he faces above and the stories below are a snapshot of the devastating opioid epidemic sweeping across the United States. Publicly acknowledging that a family member suffered from an addiction to drugs, or died of an overdose, has long been a taboo subject — one best kept secret among family and a few knowing friends. That is changing.

As the death toll from the opioid crisis mounts, families are increasingly weaving desperate warnings into the obituaries of loved ones about the horror that can result when people abuse painkillers, heroin, and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl.

Many words of remembrance have been transformed into pleas for help — directed at lawmakers, families suffering similar experiences, and the general public. Families are using these public notices to push for better and more treatment options while spreading the message that addiction is a disease and not something to be endured in shameful silence.

STAT searched Legacy.com and other sources and selected excerpts from the obituaries of 52 people who died in 2016. In every case, the families of these mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and even grandmothers decided to make their loved one’s struggle with opioids public in the death notice.

Each person represents the estimated 636 Americans who die on average each week from an opioid-related overdose (based on 2015 data).

Some of the writings are brutally honest. The victims were in and out of jail, often for stealing to support their habit. They could be destructive forces, tearing apart families. There were false hopes produced by periods of sobriety following treatment, only to be followed by relapse.

The victims were found in the woods, in a low-budget hotel, a dorm room, and at home. On the same day in June, two brothers fatally overdosed. In November, a mother lost a third son to an opioid overdose.

Those who succumbed to opioids were also full of hope and promise. They served their country in the armed forces. They were college students, aspiring musicians, athletes, chefs, a race car driver, a high school student, an auto mechanic, a bank employee, and the son of a former US congressman.

They lived in every part of the country, from Arizona to Maine. They are predominantly in their 20s and 30s and white. (The obituaries referencing opioid use are striking for the absence of people of color. That may be in part due to the fact that 8 in 10 people fatally overdosing on opioids are non-Hispanic whites, according to government data.)

Here are their stories:


Chad James Heaven (Jan. 5)

28 years old
Army sergeant
Palmyra, New York

Sadly, Chad’s journey through life included experimenting with drugs. He fought his heroin addiction for the last 10 years. Chad’s family would like to raise awareness of this devastating epidemic … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Kevin Outen (Jan. 10)

24 years old
Enjoyed baseball and fishing
Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania

He successfully completed drug rehab several times, but the craving that comes from true addiction was more than he could overcome. If there is someone in your life battling addiction reach out to them. So many lives are lost every day. The stigma of embarrassment and denial must be overcome … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/York Daily Record)


Ryan Phelps (Feb. 11)

30 years old
Computer science degree
Akron, Ohio

Please, if you’re struggling with any addiction, remember there is help available to you. Your family loves you and people want to help you. You can beat this. Don’t make your family bury you and feel they didn’t do enough. This could be you! Love yourself, love your family … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

Gregory W. Colla (Feb. 12)

22 years old
College student
South Windsor, Connecticut

Greg fought a year long, off and on, battle with heroin addiction. … He was set to graduate from UCONN in May, 2016 with a degree in Civil Engineering … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Hartford Courant)

Kory Baker (Feb. 21)

33 years old
Army medic
Rochester, Minnesota 

What started innocently, quickly moved into pain pills, and culminated in heroin. … As painful as it is to write these words, we want the world to know that heroin addiction needs to be an issue at the forefront of our lives. This is an epidemic with an upward trajectory. If you’re using pain meds like OxyContin, please know that they are incredibly dangerous, and can easily lead to heroin … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Post-Bulletin)

Michael T. Brandon (Feb. 21)

27 years old
Fitness buff
Norwich, Connecticut

Mike tried his best to take the steps to change the course of his life but ultimately the enemy schemes and out smarts even the most creative and savvy individuals; as it did to our Mike. Heroin defiles the brain and the person suffers with more and more inability to make sound decisions and follow directions to save himself … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Norwich Bulletin)

Sean Tyler Stem (March 29)

26 years old
Talented skateboarder
Burlington, Vermont

Those in the know about addiction, especially heroin, must share what they know. Families, friends, and the community have to share their pain, their struggles, so others may know and feel less alone, less confused, less shame. Sean’s family can only hope that his death will not be in vain. Can we all, please, come together, love each other? Tear down whatever obstacles are in the way of reaching out, obstacles of fear, loneliness, shame, stigma, and join other friends and family members who see the ramifications of this drug and feel as powerless as we do … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Burlington Free Press)

Samantha Henehan (April 10)

23 years old
Bank employee
Scranton, Pennsylvania

She was kind and loving to all who knew her and was quick to lend a hand to all who were struggling with the disease of addiction. Sammi was beautiful inside and out, the apple of her mother’s eye, and never spoke a harsh word about anyone … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Scranton Times)

Andrew Joseph Lessard (April 10)

24 years old
College student
Austin, Texas

Andy had enrolled in community college in August of 2015, studying Power Technology and was finally on a good path. He received a 4.0 in the fall semester, something he was immensely proud of. He retreated back into depression and anxiety in the spring semester of 2016, finally succumbing to a fatal heroin overdose … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Santa Clarita Valley Signal)

Zafer Julian Estill (April 14)

19 years old
College student
Pittsboro, North Carolina

He studied business at University of Colorado at Boulder. He loved fashion, and fine things, and worked a wide number of jobs, from archaeological surveying to carpentry to sustain his high-flying lifestyle … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The News & Observer)

Scott Sousa (April 26)

28 years old
Restaurant and construction worker
Rochester, New Hampshire

Recently, Scott was on a wait listed to enter a clinic designed to help people overcome drug addictions. He was looking forward to starting his life over. Like many addicts waiting for intervention, Scott’s addiction led to his drug arrest landing him in the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood, N.H. It was here that Scott was discovered unresponsive April 21. Knowing that bringing light to where there is darkness helps one heal, Scott’s parents opted to turn their tragedy into a gift of life for others. Their son became a hero April 26 donating to others awaiting lifesaving transplants … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Seacoastonline.com)

Travis A. Colton (April 27)

29 years old
Russellton, Pennsylvania

Travis battled a demon for roughly the last seven years. She made him feel inspiration for only a brief moment in time and then she was gone. Travis chased her and she had his heart. He fought to leave her and eventually left her many times and was better, but she always made her way back into his presence and the cycle would repeat itself. Eventually she took Travis’s life. Heroin. She has taken the lives of many. We are not alone. This is an epidemic that is in fact a disease and it needs to be treated as such … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Valley News Dispatch)

Kathryn Virginia Sophia Mason (May 14)

19 years old
Nashville, Tennessee

Katy’s bright future was lost to a life of drug addiction, starting at the age of 15. The epidemic state of drug addiction is the country’s biggest problem at this time, rapidly taking the lives of our children … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Tennessean)

Elizabeth D. Blunt (May 25)

22 Years Old
Athlete and musician
West Chicago, Illinois

Beth loved sports. She played soccer and volleyball and loved cheering for the Blackhawks. She loved the outdoors. She loved music. She played the piano, flute, guitar, and sang beautifully … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

James H. Helmer (May 25)

38 years old
Race car driver
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

James started using prescription pain medication and became addicted. He turned to heroin to try to make himself feel better because the pain of withdrawal was so sickening. … Heroin was more powerful than words a mother could say to her dying son; more powerful than a five year old boy could say to his dying dad. It is strong but it can be beat. Don’t wait until tomorrow … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Lisa Marie Andreana (June 1)

22 years old
Accomplished pianist
Newington, Connecticut

It is the family’s hope that the cruel disease of addiction will trend toward a broader degree of acceptance and de-stigmatization and a sense of urgency will be brought to this brutal health crisis affecting so many families. Lisa was a strong willed young lady who tried to fight addiction her way but ultimately lost the battle … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Hartford Courant)

Daniel M. Wheeler (June 2)

34 years old
Sylvania Township, Ohio

No one sets out to be a heroin addict, Dan did his best, he will be forever loved, missed, and remembered … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Toledo Blade)

Jonathan Woodbury (June 11)

33 years old
Older brother fatally overdosed on same day
Pembroke, Massachusetts

Lost his battle with addiction on June 11, 2016. Loving father … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Patriot Ledger)

Michael Woodbury (June 11)

37 years old
Younger brother fatally overdosed on same day
Pembroke, Massachusetts

Lost his battle with addiction on June 11, 2016. Beloved son … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Patriot Ledger)

Jason Philip Rynearson (July 4)

34 Years Old
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

This handsome, bright, and caring young man was taken from all of us, much too soon. If you know someone struggling with addiction or have lost someone to it and are searching for help, below are some, of the many organizations that are available … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Fond du Lac Reporter)

Alec Clayton Howe Dougan (July 6)

23 years old
Poet/music enthusiast
Manchester, Connecticut

Alec loved spending time with his family and could get us all laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. He had a chance to do that the weekend before he died, at a big Saturday wedding with his father’s side of the family. Sunday was spent at a 4th of July picnic with his mom’s side. … I thought we had made it to the other side; but it was just his last gift to us, and I thank him for that. He relapsed in the following days … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Hartford Courant)

Samantha Joanne Grajcar (July 12)

22 years old
Newington, Connecticut

She is also survived by a lifetime of schoolmates, close friends and tons of people in and out of recovery. Some of whom are still struggling with addiction … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Palm Beach Post)

Tanita Landry (July 14)

31 years old
Singer and songwriter
Salem, New Hampshire

She was a talented singer, songwriter and artist and she was an excellent athlete. Tanita enjoyed playing the guitar and loved animals … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Union Leader)

Johnnie Rae Criss (July 20)

52 years old
Mansfield, Ohio

Johnnie will not be defined by her addiction, but rather by the many years of loving life and living it to the fullest. … She was joined in death just two days later by her husband, Robert L. Criss, also of an overdose … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

Alex Thomas Zimmer (July 23)

27 years old
One of nine children
Tolland, Connecticut

Alex had been working very hard for the past 2 1/2 years to get his life on track and overcome this terrible addiction. The family requests that everyone spread the word of this horrific epidemic taking our children. Please talk to your children repeatedly about the danger of drug addiction … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Journal Inquirer)

Jesse Lee Sparks (July 25)

34 years old
Madison, Wisconsin

Substance abuse is not something to be ashamed of or hidden. It’s a disease that has to be brought into the light and fought by everyone. It takes our loved ones every day! Please do whatever you can to fight the disease so you never have to feel what every one of us, who has lost a loved one, is feeling right now … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Madison.com)

Sean Cameron May (July 27)

29 years old
Graphic artist
Lake Worth, Florida

Sean died peacefully at his home in Lake Worth on July 27, 2016 yet another victim of south Florida’s heroin epidemic. … He was smart, funny and full of talents but graphic arts and film editing were among his most notable … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Palm Beach Post)

William Cliffton Carroll Bullock (July 30)

36 years old
Avid outdoorsman
Raleigh, North Carolina

As big and strong as Cliff was he became a victim of the heroin epidemic that has swept our nation. Pray for Cliff and all of those people who are victims of this horrible drug … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/News & Observer)

Justin M. Finnerty (July 30)

26 years old
Avid sports fan
Towaco, New Jersey

At the young age of 26, he succumbed to his struggle with heroin. … All throughout his life and High School career he loved to play Soccer and Basketball. He also enjoyed shopping and had a passion for music … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Daily Record)

James Thomas Doucette III (Aug. 20)

27 years old
Plaistow, New Hampshire

James was employed as a cook for local restaurants and had been most recently employed at Athens Pizza in Haverhill. James was full of life and truly loved his family and friends. A gun enthusiast, he enjoyed cooking, playing the drums and bass, listening to music, hiking, and taking trips to the mountains and the ocean … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Wayne Curtis Weldon Jr. (Aug. 29)

35 years old
Son of former US congressman
Boyertown, Pennsylvania

Like too many people, Curt struggled with addiction to prescription opioids and benzodiazepines and worked through several rehab programs, but could not shake the negative spiral that is common to people suffering with addiction. Curt’s love for his family and his son never wavered as he strived to control the disease that confronted him on a daily basis … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Daily Times)

Erik J. Honse (Sept. 2)

44 years old
Auto mechanic
Ruffsdale, Pennsylvania

Everyone admired his work ethic, his handsome looks, his charismatic personality and his many talents. Unfortunately, Erik was caught up in the web of addiction, and had actually been clean for many months before a powerful strain of heroin cut his life short … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Greensburg Tribune Review)

Michael Anthony Crocco III (Sept. 2)

21 years old
Pompano Beach, Florida

In life, one little decision can make a huge impact not just on you but also those that love and care for you. Michael had everything a young man could want. But once drugs took control in his life they changed him, destroying so much of the hope and promise in his future. Ultimately he lost his battle, and is now another heartbreaking reminder of the heroin epidemic in this country … read more

(Source: Kraeer Funeral Home)

Derek Stephen Crowe (Sept. 8)

26 years old
Gorham, Maine

Derek worked in several restaurants in the Portland area as a line and sous chef, most recently at Boone’s on Commercial Street. He was very bright and a hard worker. He was very proud of the fact that he could be dropped into complicated and stressful cooking situations and perform admirably … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Portland Press Herald)

William M. Waggaman Jr. (Sept. 12)

26 years old
Comic book enthusiast
St. Paul, Minnesota

A bright, handsome, and magnetic young man, Willie struggled gamely for six years with opioid addiction. He was living in a sober community at the time of his death … read more

(Source: Legacy.com and Pioneer Press)

James R. Gimenez (Sept. 16)

32 years old
Father of two
Cleveland, Ohio

Died as a tragic result of the heroin epidemic … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Plain Dealer)

Erin Michelle Carey (Sept. 18)

33 years old
Battle Creek, Michigan

She spoke frequently of the sadness she felt for people who were as inexperienced as she was, stepping into the struggle that she has fought so hard against, simply out of curiosity and naïveté. If Erin could have walked away, she would have. … Now that Erin is no longer with us, if her passing can be the example that keeps someone from even trying heroin, she would volunteer her story in a heartbeat … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Sam Miller (Sept. 22)

25 years old
College student
Columbus, Ohio

Our beautiful Sammy passed away on Thursday, September 22, 2016, brutally taken by that vicious beast called heroin. … It is unbearable to think he fought this beast alone and, for that, we will cry for him forever … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Columbus Dispatch)

Shawn M. Carter (Sept. 26)

32 years old
Colchester, Vermont

Heroin promised Shawn the world — “I will make you feel accepted and loved and normal — like everyone else. I can make you feel nothing and make you believe that everything will be OK.” What it didn’t tell him is how it would devastate his family and tear them apart, how it would take jobs and places to live, how it would steal his baby girl right out of his arms, how it would take his smile, his laughter, his love for life and it would take and take and take until it took his life … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Burlington Free Press)

Truly Louise McKirgan (Sept. 29)

26 years old
Worked at addiction rehab facilities
Scottsdale, Arizona

Her loss is devastating to many and our wish is that if you have someone who suffers from addiction, you reach out for help for yourself and your loved one. Truly would not want us to cry, she would want us to fight against this horrific disease, as we are proud that she did to the end … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Arizona Republic)


Daniel Lee Rowe (Sept. 30)

38 years old
Baseball fan
Marysville, Pennsylvania

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you discuss the devastating effects of heroin use and addiction with the children in your life. In honor of Dan’s memory, please contact your local legislators to advocate for an increase of funding for addiction and mental health research and treatment … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Patriot-News)

Zachary B. Rozelle (Oct. 5)

30 years old
Worked in construction
Neenah, Wisconsin

Our precious Zach’s story sounds far too common and familiar lately. On October 5, 2016 Zach died of an accidental heroin overdose. We share his story in the hope that it might save others from the incredible heartache we are experiencing … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Appleton Post-Crescent)

Spencer Radel (Oct. 6)

26 years old
Waunakee, Wisconsin

Spencer told us that if his story could help one person, he wanted it told. He came to us in August and asked for help — he was addicted to heroin. He wanted to get clean and get his life back. He successfully completed a 30 day inpatient program and was living at home for a week. Despite his strong desire to live a sober life, he passed away from a heroin overdose at home. His last evening was spent talking with his parents on their front porch, looking forward to a new future, returning to work, talking about his love for his family. The perfect night. And then the unthinkable happened. We will never know or understand why. We can only honor Spencer by sharing this story so that others are aware of the danger and temptation of this horrific drug … read more

(Source: Winn-Cress Funeral Home)

Dakota Knaub (Oct. 15)

28 years old
Hunter and fisherman
Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania

Even through his constant struggle with addiction, he never lost the gifts that God gave him, which were his heart of gold and the ability to show others how much he loved them … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/York Daily Record)

Cory J. Quinn (Oct. 19)

23 years old
Springfield, Massachusetts

The last several years were a struggle for Cory as he battled a heroin addiction, which ultimately took his life. His family is devastated that this heinous drug was more powerful than the love and support that his family gave him. They did not think that this was even possible … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Republican)

Joseph P. Finn (Oct. 23)

22 years old
College student
Haverhill, Massachusetts

He was currently enrolled at UMass Amherst, pursuing a degree in Psychology. Joey loved basketball, football, his dogs, family and hanging out with his friends … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Andrew Zachary Treiber (Oct. 30)

27 years old
Lansing, Michigan

Andy died too young, due to a battle with heroin addiction, which he fought with great effort. … He was a quiet caring man, athletic, smart, handy and had a great sense of humor. He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, and playing disc golf … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Bay City Times)

Hayden Scott Graver (Nov. 1)

17 years old
High school student
Battlefield, Missouri

With Hayden’s kind heart and perseverance he fought off his inner demons as long as he could until the morning of November 1, 2016, when Hayden experienced an accidental drug overdose … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/News-Leader)

Jesse M. McCauley (Nov. 6)

24 years old
One of three brothers to die of an overdose
Rockland, Massachusetts

Jesse has struggled with the disease of addiction for the past 6 years along with his brothers Corey (25) and Jordan (20) who also struggled with addiction. Jesse has now reunited with his brothers who await his arrival to heaven … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Cassidy Aspen Cochran (Nov. 11)

24 years old
Homewood, Alabama

We write this not to dishonor her memory but to shine some light on an illness that is taking the lives of far too many. If we allow shame, guilt or embarrassment to cause this illness to become a dark family secret, hiding in the shadows, everyone loses. … In lieu of flowers, please call or write your state representative and plead with them to make Naloxone available over the counter, without a prescription … read more

(Source: Legacy.com)

Emily Marie Harrison Roznowski (Dec. 3)

22 years old
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

At last Emily is at peace, she struggles no more. The disease of addiction thrives in darkness and must be defeated in the light. She is missed more than words can ever express … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/The Patriot-News)


Jason Scott Mise Jr. (Dec. 10)

22 years old
Akron, Ohio

His family feels that it should be made known that he died of an overdose of Heroin. He struggled with that addiction for a long time. Heroin is the devil on earth. It is taking over the souls of our loved ones at an alarming rate. Losing Jason has broken our hearts, but we find comfort in knowing he is at peace from his struggle … read more

(Source: Legacy.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

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  • For Lisa De Freitas and Lauri,

    I realize that this article and others like it are dealing with a very contentious and polarizing issue. Deaths by opioid overdose are a real public health crisis in America.

    But if we ever hope to solve or moderate this crisis, then we must understand its sources and potential solutions. This article unfortunately moves us no closer to that desired outcome. And at least arguably, the VOX article which Lisa references, comes dangerously close to being outright propaganda and fraud.

    The central reality of addiction in America is that it wasn’t “caused” by over-prescription of opioids by doctors to valid pain patients. We know this beyond any possibility of reasonable contradiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health informs us that over 75% of people who first begin abusing prescription drugs have never seen a doctor. They obtain prescriptions by stealing unused medications from home medicine closets, being given them by a relative, or buying them on the street. Diversion is the issue here, not over-prescription.

    We also know from multiple published and peer reviewed studies, that managed medical exposure to opioids plays only a very minor role in our public health crisis. In a 2016 study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that drug overdoses are dominated by heroin and illegally manufactured fentanyl. Only 9% of all deaths in 2013-2014 (154 of 1650) attributed to opioids of all kinds could be traced to a prescription registered in their state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. And only a third of that 9% were current prescriptions. While not conclusive, this outcome suggests that some drug related deaths are occurring because patients are being cut off from effective medical pain relief and driven into street markets.

    Importantly, we also know from recent articles published by CDC itself, that they have for several years *FALSELY* attributed thousands of overdose related deaths to prescription drugs that were actually caused by illicit fentanyl. Likewise, the majority of overdose deaths involve more than one toxic agent, most of them illegal. Thus the “crisis” in overdose has significantly different dimensions than previously claimed.

    We also learn a great deal from two independent studies of over 650,000 post-surgical patients each, who were prescribed opioids for the control of pain. In these patients, down-stream risk of being diagnosed with opioid abuse or maintained on repeated medical prescriptions is a MAXIMUM of 0.6%. When outcomes of 11 different surgical procedures were evaluated, the rate of prolonged opioid prescriptions did not rise in 4 of the 11, and rose to only a maximum of 0.69% in the worst of the procedures (total knee replacement).

    Another pertinent finding is from a published paper in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (Dr Nora Volkow and Thomas A McMillan, PhD)

    “Unlike tolerance and physical dependence, addiction is not a predictable result of opioid prescribing. Addiction occurs in only a small percentage of persons who are exposed to opioids — even among those with preexisting vulnerabilities…Older medical texts and several versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) either overemphasized the role of tolerance and physical dependence in the definition of addiction or equated these processes (DSM-III and DSM-IV). However, more recent studies have shown that the molecular mechanisms underlying addiction are distinct from those responsible for tolerance and physical dependence, in that they evolve much more slowly, last much longer, and disrupt multiple brain processes.”

    Addiction and overdose in America are a real public health crisis. But prescription drugs play only a peripheral role in this crisis. Restriction of prescriptions is creating a second and entirely unnecessary crisis by plunging thousands of legitimate pain patients into agony, disability, and sometimes death by suicide.

    To solve America’s opioid crisis, we must address the really tough problems which create it: the main drivers in people with addiction are economic hardship, hopelessness, and related mental health problems, not medical exposure. We can’t “cure” addiction. We can only reduce its harms. The most reliable means for harm reduction are medication assisted therapy (Methadone or Buprenepherine) clinics, diversion of non-violent drug offenders out of our prison system, safe/sober housing, community-based mental health counseling support (especially for relapse), and job training for meaningful work. These programs will cost Billions of dollars per year for the foreseeable future, and none of them alone is a magic bullet.

    For further exploration of these important issues, I invite readers to look up the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain. We have a dedicated website and Facebook page which should come up near the top of any google search.

  • I am so very sad and sorry for your devastating losses. I send sincerest and deepest sympathy. Our Heavenly Father promises that He will bring our loved ones back to life, (John 5:28,29) sound in body and mind, to live a happy perfect life on the restored Earth in paradise conditions! (Isaiah 11:6-9) Very soon He will do away with man-made governments, (Daniel 2:44) and under His government there will be no more violence, war, poverty, greed, oppression, hunger, sickness, or death…ever again. (Rev 21:4) Righteous humankind will be able to live like He originally purposed. No more sorrow! These promises are for our comfort and to give us hope. I truly wish you both.

  • Reading these is sad, but I have to admit, almost all them I read stated Heroin overdose, so why are we taking all pain medication away from the people who have taken medications as instructed and use to live productive lives, because people OD on heroin?, e anyone wants to blame the pa8n patients for needing a legally prescribed medication, yet most of these people died not from prescribed pain meds., it’s very confusing to me that people are suffering and are being forced to live in misery, loosing jobs, loosing their freedoms, why is it not called a heroin epidimic? Why ? People also like to state ” it started with prescription pills yet even that is not true, it may have started with a pain pill, but not a legally prescribed medication, less then 2% of the millions of people who USE to receive these meds, show any signs of addiction, yet now they are forced to live in misery, while the media and gov cares for addicts, and wants to get them help, and throw the millions of responsible patients out the door, literly, police are escorting people in pain out the doors of Drs, since they forced them off their medications that were working, if only there was a page with the millions of people that all this “false opiode epidimic ” is destroying. There should be, we need to fight back, we have rights too, and right now they ate being squashed because of the few that didn’t take responsibility for the choices they made

    • 75% or more of these deaths started with an Opioid addiction/Painkillers. Heroin is cheaper and plentiful. Doctors were lied to from day one about the affects of Oxy, etc., being told these drugs were not addictive. The abuse on that side of over prescribing has in fact resulted in an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. There are NO exemptions, EVERYONE is in danger. In other words, addicts are not dirty down and out people, but your brothers, sisters, or children. If you really want to educate yourself, start with going to CBS and find 60 Minutes full episodes and watch the one on Opioids….it will change you once you see it. I am grieving for these families and these people who have little chance of beating this addiction. I mean, it is a proven medical fact that the brain changes after the first use and the body just craves it.
      Some of the comments you made were straight up – made up. No fact backing. So I did. Have compassion – this is another strategy of the devil and right now, he is “checkmate”.

    • Wow, Lisa, that is a whopper of a lie, especially your very first sentence!!! Addiction doesn’t start with prescribed medication. The causes of addiction started far, far earlier with teen/childhood use of alcohol and cigarettes — THOSE are your “gateway” drugs. As to those of us who take our medication properly, fewer that 2% (did you read that?) become addicted. Do your research and help keep the government out of our doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and hospitals. http://www.cochrane.org/CD006605/SYMPT_opioids-long-term-treatment-noncancer-pain In spite of prescribing going down, down, down since 2012, illegal drug deaths have skyrocketed. Gee, I wonder why? Is this the result you’re looking for, for overdose deaths to rise? Because if you are, you found it.

  • These unfortunate people are treating themselves! Every time I was asked to see them,I simply asked them why they became addicted.The answers were very Enlightening! They

  • More male than female, more white than not. It has been a long cycle, started in my household when my daughter was in high school. I was truly clueless and when faced with the reality, I was petrified. The struggle is real, recovery does happen and the journey is long. My daughter went from telling me she was going to jump off the skyway bridge to bringing on her own recovery. It wasn’t me, it was her. I can only say that deep in her soul she knew she was loved deeply, by many, but it took way more than that for her to claw her way out of this addiction. She made a choice, day by day, only. Grace Is 28 growing in her own way, owning her reality, you can too. I am a grateful mom who understands life’s challenges we all face, and my girl forced her way through to feel life, breath the air, love others and most of all, love herself. Love yourself, then you may love others. I love you Grace, with all of my heart. Thank you from the depths of my soul for staying here on earth with all of us that want to spend our lives together with you and yours as you continue on, in your journey. I will say, I believe you have so much to offer others as you are a kind soul. You are a warrior woman and somewhat mystical. I always told you, you come from strong women. Thank you for digging deep, pay it forward…help save another. Love, Mom

  • My heart aches for these losses these lights that were snubbed out way way to early. For the mother’s fathers friend’s etc that are left hear, feeling like a chunk of our very soul has been ripped from us by an ugly ugly evil substance. That go’s by the name heroin. I am 35 and this drug has taken four of my friends so far . My cousin doed last year but was brouggt back by paramedics . If it wasent for a little girl getting up to ho poty in the middle of the night. She to would of lost her life. It is an epidemic and it’s killing my generation and younger. And even older it’s not predjiduice. I HATE it. I my selfstruggle with pain pills I have a 6 year old little boy and a mother that would fall apart and be lost if I let these pain pills get the best of ME!! I’M TRYING EVERY DAY IT’S A BATTLE THAT DAMMIT I’M TRYING NOT TO LOOSE . WHILE LISTNING TO SOME OF THE OBITS WIPPING THE TEARS FROM MY EYES I SWEAR I COUKD ALMOST HEAR MY NAME IMAGINEING MY NAME IN THAT PLACE I FIND IT HARD TO BREATH OR EVEN PHATHOM WHAT IF AND WHAT WOULD BE OF MY MOTHER AND MY PRECIOUS ANGEL OF A SON.IM SORRY I’M SO SORRY ,NO THAT MY HEART IS IN MORNING WITH YOU ALL ,YOUR STORY’S HAVE TOUCHED ME. MAYBE THAT WILL BE THE EXTRA FUEL I NEED TO FINALLY KICK THIS DEVIL FROM MY BACK. I WILL AND AM PRAYING FOR YOU ALL THAT HAVE LOST AND ARE LOST .AND ALL THAT ARE FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, FOR ALL THAT HAVE LOST THERE FIGHT. AND FOR MY SELF AS WELL. . THANK U FOR SHARING THERE STORY’S ..TO THE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO HAVE. YOU HAVE TOUCHED MY HEART AND SOUL. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU NO. THANK U . AND GOD BLESS.

    • I am a stranger to you but I am no stranger to your story. I and MANY OTHERS are rooting for you girl…it is a monkey on your back. Remember one minute at a time…one hour at a time….one day at a time. May Jesus hold you close in the minutes, hours and days to come. You’ve got this!! I know you do.

  • Because of the deaths among addicts, intractable pain patients are now being denied Rx-opioids to manage their painful conditions. It’s a tradgedy that some people get addicted, but not everyone does. Only a small percentage of pain patients become addicted, many have taken opioids for years or decades without problems. Now the sickest and weakest citizens, including disabled people, are being cut off the meds that allowed them to have active lives instead of being crippled by pain. Many have already ended their lives, and their families often face a stigma as well. Intractable pain patients face the stigma of being called addicts, even though they do not engage in addictive behavior. Many intractable pain patients are now planning suicides as the furor over the abuse of opioids causes more and more doctors to stop prescribing opioids for pain. Others have been driven to the streets and overdose on hard street drugs. Intractable pain causes many health threats incuding brain damage and sudden death. We hear a lot about addicts, but the intractable pain patient has been all but forgotten. Their deaths matter too.

  • My Heart goes out to those families who lost loved ones to heroin addiction. My brother struggles with a heroin addiction and has been clean for 20 months, but says everyday is a struggle. Let’s pray for each other that we can rest on GOD’s shoulders and that the message gets out that HEROIN IS A DEADLY MONSTER. GOD be with you all.

    • As they say in the rooms no reason your brother can’t be a first time winner. The losers are the ones who say “I’m a chronic relapser, can’t do nuthin’ about it, it’s God’s will, not my will”. Bullshit.

    • Would like my sister pic up on website please died 33 years old heroin overdose been hard time for family

  • tim matheson, his cousin been 9 months later and their coworker dan wheeler . all within about a years time . Lord have mercy and please give them your great grace!