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

Shop our wristband fundraiser at Shop.HeroinSupport.org



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My First Christmas In Heaven

My First Christmas In Heaven

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,
Reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
Please wipe away that tear.
For I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs,
That people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare,
With the Christmas choir up here.

For I have no words to tell you,
The joy their voices bring.
For it is beyond description,
To hear an angel sing.

I can’t tell you of the splendor,
Or the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas,
With our Savior, face to face?

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,
As I tell Him of your love;
So then pray for one another,
As you lift your eyes above.

Please let your heart be joyful,
And let your spirit sing.
For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,
And I’m walking with the King!

I know how much you miss me;
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I’m not so far away,
We really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift
From my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory
Of my undying love.

After all “love” is the gift,
More precious than pure gold.
It was always most important
In the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other
As my Father said to do,
For I can’t count the blessings
Or the love He has for you.

So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear.
Remember I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year!

by Wanda Bencke

#HeroinMemorial  #AskMeAboutMyAngel



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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.

More Children Need Wrapped in Love Small

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.

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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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Overdose... the Reality of Finding Your Loved One Gone


Adam Lee Sparenblek

I lived in fear that what happened one year ago today could or would happen. Addiction is real. There's so much shame and guilt around it. I hope our generation and future generations change that...a last letter, journal entry, to Adam. The boys & I love & miss you to the end, every day...

I remember seeing you face down and lifeless. And I remember what it did to me, how my knees buckled effortlessly. Kneeling at your side, begging God to bring you back. I knew it was too late. I knew only a miracle could bring you back. It felt like I had just jumped off a cliff, free falling. Sheer terror. Our 5 year old had brought me to you, waiting for me at the back door to get home from work. He was talking in a panic, wanting to take me to you quickly.

I initiated CPR as I screamed for God, sobbing over your lifeless body. I've never given chest compressions before, even after years of being a nurse at the hospital. And there I was, counting compressions on my husband while our son stood at your side. When I let the officers and paramedics inside I collapsed to my knees again. Screaming in prayer. Every time I looked up at the police officer to see if my miracle was granted, pleading with them to work harder to find a pulse, I was stabbed with the unbearable realization again when I would see the officer nod his head, no...no pulse. More minutes would pass and more silence and nods from officers that didn't want to look at me, that didn't know what to say - you weren't coming back. I was removed from the house while they carried you out. The coroner came to see me almost immediately. Already asking questions. They actually do that - they actually make a person answer questions in the same hour after finding their loved one deceased. All along I couldn't even comprehend the last hour, I had just talked to you on the phone 8 hours prior. We just said I love you. I received your text 5 hours before. Is this even real life?? You're really gone?? Just like that. All those who loved you, their lives turned upside down. How does this even happen, how does such a deadly drug exist in our world, and it's actually sought after. In the blink of an eye, one decision to feel a high, took you to your resting place. It didn't have to happen, it just feels so senseless...


For days I didn't go upstairs. Every walk up those stairs is a reminder of your last breath taken. The morning of October 24th is forever etched in my memory. It crippled everything inside me. To see your arms a shade of white and streaks of blue that told me in a split second, my best friend, my partner in life, the father of my children, is gone. When I rolled you over, you were already stiff. Your face was so incredibly swollen and bruised, a dark blue and purple. Was it even you? Was this even real... vomit was all around you, your mouth still full. I screamed for you to move. I screamed for Jesus. I pounded on your chest. No God, NO!! You're not f*cking doing this to me! Don't tell me our son is standing here next to his dead father. His daddy. Give him back. Don't take him. NO GOD, NO.

You didn't come back. God wasn't there. And for a long time, I questioned if He even exists. I bargained. Take me. F*cking TAKE ME. Bring my husband back and f*cking take me God Damnit. Strike me dead, torture me. Put me through the fires of hell, just bring him back. Give him back to the boys. Give him back to his parents. Give him back to his best friend, Mike. Give him back to us.

I was empty and lifeless. I could only hear the sound of my soul screaming until the mother of your first born knelt down in the grass beside me. I'll never forget us holding each other while they put you down into the ground, to your final resting place. "Is this really it?" she said. We became bonded in the sons we share with you, bonded in the tears we mourned together over your loss. Reality. Painful reality.

The days, week & months moving forward I was numb. I was in shock. Just going through motions. I wanted to see you again. I wanted to have a last conversation with you. I wasn't ready to let you go. I toyed with the idea of suicide. I toyed with the idea of making myself overdose in the same spot you did. My mind took me to places and thoughts I didn't know were possible. I wanted answers. I wanted to know...I wanted to know what high is so great to risk your own life. Drinking myself to sleep for the first couple months, I wondered if I too would become an addict. Somehow through those days, I clung to our boys, someone has to be there for them. Someone has to tell them and raise them to know you, to keep your memory alive. And that someone was going to have to be me. Alone. Not how we had planned this babe. It was you & me, raising our little men. We were supposed to watch them grow together.


Oddly enough, we had some deep conversations that week. We had reconciled and were living happily as a family again. Our ups and downs the past year had tested us, questioned our commitment to one another. It had me thinking, I wanted validation that our great week was going to last. We were in the kitchen hugging, and I looked at you, "Promise me, promise me we will be together forever? In this life and in the next? Promise me wherever we go after this life, that we won't stop until we find each other?" "I promise you." If I can thank God for anything, it's for that week. It's for that moment. It's for our last dinner as a family that Thursday night. It's for hearing boo say the prayer that night at the dinner table. It's for the spider that was in the hallway that made me scream and us all laugh when I made you get it because mommy doesn't do spiders. God, do I miss you beeb.
The countless days, nights & car rides home I have cried over the loss of you. Mostly for our boys. All three of them. The life they will lead without you by their side. Their sporting events and games. Their first prom. Their first time driving a car. Their graduation from high school, from college. Their wedding day. Making you a grandpa. The future grandchildren you'll have that won't get to know you. Won't get to be spoiled by you. Laugh with you. I just can not.

I cry for myself. For what could have been. For not being able to call you every night after work, to ask how you and the boys are and our plans for dinner. For what was in our greatest moments and memories. Watching the boys do amazing things together - smiling at each other knowing what we created. Amazing sons. For songs we sang to one another, for inside jokes only we knew about, for late night conversations confiding in one another. For our marriage - our bond - that continued to draw us to one another through our ups and downs, as we had many.
For your best friend, Mike. For your brothers, for your sister. For seeing grown men cry. For your parents, heartbroken with tears streaming down their faces over the loss of their first born. For watching your siblings carry you in a casket...some of them still in their 20s. For having to embrace the man that stood by your side at our wedding and tell him you're gone. The both of you spoke 5 different times that Friday...making plans for the four of us to all go out Saturday night. Amanda, Mike & I have been left to grieve the date night that never happened. The laughs and fun we would have had but didn't. The two of them have been the most loyal friends to you - even in death. They have been here for the boys & I and have not fallen short of honoring you the best way anyone could - through their love and care of your boys.

You are missed. You are loved. You are thought of daily, hourly. You took a part of me with you. And you've gifted me w the very best parts of you - your heart continues to beat in the boys you've blessed Jayme & I with. Thank you, beeb. Thank you for our boys, our memories, and for our journey - I'm grateful you chose to spend and share your love & life with me. I look forward to the day I see you again. Until then, rest in peace my love, know that you are forgiven & know that you are my sunshine, my only sunshine...tap 6 times.

Written by Adam wife - Sherry Sparenblek


Below is the last picture of Adam...
a selfie he sent me less than 24 hours before he passed 


Addiction is real. It's not a choice it's a disease. They choose to use in the beginning, yes, but after that it becomes an illness. A disease. No one would choose to overdose, be revived, and overdose again the next day. If anything that goes to show how strong of a hold heroin has on people. The chemical changes in the brain that happen and become permanent.

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

Click here to submit your own memorial tribute.

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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"True is Hard" - A Poem From Her Son Who Struggled With Addiction.



True Is Hard

How can you not see what I truly am I never wanted all this pain to be part of the plan.  I'm beat down and tired.  I remember being young and wired.  Where did it go?  I miss it more than anyone knows.  Why over the past few years has no one got to know me or at least realized that I am lonely?  I just want to be like all of you but I feel rejected and I know it wasn't anyone's intentions so how can I ask for help?  God knows how many times I've knelt with a troubled heart not knowing where to start.  I look to the skies, tears running freely from my eyes.  How could you all have overlooked these desperate cries.

Written by: Christopher M. Noonan

Shared by his mother: Kathy Noonan


#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

Click here to submit your own memorial tribute.

* 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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I Want My Daddy Back


This picture is my son yesterday at his fathers grave this is not right.  The heartbreak I saw when he layed on the ground and cried and said "this is how I layed next to daddy and we would hug each other. I want daddy back!!"

I have a story to tell the love of my life my husband my children's father and my best friend was taken from us from heroin on May 25th 2016 a day before his 29th birthday. We had a true love story from the second we layed eyes on eachother we were married 13 years and his battle started 10 years ago first with weed then with pills and we could fight that we moved away and for 4 years it was perfect he even became a deacon in our church and just over 2 years ago is when he choose to do something that would eventually take his beautiful life and forever change me and my children's lives. As soon as I found out what he was doing I was in disbelief we would take about people who did this and try to help them I couldn't imagine my perfect husband ever doing this he went straight to rehab after just months of doing it when I found out and I thought we would be ok and his addiction was over but it just began I fought for him to stop I know he fought to I did everything imaginable I was even willing to cut my arms off to save my husband and family from death and destruction because I would tell him that if he didn't stop that's what it would lead to I asked if he wanted to die he said no I asked him what would I do without him and how could I tell our babies he died and he assured me that it wouldn't happen he knew his limit!


I knew what could happen and every day I fought!! He almost died Mothers Day if I didn't break down the bathroom door and call the ambulance! And from that day until he died he was just the perfect drug free husband and father I knew he gave us that or as I say Jesus gave us those weeks just perfect days and as I rolled over on May 25th at 3:30 am and felt the spot he fell asleep empty my world forever changed I knew he had snuck out to go get his stuff like he had done many many times before this time it was different though I had the horrible body shaking experience like I always had but as I walked down stairs to see the back door unlocked that he ran out of and would be sneaking back in I did something different that I had never done before I left it unlocked for him to come back I would always lock it right away and not let him in until he begged and promised he would t do it again but this time I didn't I was going to tell him that I was mad but I knew he messed up and finally understood and we would get back on track and it would be ok! I went upstairs and calmly layed down something I never did before I would usually stay up and smoke my cigarettes and be angry and hurt but I didn't as I layed in bed waiting for him to return I thought of how he could die and what if he did? As I got out of bed at 4:55 am and worried why isn't he home something is wrong he never took this long! I walked down the stairs and as I reached the bottom phone in hand it rang and i knew it was about my husband as my babies slept peacefully I was told he was dead and needed to go see him I help in my shrieks and screams so they would not be woken and my nightmare dream began!

I have a story much more to say but I will keep it short for now and say this drug does not discriminate it has no boundaries it's evil it's soul purpose is to kill and destroy my husband did not look like a addict we had the perfect life he had the American Dream loving wife and children a dog and a cat! We had hopes and dreams we would tell eachother we would be the notebook movie till the end and now that's gone our world is forever changed but I have peace and understanding as much as I my whole heart is gone now I know he's at peace and is in heaven he was saved and I know he knew at the end and repented and went to heaven he's in my heart he's in my children's eyes his story our story will forever be told the good the bad the ugly I would of stayed and fought till the end to save my husband but I understand why he left he didn't want to but he ended my worries and gave me peace from his addiction but I want him back now and would take that pain of worry just to hold him again and have him hug our babies and play with them again! If this touches one person and saves them from this deathly ending then I will smile!! This isn't the way young beautiful people should go my 12 year old son shouldn't of had to carry his father in a coffin I shouldn't have to comfort my babies at night when there crying they want there daddy back or why he will never be able to walk his daughters down the isle on there wedding day or not to see his grandchildren and grow old with me! I beg all the beautiful people to fight for your lives don't let your loved ones hurt like this don't hurt yourself like this!!! Before my husbands death I would look at addicts in disgust but now I understand and I will forever embrace them and tell my story in hopes of saving there lives!!! The only thing I have thought and said and will continue to say as soon as I heard he had died was Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!!! 

Please share my story if it comforts others or saves lives! Jason Miller the perfect husband and father was taken from us from something many of us are fighting. I don't want his young life to go without saving others from this ending!

Jennie Stanley Miller


* 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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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.   

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


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.


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


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

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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

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



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.


- 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.


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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Most Drugs Ruin Your Life. Heroin Ends it in the Case of My Brother Chris.


It started out a regular day as he woke up and went to store for a pint of vodka.  Hwas off work but it was pay day so he left around 1230pm to go to pick up his two day check.  He got back around 130 pm and he and I finished the pint.  About 20 mins later he was slurring his words.  I looked at Matt, my friend, and mouthed to him that my brother Chris is on something and Matt shook his head yes.  So i had Matt go in and I asked my brother "what you on brother?"  

"What you mean? I just drank that vodka to fast and then the joint."  We came in together and I said you act like your on that heroin again.  "I aint on nothing different" he said.  "Well you look messed up" is what I told him. "What do you mean you got me worried." he said. He looked at himself in the mirror.  His lips were purplish and pale face.  He said "take me to the store so I can get gas to cut the grass."  I said "mom aint gonna let you on the riding mower if you are that drunk go lay down and sober up."


He went and laid down for a couple hours.  Around 9pm I pulled my mom outside and told her that he was on something and I was going to listen for him to puke because thats a tell tale sign he would of used heroin.   "If he ods again I am going to cut your sons throat.  I am not going to save him again" I said to his mother.  Five minutes later he came out bedroom bouncing off the walls and my thought was you big drunk.  He went into bathroom and I could hear him puking.  I hit my moms door and said hes puking his guts out.  I went out back and called my friend Matt and 2 mins later I heard mom banging on the door yelling for Chris to open the door.  I threw the phone down and told Noah to go hide.  I grabbed a coat hanger and popped the lock on the door.  

Chris, my brother, was face down with clear vomit all over his face.  It took mom and me all our strength to roll him over.  We had called 911 and I started giving him CPR.  The clear vomit just wouldnt stop coming out his mouth.  I had to scoop it out before every breath I gave him.  It was running into his eyes which were open.  As the ambulance pulled in driveway I felt for heartbeat and I had a flutter and then felt nothing.  I was about to do compressions when the paramedic grabbed him and drug him into living room.  They worked on him for 30 minutes and never got his heartbeat back.  Heroin ended my brother's life right in front of my family and me that night.  

You can read my memorial tribute to Chris by clicking here.


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2015 Year End Memorial Tribute Video of Memories Shared With Us


Here is our 2015 year end memorial tribute video produced by us from the memories shared with us.   We hope by sharing this video we can help break the #STIGMA of addiction.  We also hope to put "faces" on the human lives that heroin ultimately took in the end because our loved ones deserve to be remembered for their struggles with the disease of addiction.  They were NOT "Junkies" or "Dope Fiends".  They were our loved ones who we shared vacations, holidays, birthdays with each year.  They were the ones that made us laugh & cry.  They are the ones portrayed in this video.  

Note: If you would like your loved one included in this video and others in the future please submit your memorial tribute by clicking this link.  You can also join our private grief support group at www.HeroinMemorial.org which membership is restricted to only members who have lost a loved one to heaven.


"Ask Me About My Angel" is the new slogan our grief support group has come up with to help with our nonprofit. You can support our nonprofit by purchasing one of our wristbands at by clicking here. 



#AskMeAboutMyAngel      #HeroinMemorial       #GoneToSoon

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Heroin: Myth vs Fact - From the Eyes of a Mother Who Lost Her Son


In honor of what would have been his 22nd birthday, I wanted to share what my son taught me about heroin: myth vs. fact.

Myth: Heroin is cheap.
Fact: Heroin is not cheap. It cost my son numerous X-Boxes, Play Stations, TVs, furniture, IMacs, expensive watches, I Phones, even his beloved Charger. It cost him his dignity, his self-esteem, his self-respect. It cost him a decent apartment and all of it's furnishings, his German Shepherd, the love of his life, and their daughter. It cost him his life at age twenty one.

Myth: You can use it once in awhile and be fine.
Fact: There is no such thing as a recreational heroin user. It is not to be confused with a joint or having a beer. Once Pandora's box is opened, less than 1% of people are able to get it closed again.

Myth: My friend gets it for me.
Fact: Your heroin dealer is not your friend, he is a heroin dealer. If he were your friend, you would be alive to talk about it. If he were your friend, you wouldn't have gotten started in the first place because friends don't want their friends dead.

Myth: Heroin dealers look like thugs.
Fact: They can also look like a choir boy, be well-spoken, well mannered, very charming and come from a decent home just like you did.

Myth: Heroin is the ultimate high.
Fact: While the rush lasts minutes, withdrawal symptoms are always waiting for you. They include muscle and bone pain, diarrhea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, insomnia, restlessness, runny nose, cold flashes and goosebumps, sweating, involuntary kicking motions, racing pulse, high blood pressure, increased respiratory rate, and severe anxiety.

Myth: I can handle it.
Fact: Tyler Andrew Addison 9/25/1993 - 11/03/2014.

- Gretchen Miller-Addison, mother who lost her son Tyler, 21, on November 3rd, 2014 to heroin.

You can read his memorial tribute by clicking here.

 #AskMeAboutMyAngel   #HeroinMemorial   #GoneToSoon


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To My Son's Heroin Dealer


To My Son's Heroin Dealer:

I want to explain the desolation and ruin you left behind because of your greed and complete disregard for human life...unless they had money for heroin. You were supposed to be his friend. What does it feel like knowing you were the one who sold my son his fatal dose of heroin? How do you live with yourself?

I remember the doctor telling me I could only touch his face and hair. I couldn't touch the breathing tube they had inserted, I couldn't touch the numerous IVs they had placed trying to save his life. I remember walking into that cold, sterile room to see my son lying on the table, still and quiet. His jeans were cut on his leg because they tried bring him back with Narcan four times at the scene. I remember seeing the blood stains in his teeth and mouth from when they tried to revive him with chest compressions. I remember hearing myself scream and sob until they told me it was time to take him to the morgue. I begged them to let me go with him and stay with him because he didn't like being alone.

In the days that followed, I experienced what no parent should ever have to experience. Ever. I numbly went through the process of selecting a funeral home. I remember sitting there with my friend, who walked out of a meeting and flew half way across the country to help me, and just let him do the talking. I sat there listening to them write the obituary for Ty, discuss a charity, and go over service times . Then came the time to pick out his casket. I had to choose a casket in which my one and only child would be laid to rest forever. After what seemed to be an eternity I chose the metallic silver, the same color as his beloved Charger. You remember that Charger, don't you? You rode in it quite a few times. After we left the funeral home, we had to buy him the last suit he would ever wear. I just stood there in the store helplessly, suffocating from disbelief. I couldn't stop sobbing and knew that people were staring but I didn't care. Nothing mattered anymore.

Many of his friends came to pay their respects to him during calling hours but not you. I was waiting for you. I wanted you to see what you had done. I wanted you to see the agony and insurmountable suffering you inflicted on our family and friends. I wanted you to look at your friend lying in his casket who died because you sold him heroin. Most of all, I wanted you to look me in the face and tell me why you left him there to die alone. But you are a spineless coward. You prey on those who lack street smarts as long as they have money. You are a disease and I will tell everyone who will listen about what happened to my child in hopes to one day put you and your fellow drug dealing associates out of business for good.

- Gretchen Miller-Addison, mother who lost her son Tyler, 21, on November 3rd, 2014 to heroin.

You can read his memorial tribute by clicking here.

 #AskMeAboutMyAngel   #HeroinMemorial   #GoneToSoon


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I Am Not an Addict and Have Never Done Heroin But it Has Affected My Life in so Many Ways


Hello my name is Kelly and I'm not an addict and have never done heroin but it has affected my life in so many ways. I just lost my fiancé August 24th 2015. He was found in a waiting room bathroom at the hospital in Camden, New Jersey (where heroin is a huge epidemic right now). He didn't sign in to be seen he just walked in and asked to use the bathroom. He was clean 90 days. He was doing heroin for a year if that but they let him use the bathroom and didn't even check on him. After 15 minutes finally someone knocked on the door and he didn't answer and then someone got the door opened and found him unresponsive on the floor.

The doctor called his mom and she called me so I raced to the hospital. The hospital actually called his mom back and told her he was dead. I still didn't know I got there and the doctor asked me if I had a picture of him because even though he had his health insurance papers and an envelope with a picture of him on it from the county (they had him as a John Doe) jail. He was out of jail as of that day not even 24 hours but before that he did almost 3 months. After waiting in a room for over 2 hours the doctor came back and said ok so u know he's dead right and I said no I didn't. The doctor said he worked on him for over 40 minutes and nothing helped. It was too late.

So heroin has taken the love of my life away, a father figure to my son, and an amazing person in general. Paul Maluk changed my life in so many ways. Paul is my very first true love and I'll forever be grateful for that (he always will be) and I'm 36yrs old. When the weather breaks I'm planning a walk/run in Paul’s name and set up a scholarship fund in his name for EMT and firefighters who are just starting out. Paul was a lieutenant firefighter, trustee, and an EMT. I will do whatever it takes to raise money in Paul’s name one day.

I recently found out who sold him that one by that day I have his number, and dealer’s text messages. The cops didn't even keep his 2 cell phones to investigate but told me it was an ongoing investigation and I wasn't allowed to see me before they zipped up the body bag.

My younger sister who is my Irish twin is a heroin addict and has been for my years she's in and out of jail for unpaid fines because of stealing to support her habit her life is ruined so heroin has not only took the love of my life but has also taken my sister away from me because we aren't close anymore and every night I pray to God to keep her alive and not take her away from me like heroin took Paul. Heroin has also took my best friend on October 9th, 2015. She was found dead from an overdose in her bed and leaves behind a 4 year old son. So that's how heroin has affected my life and I'm not even an addict. My son who no longer has a stepfather/father figure.

I just keeping picking myself up and fight through this because I know that's what Paul would want. Right now at this point in life I have no reason to smile, be happy, or feel like my old self. After I lost Paul my friends are nowhere to be found and not one has been there for me. I've never felt more alone in my entire life than I do now and heroin is to blame.
So that's my story I'm not an addict and have never done heroin and have no desire to.

- Kelly

Paul Stephen Maluk
DOB: 06/08/1977
DOH: 08/24/2015


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Losing a Loved One to a Heroin is a Special Kind of Pain


(Image used with permission from www.michaelshope.net)


We are brought together by the unspeakable, forced into a group no one wants to join. Membership is permanent and there is no escape. Once you join this group (www.HeroinMemorial.org), life as you know it stops. It will never be the same again. Your circumstances have changed and you must find a way to adjust. You were not prepared for this, you feel like you are on a raft in uncharted waters, lost, in the dark and all alone. How do you adjust to the unbearable emptiness , the anger, the fear? How are you supposed to live the rest of your life when a large part of you has died? How do you keep yourself from bursting into tears in the checkout line because of some trigger no one would understand? How do you stop looking to see if he is there waiting for you to get off work? How do you stop checking your phone for messages or texts? There are so many questions...and no answers. We are left to fend for ourselves, tending our wounds that no one sees.

Losing a loved one to a drug is a special kind of pain. We continuously torture ourselves as we sift through each and every decision we have ever made. We carry the overwhelming guilt that we failed. We failed that person we loved so much, now they are dead. And if that isn't enough, society tells us it is our loved ones fault for trying drugs in the first place. Our loved one could quit if they really wanted to stop using. Our loved one is labeled a junkie, a waste. No one witnessed the horrifying effects of detoxing. No one cleaned up the vomit and helplessly listened to the excruciating crying for relief, holding them as muscle spasms took control of their legs, believing heartfelt promises they would never do drugs again.

We go to counseling, we join support groups and we brave a fake smile when someone asks us how we are doing. Inside, we are grasping at any explanation of this travesty that we think will help us feel better. Why did my loved one die when there are such evil people in the world? Why was it my loved one that succumbed to his demons when others go on using for years and years? But deep down inside, we really don't care about the answers, we just want our love back. We would give everything we had including our lives just for five more minutes...
We are the loved ones of those lost to drugs.

- Danielle Suiter - Share Your Addiction Journey! Addiction Awareness

#HeroinMemorial | #GoneToSoon | #AskMeAboutMyAngel


We want to thank Michael's HOPE for giving us permisson to use the photograph here which includes one of their wristbands which you can purchase on their website.

Michael's HOPE is an organization that educates, prevents and spreads awareness of the current heroin and opioid epidemic we are facing. We understand it is very important to speak to kids in schools, we have made it our goal to not have to charge schools for our programs. All donations will go into this organization and allow us to spread the awareness to our communities and school districts free of charge, while also hosting Narcan trainings also at no cost.

Born March 31st 1989, a lifetime resident of Laurel, NY lost his older brother Michael Maffetone to a heroin overdose on February 11th 2012 at the age of 29.  Although Paul has never suffered from addiction himself, after the loss of his best friend, has dedicated his life helping others who are suffering from addiction themselves or suffering from the loss of a loved one to these horrific circumstances.  Spreading awareness and education on the current epidemic and fighting the negative stigma associated with addiction in particular is his greatest passion.

Learn more about them at www.michaelshope.net


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We Are the Parents of a Child Lost to Heroin

gretchen funeral

We are brought together by the unspeakable, forced into a group (www.HeroinMemorial.org) no one wants to join. Membership is permanent and there is no escape. Once you join this group, life as you know it stops. It will never be the same again. Your circumstances have changed and you must find a way to adjust. You were not prepared for this, you feel like you are on a raft in uncharted waters, lost, in the dark and all alone. How do you adjust to the unbearable emptiness , the anger, the fear? How are you supposed to live the rest of your life when a large part of you has died? How do you keep yourself from bursting into tears in the checkout line because of some trigger no one would understand? How do you stop looking to see if he is there waiting for you to get off work? How do you stop checking your phone for messages or texts? There are so many questions...and no answers. We are left to fend for ourselves, tending our wounds that no one sees.


 (Click the image above to share your own memorial tribute on our page)

Losing a child to a drug overdose carries with it a special kind of pain. We continuously torture ourselves as we sift through each and every decision we have ever made as a parent. We carry the overwhelming guilt that we failed as a parent. We failed our child, and now our child is dead. And if that isn't enough, society tells us it is our child's fault for trying drugs in the first place. Our child could quit if they really wanted to stop using. Our child is labeled a junkie, a waste. No one witnessed the horrifying effects of detoxing. No one cleaned up the vomit and helplessly listened to the excruciating crying for relief, holding them as muscle spasms took control of their legs, believing heartfelt promises they would never do heroin again.

We go to counseling, we join support groups and we brave a fake smile when someone asks us how we are doing. Inside, we are grasping at any explanation of this travesty that we think will help us feel better. Why did my child die when there are such evil people in the world? Why was it my child that succumbed to his demons when others go on using for years and years? But deep down inside, we really don't care about the answers, we just want our child back. We would give everything we had including our lives just for five more minutes...

We are the parents of a child lost to heroin.

- Gretchen Miller-Addison, mother who lost her son Tyler, 21, on November 3rd, 2014 to heroin.

You can read his memorial tribute by clicking here.

 #AskMeAboutMyAngel   #HeroinMemorial   #GoneToSoon



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