labor Cincinnati Temporary Labor 1109 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Thelen Associates, Inc. (Erlanger) 1398 Cox Rd., Erlanger, KY 41018
Grocery Retail Kroger Assorted Locations
Grocery Retail Trader Joe's 7788 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236
Hair Salon Great Clips Assorted Locations
Healthcare Products and Services Baxter International One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, IL 60015
Healthcare Services Talbot House 2600 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Home Goods Retail Ikea 9500 Ikea Way, West Chester, OH 45069
Hotel Embassy Suites Assorted Locations
Hotel Hampton Inn Assorted Locations
Hotel Hilton Hotels Assorted Locations
Hotel Howard Johnsons Assorted Locations
Hotel Marriott Assorted Locations
Hotel Radisson 668 W. 5th St., Covington, KY 41011
Hotel Red Roof Inn Assorted Locations
Hotel Wingate  by Wyndham Hotels 605 Viox Dr., Erlanger, KY 41018
Hotels Best Western (National) 6201 N. 24th Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Ice Cream Stores Dairy Queen Assorted Locations
Industrial Cintas (KY, OH) 3368 Turfway, Erlanger, KY 41018 or 418 Wilmer Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45226
Industrial Equipment Supplier W.W. Grainger 10075 Sam Neace Dr., Florence, KY 41042
Industrial Staffing Labor Works 2236 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206
Industrial Staffing TLC Staffing 1234 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011
Insurance Allstate Insurance Co. Assorted Agencies
Insurance Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204
IT CDW 9349 Waterstone Blvd., #150, Cincinnati, OH 45249
Labeling, Ribbons, Data Collection General Data Company, Inc. 4354 Ferguson Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Landscape and Supplies Service Evans Landscaping Assorted Locations
Lawn Care Oasis Turf & Tree 5339 Madison Pike, Independence, KY 41051
Logistics Verst Group Logistics 300 Shorland Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Logistics & Shipping Total Quality Logistics (TQL) 4289 Ivy Pointe Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Logistics & Transportation Advanced Transportation 1125 Glendale Milford Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45215
Machining Manufacturer Fives Machining 1780 Worldwide Blvd., Hebron, OH 41018
Machining Manufacturing Shawnee Systems 3616 Church St., Cincinnati, OH 45244
Maintenance, Administrative Xerox (OH, KY) 45 Glover Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06856-4505
Manufacturer Victory Industrial Products, Inc. 4600 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason, OH 45040
Manufacturing and Warehouse Packaging Unlimited of NKY 2251 Augustine St., Covington, KY 41014
Moving Nelson Markesbery Moving & Storage Allied Van Lines 7370 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Moving & Relocation Atlas Van Lines 9917 Charter Park Dr., West Chester, OH 45069
Moving, Customer Service U-Haul Assorted Locations
Office Supply Staples Assorted Locations
Ohio River Marine Work C.B. Marine 50 E. Rivercenter Blvd., #1180, Covington, KY 41011
Oil, Car Care Jiffy Lube Assorted Locations
Packaging Ampac Packaging LLC (Pro Ampac) 12025 Tricon Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246
Paper & Pre- Printing Facility International Paper 380 Shorland Dr.,Walton, KY 41094
Paper and Wallboard Manufacturing Continental Building Supplies 5145 Mary Ingles Hwy., Silver Grove, KY 41085
Paper Manufacturing Georgia-Pacific 9048 Port Union Rialto Rd., West Chester, OH 45069
Pet Store PetSmart Assorted Locations
Pickled  Foods and Salad Dressings Kaiser Foods 500 York St., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Pizzeria Domino's Pizza Assorted Locations
Pizzeria Donato’s Assorted Locations
Plastic Fabrication Plastic Moldings 2181 Grand Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Plumbing Whitt Plumbing Co. 1152 Ferris Rd., Amelia, OH 45102
Polymer Container Manufacturer Dart Polymers 2400 Harbor Rd., Owensboro, KY 42301
Precision Textile Braiding (Machining) A&P Technology 4595 E. Tech Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Printers AllScreen 1218 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Printing and Graphics Multi Color Corp. 4053 Clough Woods Rd., Batavia, OH 45103
Produce Warehouse Crossett 10295 Toebben Dr., Independence, KY 41051
Product Market and Distribution Club Chef 3776 Lake Park Dr., Covington, KY 41017
Production, IT Caterpillar, Inc. Assorted Locations
Property Management General Growth Properties 2028 Florence Mall, Florence, KY 41042
Real Estate Coldwell Banker Assorted Locations
Recording, Imaging, Manufacturing, Sales Fuji Film 1650 Magnolia Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45215
Residential Living Support, Non-Profit Support Volunteers of America 700 W. Pete Rose Way, #335, Cincinnati, OH 45203
Restaurant Applebee's 7833 Turfway Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Restaurant Arby's Assorted Restaurants
Restaurant Baskin Robbins 130 Royall St., Canton, MA 02021
Restaurant Bistro Group, Inc. (National) 5803 Mariemont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227
Restaurant Bob Evans Assorted Locations
Restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings (KY, OH, IN) 5500 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Restaurant Burger King Assorted Locations
Restaurant Campbell's Foodservice Headquarters: Campbell's Soup Company, Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103
Restaurant Captain D's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Chick-fil-A (KY) 5200 Buffington Rd., Atlanta, GA 30349
Restaurant Chili's (KY, OH) 6820 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75240
Restaurant Chipotle (KY, OH) 1401 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202
Restaurant Denny's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Dunkin Donuts Assorted Locations
Restaurant Frisch's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Golden Corral Assorted Locations
Restaurant IHOP Assorted Locations
Restaurant Jimmy Johns Assorted Locations
Restaurant KFC Assorted Locations
Restaurant Lee's Famous Recipe Assorted Locations
Restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse Assorted Locations
Restaurant Max & Erma's Assorted Locations
Restaurant McDonalds Assorted Locations
Restaurant Montgomery Inn Assorted Locations
Restaurant O'Charleys Assorted Locations
Restaurant Olive Garden Assorted Locations
Restaurant Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen 11975 Northwest Blvd., Springdale, OH 45246
Restaurant Perkins Assorted Locations
Restaurant Ponderosa 8053 Holiday Place, Florence, KY 41042
Restaurant Rally's Hamburger Assorted Locations
Restaurant Red Lobster Assorted Locations
Restaurant Red Robin Assorted Locations
Restaurant Ruby Tuesday Assorted Locations
Restaurant Season 52 3819 Edwards Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45209
Restaurant Subway Assorted Locations
Restaurant Wendy's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Yard House 95 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Restaurant Supplier Restaurant Depot 4501 W, Mitchell Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45232
Retail Ace Hardware (Independence) 2136 Declaration Dr., Independence, KY 41051
Retail Bed, Bath, Beyond 2757 Town Center Blvd., Crestview Hills, KY 41017
Retail Dollar Tree Assorted Locations
Retail Family Dollar Assorted Locations
Retail HH Gregg 7601 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Retail Home Depot Assorted Locations
Retail K-Mart Assorted Locations
Retail Kohl’s Assorted Locations
Retail Lowe's Assorted Locations
Retail Macy's Assorted Locations
Retail Meijer's Assorted Locations
Retail Men's Warehouse 7623 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Retail Sears Assorted Locations
Retail Target Assorted Locations
Retail Toys "R" Us Assorted Locations
Retail Wal-Mart Assorted Locations
Retail, Assorted Goodwill Cincinnati 10600 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45215
Retail/Distribution Walgreens Assorted Locations
Risk Management & Consulting Aon Hewitt Corporation 250 E. 5th, #2300, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Risk Management & Consulting Arthur J. Gallaher & Co. 1 West 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Roofing Holland Roofing of Cincinnati, Inc. (Florence) 7450 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Sales Apple, Inc. 7875 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236 (Kenwood Town Mall)
Sales Campbell's Soup Headquarters: Campbell's Soup Company, Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103
Sales and Support Delta Faucet Co. 55 E. 111th, Indianapolis, IN 46280
Sales Contractor Avon Products 777 Third Ave., New York, NY 1007
Sales Representative American Greetings (National Jobs) One American Rd., Cleveland, OH 44144-2398
Salvage Yard VanDemark 2129 OH-125, Amelia, OH 45102
Sheet Metal Sheet Metal Workers International 15789 Summit E. Ct., #106, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Shipping Company, Printing, Office Support Federal Express Assorted Locations
Sports Auxiliary Assist NFL Paul Brown Stadium
Staffing Agency Advantage Staffing 2337 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent  Springs, KY 410147
Staffing Agency CM Personnel Temp Agency 3025 Dixie Highway, #107, Edgewood, KY 41017
Staffing Agency Crown Services, Inc. 8140 Dream St., Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Eastern Personnel 340 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Staffing Agency Express Pros Staffing Agency 8459 U.S. 42, Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Indeed Employment Agency Assorted Locations
Staffing Agency Kelly Services, Inc. 7300 Turfway, Suite 140, Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Minute Men, Inc. 6600 Dixie Highway, Suite W, Fairfield, OH 45014
Staffing Agency Trustaff Personnel 7106 Turfway, Florence, KY 41042
Telecommunication Sales and Service AT&T (KY, OH) 150 E. Gay St., Columbus, OH 43215
Telecommunication Sales and Service Sprint Corp. Assorted Locations
Telecommunication Sales and Service Verizon Assorted Locations
Temporary Agency Belcan Corp. (IN, OH) 10200 Anderson Way, Cincinnati, OH 45242
Temporary Agency Simply Hired Employment Agency (on-line) Assorted Locations
Temporary Agency Staffmark Temporary Agency 8166 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Tires BF Goodrich P.O. Box 19001, Greenville, SC 29602
Tires Dunlop Tires (Goodyear) Assorted Locations
Tobacco Company Phillip Morris, Inc. International Company
Transportation and Support Personnel Greyhound 1005 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Transportation and Support Personnel J.B. Hunt Transport Cincinnati, OH
Travel American Express 5806 Wooster Pike, #200, Cincinnati, OH 45227
Ventilating & Manufacturing Trentec, Inc. (Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Corp.) 4600 E. Tech Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Warehouse G&J Pepsi-Cola Warehouse 3081 Kentronics Dr., Owensboro, KY 42301
Warehouse Levi Strauss 3750 N. Bend Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Warehouse Merchants Cold Storage 240 Shorland Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 1374 Bryan Griffin Rd., Alexandria, KY 41001
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 5535 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45217
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 3800 Struble Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45251
Water Route Delivery Deer Park Spring Water (Nestle Waters) 900 Long Ridge Rd., Bldg. 2, Stamford, CT 06902
Welding Supplies Praxair 2121 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Windows Installation & Repair Renewal by Anderson Windows 11785 Highway Dr. #200, Cincinnati, OH 45241
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Dear Mom - Thank You For Not Giving Up On Me.

A while back, someone posted about finding her daughter in a seedy motel and she gave her a phone and asked her to text every once and a while.  I have been looking for it because I want to tell that person that after reading the post, I went and wrote a letter to my mom but there are so many posts.... I have been trying to mend a very broken relationship with my family. Something about that post really got to me and I NEEDED my mother to know that I loved her.

So I wrote her a letter below and I want to share it with you all. It's taken me a while to share this because it makes me very emotional but I feel that there are mothers out there, suffering and maybe this will give you some hope. So here it is:


Dear Mom,

I follow this group on Facebook called "Heroin Support". Anyone who has been touched by the heroin epidemic is invited to share their story. This group is the best thing ever for someone in recovery. I get a whole lot of support and reminders as to why it is so important to keep moving forward. Today, a mother of an addict shared this:

"Was a rough night. Found my daughter at a seedy hotel after not seeing or talking to her for over a month and a half. I didn't try to have her come with me or lecture her on coming clean. I handed her a bottle of Narcan and a phone. I told her to keep it on her at all times and asked if she'd send a text every once in awhile to let me know she's alive. I gave her hug, let her know I loved her and walked away, not knowing if that's the last hug I will ever get. Feeling heartbroken tonight. "

It made me Sob uncontrollably. It made me think of you. I know I have put you through hell. It's not something I feel good about and every time I mess up, I know it's you I hurt the most. The problem is, I have this disease called addiction. The most misunderstood of all the mental and physical disorders combined. I do not JUST choose to use and make bad choices. It's like a darkness that overcomes you. It is a chronic illness in the brain that will never ever go away. In it's simplest terms, it is defined:

"Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works."

I can tell you, regardless of how long I have sober, not a day goes by where I do not think about it. Not a day goes by where I am not reminded of the wreckage I have caused because of my addiction. One of the hardest parts about getting sober was looking back and owning up to the horrendous path of destruction I had caused, not just in my own life but, my family and friends as well.

While you may, never in your life understand what I have been through, my behaviors or my actions; just as I may never understand the some of yours, I have hope that you will consider 2 things:

1. I love you. I love you more than words and feelings can even emote. You are my mother. Mom. Mommy. Momo. No one in this world holds that title but you and the saying blood is thicker than water holds absolutely no meaning to me. I believe you chose me. You didn't just have a child, you picked a child. Not just any child, me. You picked me. If that is not love then I have no words for anything else.
Unfortunately, there is a genetic component here that makes me physically different than you. It took me a long time to understand that and, why it had such an effect on our relationship. Not to mention the generational gap. Regardless of my make up, genetic history and potential risks, you still adopted me and loved me as I was your own. You did a good job mom. You instilled a lot of values that have made up who I am and, believe it or not, kept me out of a lot of trouble. I know I was hard on you. I am sorry you are nothing but perfect as a mother and even more so, a grandmother.

2. I need you to remember, this is a chronic illness of the brain. Even in sobriety, an addicts habits may rear their ugly head. I am not perfect but I am trying so hard. It may not seem like it to you and dad but you have to see that what I do in my life and where I am is such an accomplishment for me because I did not think I would even make it to 18. I thought I would just die. To have been through what I have, to have over come my worst, its something of a miracle to me. i would not change a thing because everything I have been through was something I needed to do to find myself. I have worked on myself harder than I ever thought possible and I was doubted by myself and everyone around me a the entire way. It will be a lifetime of fighting and I am okay with that. Just like anyone would fight a life long disease, there is going to be mishaps along the way. But no matter what, I have many things to fight for now. I don't want to give that away.

So as I close, I want you to know that for every mistake I have ever made, you were there. When I fell, you showed me how to get back up. When I got lost, you gave me the tools to find my way. And when I got sick, you stood by my side and showed me the meaning of strength and getting well. I am a better person because you showed me how to be. I know how to love because you gave that love to me.

I know how to be a mother because the woman who raised me showed me that the word "mother" actually means unconditional love.

I just want to say thank you. Thank you for never giving up on me. No matter what I put you through, all you had was love.

Love always and forever.

Your daughter.

Charlie Elizabeth - Oakland, CA
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Alexandria, Ky - "Angel Program" - Volunteers Helping Those Who Are Struggling With Addiction

Alexandria ACTS Flyer

What is the Alexandria, Kentucky Angel Program?

Beginning October 1, 2016, any person who enters the Alexandria Police Department and requests help with their addiction to opiates will be immediately screened into our Angel Program for placement in a local treatment facility. As a police-led and volunteer supported initiative, officers will connect people with substance use disorders to treatment options in the community, while volunteer “Angels” support participants during the intake process.

Moreover, officers will dispose of any drugs or drug equipment in the participant’s possession and not charge them with a crime. Ultimately, our goal is to connect participants to local, state, or out-of-state treatment facilities which provide an appropriate continuum of care based on the participant’s needs.

The Angel Program Origins
Massachusetts began the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative in June 2015. One year since inception, Gloucester has referred more than 450 people into treatment and shown a 33% reduction in property crime rates.

The success of the program and widespread need for new solutions to the heroin epidemic led to the development of Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a non-profit organization that provides support for police agencies launching similar programs and networking with nationwide treatment centers.

Reasons for Change
The City of Alexandria and Northern Kentucky has been strongly impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic. According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy 2015 Overdose Fatality Report, Campbell, Boone and Kenton Counties have had a high rate of overdose deaths due to illicit and/or prescription drugs that were inflicted intentionally or unintentionally including heroin and Fentanyl.

Kentucky Resident Drug Overdose Deaths 2014-2015 (Source: http://odcp.ky.gov/)
(These deaths represent overdoses by illicit and/or prescription drugs that were inflicted intentionally or unintentionally)
Campbell County - 176 deaths (45 from heroin)
Boone County - 180 deaths (23 from heroin)
Kenton County - 307 deaths (72 from heroin)

KyOverdoseDeaths2014 2015

Overall, drug-related crime, public health issues, and overdoses in our community have pushed our police to develop innovative programs to address this crisis. We wanted to implement a program with proven success at reducing drug-related crime and removing barriers to treatment.

Alexandria's Dedication to Drug Enforcement
The Alexandria Police Department is strongly dedicated to bringing justice to drug dealers and suppliers in our city. While we will continue to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers to the highest extent, this program aims to reduce their clientele by minimizing the stigma of addiction and removing barriers to recovery. The Alexandria Police Department will be a safe place for those who are ready to for help with their addiction.

Angel Program Walk-In-Hours at the Alexandria Police Station
Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

For more information on our Addiction Community Training & Support (ACTS) and Angel Program, please contact:
Kelly Pompilio, MSW
Police Social Worker
City of Alexandria
8236 West Main Street
Alexandria, KY 41001
Ph. 859-448-2807
fax. 859-635-4123
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Why Did I Get Out and Not You???


We met at 16 years old. That was over 13 years ago, Mike. You reminded me of that all the time. You would say, “You have put up with you for 13 years and you will have to put up with you forever, whether you like it or not.” You would say that whenever I got mad or said how annoying you were. I loved you so quickly, we have had our ups and downs, but God always brought us back to each other. There had to be a reason. You saved me in more ways than one, and I will forever be grateful for that. Our addiction took hold and turned both of us ugly. But I still loved you and you loved me. You never let anyone speak ill of me and I would defend you no matter what you did to make me mad. We made it through things that other people would have walked away from without even thinking about it. You are my soul mate Mike, and anyone who knows us knows that.

We had a baby, he has your middle name. He acts JUST like you. Then there was another little man added to our family. You did not have to take him under your wing, but you wanted to. He has your attitude as well. And they both have your joy. You were there sense they were in my belly, and you always had candy for me to keep me happy, even when I was not pregnant. They love you more than anything in this world. But we were addicts


I had to get clean for them, so I moved away. After a few attempts, I got this whole sobriety thing. But I still enabled you. Maybe if I did not enable you, things would be different. But it is too late now. I had the ability to leave the environment of addiction, you did not. It was much harder for you because you were deeper in the addiction and did not have the love and support I had. You finally got it together and I trusted you to have the boys for weeks at a time. They never wanted to come home with me. It was always a fight. That is how much they love you, Mike. You have always been a damn good daddy to them and that will be the way that you will be remembered. You had your demons, but they never came before your kids. People who have not been under the hold of heroin will never understand. It starts as a choice, but it ends with a never-ending need to get that next fix to be able to get out of bed. I will NEVER see you as a bad person, I will see you as a sick person who wanted help. You wanted to get better for the boys. You talked about it and about how proud you were of me for all I do for the boys and how I will go on to help other people suffering from addiction. Why couldn’t I save you? You were the one person I would do anything to save. I love you, Mike. I always have and always will.

I always told you how much I wanted you to stop using and kept lecturing you on what you were doing wrong. I did not acknowledge how hard you were trying to do the right thing. I am sorry for that; those feelings of guilt will forever be with me. I was impatient with you the night before when we were on the phone. I told you I loved you, did you even hear me? I am not sure you did, but I pray that you did. I am sorry we did not call you back. I am sorry I did not call earlier in the morning when I had that uneasy feeling. Maybe I could have called in time to save you. Maybe my four-year-old never would have had to tell me, while I am two hours away, that “Daddy won’t wake up”, “I can’t get him to wake up Mommy”. That phone call is going to be with me forever. Why did this have to happen??? How are we supposed to go on without you??? I need to be able to say goodbye and get the picture of you on the floor out of my head. So does our youngest boy. He cries when I mention you. We are lost without you, Mike.


You were so excited to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. The boys were going to come up and you invited me to eat with you guys. You were my best friend, but I never told you enough because I was always so busy. I thought you would always be here for me to talk to tomorrow. The only way I will hear your voice is on the voicemail’s that I have saved on my phone. WHY????? Why did I get out and not you? Why was I the one who has to live without you? I do not have any clue how I am going to raise our two amazing, handsome, loving, caring, and rambunctious little boys alone. They need their daddy. I know you will always be here, but you won’t be HERE. I took you for granted. But I will never let your memory be ruined by people who have not felt the pain I am feeling or have never experienced addiction themselves or through a loved one. They mean nothing to me. They do not know you like I know you. They do not know the huge heart that you had. When you had no home and you still made sure I had gas money to bring the boys up to visit. Every addict is selfish, but you were selfless.

You love myself and our boys more than you loved yourself. I wish you loved yourself more and seen what an amazing man you are. I still cannot speak of you in the past tense. This is not real. I am so sad and angry at the same time. I need to say goodbye, I need to see that you are okay, I need the boys to grow up with you in their hearts. I PROMISE you that they will have nothing but happy thoughts of you. I will talk to you every night and I will remember all the good times we have had together. I love you and so do our (not so baby) boys. Please watch over us Mike. We need you, every day. We had so much we wanted to accomplish. We may not have been together, but you were my person. You will always be my person. I love you and I wish we had the happy ending with marriage and a little girl we always dreamed of. I will forever cherish the family we did have together, because I will always have two mini Mike’s running around my house driving me crazy just like you taught them. <3

The family has put together a fundraising below to help with the $1,700 for a low cost cremation and viewing by immediate family. 

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Heaven Sent: Free Memorial Blanket for Children Who Lost a Loved One.

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Our Heaven Sent program aims to comfort children who are grieving the loss of a loved one with a heartening gift sent from Heaven. We send each child a blanket personalized with photos of their loved one and any special message that was important between the two of them. While we do this throughout the whole year, and will continue to do so…

Right Now, we are announcing a spectacular Christmas Giveaway... We are targeting children who have lost a loved one due to addiction. We will be sending out 200 blankets in time for Christmas to the first 200 children that someone nominates to receive a Heaven Sent blanket by filling out the form on our website. The link is attached below. Please feel free to share with someone you know that has a child that could use a gift from heaven. We will let those who are the first 200 recipients know they will receive a blanket with an email confirmation. If we exceed that number, we will keep a wait-list to fulfill as we can throughout the year.

blank3   blank5 

Visit their website to inquire about receiving a free memorial blanket for your child.  You can also visit their Facebook page.

Anyone wishes to donate to this cause to keep the free blankets coming can do so by clicking here.


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Recovery Is The Only Way For Me Now


Alot of people ask me about being an addict and my personal recovery so I wanted to share my story with everyone and show you my reasons why recovery is the only way for me. Warning Lol its long...

I was content living in the small town I grew up in. Had a "normal" childhood, other than my parent's divorcing at age 6. I am the youngest of their 3 children, each of us 10-12 years apart. My brother and sister say they all used to do "family things" together and have fond memories. I cant remember all of us being together other than our mommas passing in 2014.

Our father was always strict but at a very young age I learned how to manipulate him through the guilt he carried for not being able to give me the "family structure" he gave my siblings. So growing up, I knew I could get away with things my brother and sister couldn't. Sadly, I used it to fill every ounce of my addiction as an adult as well..

(It's taken me 40 years to figure that out)

Being blessed with a supportive family allowed me to finish school as a single mother, eventually working in the medical field. I was young, responsible, never got into trouble, had a healthy, beautiful curley haired baby girl, a great carrear working for the mayor who was also a practicing Physician. I was overall happy, just living my life.

I got sick one day, I thought it was just allergies but it turned out to be a bronchial infection and working with doctors, it was easy to get a prescription. I assumed I'd just get a simple antibiotic, wasn't expecting any cough syrup and daym sure didn't think the cough syrup had any opiates in it!

I had messed with weed and alcohol when I partied but never anything beyond that. I will never forget that feeling of euphoria. It was an out of body experience for me, every good feeling combined into one quick swigg.

If the heavens air, walking on clouds, flying with angels and sweet adrenaline were all put together in one bottle, this was it for me..

"Sippin syrup" became my daily routine and was too easy for me to get my hands on working where I did so that bottle followed me everywhere for three years until I found out I was pregnant with my second child. It was finally time to quit. Easy, I thought but nope, I was so wrong..

Ashamed and full of guilt, I continued "syruping" until I was four months along. I assumed I'd tell my obgyn and he'd just give me something to make this easy or tell me it was ok...

Once again, I was so wrong...
He told me that I had to start taking methadone.  I knew what methadone was and I told the Dr he was out of his mind because I was far from a junkie! 

My sister was with me and I remember leaving the room, crying, very upset. She followed me outside and told me I was selfish..
5 months later my Prince arrived, he was perfectly beautiful and my memories of his birth would be the same if we hadnt had to stay an extended 14 days. All I could do was hold him, rock him, Love on him and gently rub his tiny hairy ears while he went through methadone withdraws.

He's a fighter and he got through that just fine. Healthy and happy. My son is one of the strongest people I know so it was my turn to be strong and quit taking methadone..

Yep, wrong again because I couldn't just stop. I tried..... Several, several times.

A "friend" suggested heroin because I was very sick withdrawling from methadone cold turkey and conveniently he had heroin.
7 inpatient/ outpatient treatment facilities, 3 suboxone clinics, 4 arrests, 1 convicted felony charge, hepatitis c, 2 overdoses, 21 days in acoma and almost 15 years later, I'm still alive and have not used in over two years..

Today I am 40, my Queen is 20. Despite everything I put her through, she is the epitome of what a real woman should be and continues to make me proud daily. My Prince is 12. Comedian at best but he's also a gifted dancer who keeps me on my toes. Both beautuful inside and out. To be a child of an addict is a completely different story and a story of their own so I won't speak for them.

We all lost 13+ years to MY drug addiction which is heartbreaking considering they never touched a drug a day in their lives.
Not gunna lie, even in recovery there's times I want to 'check out', either through drugs or death but I already took away their childhood so I have to be here for their future

I realize I am beyond blessed and there's no greater gift in recovery than my kids just wanting to finally be around me, their Momma.

I choose recovery because I am worthy of recovery and I want to be remembered as the mother of two people who changed the world NOT as a hopeless junkie of two kids.

Liz Rosas


Click Here to checkout our wristbands we have for sale.   Below are just a few samples of what we have for sale.

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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



 #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.   

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Heroin - The Plague

Heroin the Plaque

The Plague
By Michele N.

There is a new plague in town
It's spreading all around

It does not discriminate
All we can do is educate

This affects more lives than we know
This epidemic continues to grow

Doesn't matter your gender or the color of your skin
Doesn't care what kind of house you live in

It kills women, it kills men
Doesn't matter whether you've got a million bucks or only ten

Here are some symptoms and signs
Maybe you can stop it in time

You might lose a lot of weight
Friends and family you will alienate

If you see marks on your arms
I hope that will set off some alarms

There won't be any money in your pocket
But to get a fix, you'd sell your grandmother's locket

You'll be too sick to work
You'll start acting like a jerk

You'll spend a lot of time in your car
Driving around, there isn't anywhere too far

You'll nod off and say you're just tired
Or you might be feeling a little wired

You'll have moods that go from high to low
Your list of enemies might start to grow

You're dependency will get so strong
You'll insist your ok, that everyone's wrong

You might take extended trips
Only lies will leave your lips

You won't want to hurt them, but you will
All because of some powder or pill

You'll make your mother cry
She will start to wonder why

She will say you were such a great kid
She will think it was something she did

No one will be able to count on you
Those who stick around will be few

Once in awhile they will see the old you
Even if it's only a glimpse or two

That's the person they dearly love
The person they hope will rise above

You will walk a dark and lonely path
You will feel the devil's wrath

You'll make friends with a needle and spoon
And spend most of your time alone in your room

You'll find a new use for that leather belt
You'll use your lighter to make the venom melt

You will spend time in rehab or jail
This all begins with one little sale

If this sounds like you, please heed this warning
Before it's too late and your family is mourning

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