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.