The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 1

Understanding Grief Understanding Grief : Litsa Williams

If you thought the avoidance around death and grief in our society was bad, it is nothing compared to the avoidance of drug-related deaths.  Don’t believe me?  Did you know that overdose deaths outnumber traffic fatalities in the US?  Did you know that someone dies every 14 minutes from a drug overdose in this country?  In 2011 data came out showing that prescription medication overdose deaths outnumbered heroin and cocaine deaths combined.  Overdose deaths outnumbered prostate cancer deaths and are nearing the number of breast cancer deaths.  Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know – that’s the point.  We hate talking about it!

Even as we see celebrity overdose deaths, from Anna Nicole Smith to Michael Jackson to Cory Monteith to countless others, we don’t like to face the terrifying reality that addiction can touch anyone, anywhere.  We don’t want to consider that even with more money for treatment than most of us could ever imagine, people still loose this battle every day.  And even when we hear the statistics, we don’t want to think about the fact that there are real people behind those statistics – real lives lost and real people grieving.

As more and more people are touched by addiction, more and more families are left with the grief of an overdose death.  Yet the unique experience of grieving an overdose death is still pushed under the rug.  It hides out in the shadows.  It is veiled in guilt and shame and stigma and discomfort.   And this isn’t just a social avoidance, academic research hasn’t even faced this topic.  A 2011 article by Feigelman, Jordan and Gorman highlighted the astonishing lack of research in this area.  They noted that despite the significant impact of overdose deaths, “an exhaustive search for entries on grief or bereavement and overdose (or drug) deaths from Med-line, Psych-Info, and the Social Science Index yielded only two research notes on the topic. Both studies were done outside the United States: one a Brazilian study (da Silva, Noto, & Formigoni, 2007), and the other a British study (Guy, 2004).”  Say what?!  Two?? That’s it?? Are you kidding?!

Okay, sorry.  I get a little fired up about this issue.  This year a close friend from high school died of an overdose.  My family has been touched by addiction from many directions and eight years ago my sister’s boyfriend, who was more like family, died of an overdose.  I can think of far too many other friends and acquaintances who have died from drug overdose over the last 10 years.   Results: I get excited that International Overdose Awareness Day exists and I get infuriated that there is so little discussion about the unique experience of those grieving overdose deaths.

So guess what?  Today we are talking about overdose grief –partially inspired by International Overdose Awareness Day, partially inspired by the research of Feigelman, Jordan, and Gorman, partially inspired by my own experience, and partially seeking comments from all of you who have experienced overdose deaths and found ways to cope.  Let’s talk unique challenges of drug-related deaths.

The Death Feels Avoidable

Much like suicide grief, there is a complexity in overdose deaths in that people feel like the death was somehow preventable.  This can created an array of complicated emotions, many of which can be linked back to this feeling or belief.  Many of the feelings below, including guilt, shame, blame, fear, and isolation all in some way can be correlated back to this.


Though guilt can be a component of grief from many types of losses, overdose deaths can present many different types of guilt.

  • Friends and family may feel guilt that they could have, or should have, done something to prevent the loss.
  • Guilt that the family member suffered from addiction (i.e. a parent, spouse, etc feeling it is their fault the person who died developed an addiction)
  • Guilt if the death brings a sense of relief after years of addiction impacting family and friends.
  • Obsession over actions done/not done to support the person who died.


There is often a question of the difference between guilt and shame, but it is important to understand the distinction as these can impact someone grieving an overdose death.  There are many different ways you will see guilt and shame defined and contrasted against each other.  Here we mean this distinction as a contrast between a personal experience vs a relational experience.  Guilt is something we feel within ourselves, based on our own perception that we could or should have done in a certain situation.  Shame is something we feel based on our perception that others think we could or should have done something differently.  In the case of overdose death, shame can manifest in various ways.

  • Shame that the family member suffered from addiction (i.e. a parent believing others think it was their fault or they were a bad parent for having a child who suffers from addiction)
  • Shame for enabling the person who died.
  • Shame for not doing enough to “help” the person who died.
  • Shame for the person who died (feeling that others blame that person for their addiction and/or death, and hence are less worthy of mourning)

Please keep in mind that there is another definition/distinction you will often hear between guilt and shame – one that is actually common in substance abuse and recovery.  In this definition people say that guilt is the idea that one did something bad, whereas shame is the belief that one is bad. So, guilt is a feeling about an action and shame is a feeling about the self.  Clear as mud?

Though that is a very important distinction to make, it is not the way we are talking about shame here.  My experience with the word shame, and with the grief experience that accompanies it, is shame in the relational sense – shame that others are judging us or our loved one.


Though there is little research around the grief experience of survivors of overdose deaths, the study by Feigelman, Jordan and Gorman (2011) found a greater incidence of blame among and between parents of children who died of drug related deaths (as well as those who had children die by suicide).  This is both self-blame, as well as blame between friends and family members.  Though this is the first US research to officially document this, it seems pretty darn intuitive if you have lost anyone to overdose or known people who have.  Some common feelings that arise around blame are:

  • Blame toward those who used drugs/alcohol with the person who died.
  • Self-blame for the person developing an addiction.
  • Self-blame for the person’s death.
  • Blame toward the person who died for their own death.
  • Blame toward family members for not preventing the death.
  • Obsession over actions done/not done to support the person who died.

In the Feigelman et al (2011) study, a tally of blame comments made to parents showed that 97%+ of blame comments were made in cases of suicide and overdose deaths, in contrast to 2-3% in cases of accidental deaths and 0% in cases of natural deaths.   64% of these comments were blame toward the child who died, with the remaining 36% of the comments blaming the parent.  Nearly 50% of parents who lost a child to overdose or suicide reported  blame comments being made by one or more of their significant others.  It is easier and easier to understand why people don’t speak up about addiction and overdose deaths, isn’t it?!

Stigma and Isolation

Though we know addiction touches hundreds of thousands of families each year, the family and friends of those experiencing addiction often suffer in silence due to the feelings of stigma, guilt and shame. When someone dies from overdose this isolation often continues from reluctance to talk about the addiction. This can result in:

  • Difficulty accepting the circumstances of the death (denial about drug involvement).
  • Reluctance to openly discuss the cause of death.
  • Reluctance to participate in support groups or counseling.
  • Hesitance to seek support from friends and family members.

In the same Feigelman et al (2011) study, 50% of parents who lost a child to suicide or overdose deaths did not find the support that they expected from their significant others, contributing to feelings of isolation.  People say stupid things to us all the time as grievers.  Overdose deaths can bring out some of those especially terrible comments that drive us further into isolation.  People make us feel this death is not as worthy of grief and mourning as other deaths, which throws it in the complicated category of disenfranchised grief.

Fear and Anxiety

Addiction is a devastating disease that is difficult to imagine if you have not experienced it within your family, friends, or community.  I struggle writing this to even put it into words.  It turns family members into strangers.  It pins friends and family against one another.  It devastates communities.  Once someone has lost a family member to addiction anxieties can arise (or increase) and become consuming:

  • Fear that other family members will start abusing substances.
  • Fear that others who are already using substances will also overdose.
  • Fear that others who are in recovery will relapse.

All of these anxieties can lead to mistrust between surviving family members and friends.   This anxiety can lead survivors to attempt to control those around them, trying to protect them from addiction and overdose.  These anxieties and attempts at control can become consuming if not addressed.

All of this sounding familiar?  Wondering what you can do to manage this devastating type of grief?  Check our Part 2 of this post here, where talk about some tools and resources for coping with the grief of an overdose death.  Don’t forget to check out the International Overdose Awareness Day website.

Head over to our store and check out our print resource:  Surviving the Grief of an Overdose Death

Prefer to listen to your grief support?  Listen to our ‘Surviving the Grief of an Overdose’ podcast below.

Let’s be grief friends.

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301 Comments on "The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 1"

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  1. Marty Tousley (@GriefHealing)  August 14, 2013 at 10:29 am Reply

    This is such an important post, Litsa, and I thank you for writing it. Well worth sharing, which I intend to do! ?

    • Lisa  September 4, 2016 at 1:45 am Reply

      It’s been 9 years since my husband died from overdose and left me raising our daughter alone I can’t stop feeling alone and not worthy of him to stop and pick us over heroin

      • Litsa  September 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        Lisa – in part two of this post one of the things we talk about is how to cope. I am not sure if you saw that post, but I think one of the things that could be helpful is learning more about substance use as a disease. Sometimes thoughts are not always true or rational, even when you understand things fully, but learning more can sometimes help. Sadly, substance abuse is a disease and the ability for someone with that disease to ‘choose’ anything is completely hijacked by the disease and the substance. Sometimes even when you rationally know this, though, the thoughts remain consuming. In this case a counselor can be helpful in helping to cope with and manage those thoughts. Take care.

      • Heather Sposato  November 21, 2016 at 12:51 am

        Omg..I’m hearing my own story. Lost my husband 3 weeks ago now ..we have a 6 year old who can’t even say “my dad” without tears welling up in his eyes..he was in Boston living..we were home in RI till we could afford to move up there as well..we had an amazing weekend together 4 days before it happened..4 years clean in prison and 3 months to basically fuck it up..cop dope 1 TIME and it killed him. I did the 2 year run of hell on earth with heroin before he went in for 4 years..told that bitch she would never see me again..the pain ..the hate..fights etc for this drug are not explainable to just anyone..because it takes on a persona..we have a twisted jealousy for what feels like being cheated on right in front of you..she gave everything that I never could..false. it’s a pseudo would only they can go to and yes..I think death was his saving..saved from being dragged around for who knows how long by this shit….if we could of given our husbands the hate we have for heroin..the hate it deserves..pretty sure they’d both still be here. I’m so so sorry for your loss.

    • Todd Pschierer  September 24, 2016 at 8:16 am Reply

      We just lost our 22 yr old son to an apparent OD. Waiting for toxicology info, but it was an OD. Appears to involve heroin. Occurred two weeks ago and I get immobile like now. So devastated! Trying to move on but I feel IIke I have cement boots on. Total loss, feeling so sad about the whole thing. Addiction, all range of feeling gs and emotion.

      • Cynthia  November 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

        Good afternoon Todd,
        I believe my husband died due to heroin as well. His autopsy report has not come back. I knew only about dilaudid as his drug of choice. He went into rehab in June and in August seemed so different, full of hope and saying he finally, “felt a freedom I have never felt before.” He left the rehab, appeared to be transitioning well but then the last week of September it seems like he got a hold of something unlike anything he had ever tried before and died that Friday. I was told by others dilaudid is hard to get lately and it is easy to get cheap heroin off the streets. Maybe he did it before and I just didn t know or his tolerance had changed. I have seen so many reports on fentanyl being added to heroin as well. It is sickening how readily available these are to our loved ones. Ultimately, yes their choice to use, but the withdrawals are described as physically unbearable and the costs of rehab centers are outrageous. Laws definitely need to be changed or created for future generations and those currently affected. I am so sorry about your loss.

      • Heather Sposato  November 21, 2016 at 1:10 am

        It’s a pain Todd that no one can feel unless it’s a child or a spouse they’ve endured addiction with. That process alone is exhausting and all consuming..and not just idle water cooler chit chat at the job. So when the reality that I know I was very aware of..death for my husband via heroin becomes reality..I knew something was wrong..he was in Boston ..I’m in RI ..he had 4 years clean..I had no idea that within 3 months of being released..he’d use just once and it would kill him..all alone in a room he rented. With a great job..a car an amazing visit 4 days prior..2 hours away from me and his son..she would finally take his last breathe..but for my husband this case ..death was his saving. Heroin would have dragged him around for God knows how will experience so many emotions on the loss of your son but know you are not alone. So very very sorry for us all.

      • vince mansfield  February 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm

        i just lost my 22yo daughter to a cocaine/oxy overdose. we are devastated and i keep asking what-ifs and sayin i shoulda done this or that. its like a record stuck on repeat, over and over, regret and guilt and sadness. im sorry for your loss.

    • s  September 25, 2016 at 9:44 pm Reply

      My husband died of an overdose 20 days ago. He was 48 years old. I still cant belive hes gone. The shock and pain are a daily issue for me. I just cant help but feel like he chose the drugs over our life together.

      • Kim  September 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        After six weeks of waiting, I just found out that the cause of my husband’s death was a cocaine overdose. I am devastated and don’t understand what happened. While I knew that he had been treated for addiction to cocaine back in 2006 (well before we met in 2011) I saw no signs of a relapse during our marriage. How could I have been so blind?

      • Julie  October 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm

        I also lost my husband about 3 wees ago to a heroin overdose. The shock, pain, confusion, sadness, and anger seem to be endless. He left me to raise our 6 month old son on my own. Struggling with the guilt of things I should’ve seen in him, but refused to wanting to believe he was sober. The what ifs are endless.

    • Cynthia  November 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm Reply

      Wow! This page has been such great help. Thank you. I lost my 32 year old husband September 30, 2016. He had left rehab and I believe he relapsed the week he died. We are still waiting for the autopsy results to determine if his head injury or the drugs were the ultimate cause of death. Either way he used and was found in the parking lot. The people he was with left him in the middle of the day and it makes me sick. There are so many people whose feelings I can absolutely relate to on this site. So much guilt for not realizing how sick he was. He hid it so well and many didn’t even know he used. It was a cycle with him, using to numb and “forget” about things and then guilt for using. We were hoping this was it and that he would make it. So many of us know how our loved ones are without the drugs and just cling to the loving, caring father we see to our children. The funding and resources for substance abuse are so limited and I wish there was something else I could do to help raise awareness. I am a nurse and interested in any events or movements others are taking part in to possibly help others and their families. Please contact me if any such opportunities arise. God bless all of you.

      • Sonya  January 6, 2017 at 9:07 am

        I came across this page because I’m just trying to make since of my brothers wife of 20 years well let me start over my broth died 6 years ago of an over dose of methdone orally he had never took those before he was hooked on pain pills norco mostly he wasn’t use to the methadode and how much to take but anyway my sister in-law called us to tell us he had overdosed and that she had gave him 2 xanax as well ( stupid) and put him to bed them continued to say he was more fucked up the time before when she had to call the ambulance which we had never heard about before and so we are now not sure if he had taken methadone or norco that time well anyway she was suppose to have gobbler surgery that next morning the morning he was found now I’ll get back to why I came across this site she said she slept on the couch that night and she put him in bed she woke up but told her daughter to wake her dad that she needed to get in the shower OK the bathroom is right next to there bedroom my nieces bedroom is is in the other direction on the other side of the house so that makes no since then she my sister in-law had to of went in her room first right next to the bathroom just to remind you to get the cloths she needed to where to her surgery, OK later she changed her story and said she slept in the bed with him and woke up next to him and also changed her story to instead of her giving him the 2 xanax he went and found them but they where hid if he was that messed up that’s not possible. I’ve yet to find closure nor has my family because there’s just to many questions. I read all of you stories and can see how devastated you are and my heart goes out to all of you, your reactions to your own stories is what we should have got from hers, but no theres more she moved his best friend to there house not even 2 weeks after my brothers passing with there 2 children 8 and 14 years old. I honestly believe she had something to do with it. Thanks for listening

  2. Sophie Matthews  August 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm Reply

    My husband died of an intentional overdose. He was 35 and it was 2 days before our 6 month wedding anniversary. We had fought for 2 years to finally be happy and together. Addiction was part of it, trying to drown out pain from childhood and adulthood and basically his whole life. I have to believe cos he said so that being with me was the happiest he had ever been in his whole life.

    I was not enough though. The happiness and love I gave him was not enough to combat the pain he was still trying to drown and finally the pain overtook and he left me. I am lost and broken. Thank you for your blog. S x

    • karen  February 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm Reply

      Hi Sophie, I hope this question does not sound stupid or disrespectful to you. I have also recently lost my partner from heroin intoxication ( that’s what his death certificate states). What I am struggling with is I have no idea if it was intentional or not. Like your partner mine had a terrible childhood and also struggled to move on from it. You are so right that not amount of love we could have given them would have been enough to save them. It’s heartbreaking and I beat myself up so much about it. I go over and over it in my head thinking did I not show him I loved him enough, could I have done more and most of all why.. oh why couldn’t I have saved him.

      • Suzy  March 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        My son died Jan 22, 2016 heroin overdose
        My feelings are the same…if only I would have hugged him more and had less of a plan to “fix” him
        I am finding from others that our love can’t fix this addiction

      • linda  August 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        My dear son Patrick died of an accidental drugs overdose 6yrs come october and i just cannot come to terms with it at all.It was the biggest shock of my lifevto find out that he was useing drugs as he was the most happy go lucky boy you could ever meet , he had everything to live for .When i found out about the drugs i confronted him and he cried i got him help detox in the house did not work got him into rehab he was in rehab for 7 months came out was doing great was so proud of him as i always was , because i just did not have a clue he was useing his standards hadn’t changed he worked and then one week out if rehab i got a knock on the door two police officers not given Patrick a thought i was like yes how can i help yous , and the nightmare began my son 27yrs old one month before his 28th birthday he was gone halloween night .The worst day of my life i ran to my mum and dads the house was mobbed before i knew it .My wee Patrick was gone my father died sudden 10mths later to lung cancer and 16 mths after my mother died i say of a broken heart.I miss my parents but the loss of Patrick is so different i will never get over the loss of him he was my son and my best friend and thevonly thing that has kept me going is that he is with my mum and dad in heaven looking down on me , there are days i wish i was with them but i have my daughter and she needs me she helps me a lot as u suffer from depression and fybromalgila .My faith keeps me going so i will pray for all of us and our loved ones

      • Patricia solomon  January 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        My son alsobdied from an accidental overdose in 8/9/2016. The pain us tremendous he was 23 two months from his 24th birthday.

  3. Antonia Rolls  August 15, 2013 at 9:53 am Reply

    Sophie I am so so sorry to read this, sending much love and hugs.

    • Judy  May 28, 2016 at 12:41 am Reply

      I loss my husband 9/8/15 of
      Morphine and sleeping pills, his organs started to shut down. I don’t understand this

  4. Sophie Matthews  August 29, 2013 at 6:39 am Reply

    Thank you for your kind thoughts S x

  5. Maria Cerqueira  September 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm Reply

    I am the wife of an addict who in the last 3 months has lost 2 of his good friends to overdose. These deaths have pushed my husband to overlook his life and to make changes. One of the families in these deaths has placed soul blame for their sons death on my husband because they were both addicts who used together. I can see the guilt eating away at him. I don’t know what to do to help him but to be there and support him. For years every time the phone rang i was scared that it was going to be us burying him. I am lost on what to do. He already blames himself for not being able to encourage his friend to slow down on his drug use and stop. He did get him to a NA meeting once last month. He now has to deal with the blame of the family. There is another heavy drug user in this family. I’m Lost on what to do for my husband other than support him tell him i love him and reassure him its not his fault. What can i do?

    • William  December 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm Reply

      Honestly watch out if your husband or whoever has recently quit using. Hopefully they won’t relapse but they most likely will. When they relapse this is the most dangerous time and they have the biggest chance of od. Just make sure your husband is aware that the next time he uses could be the last time. In all seriousness. I lost my brother who was 6 months clean and apparently went back to drugs. Their bodies aren’t able to handle their normal dose after they haven’t used in a while and this causes them to od. Just warning from experience. It is the most crucial time. Good luck and get him going to meetings if he is willing. Everyday.

  6. Litsa  September 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm Reply

    Oh, Maria I am so sorry for all that you and your husband are coping with. There is so much here and I wish I could give you answers, but sadly when there are so many layers and complicated issues, like grief and addiction, sometimes there are no easy answers.

    The first thing I will suggest to you is to go to nar-anon. I cannot stress this enough. If you are not familiar with nar-anon, it is a support group for family members of those struggling with addiction. You cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself, so the first question needs to be not what you can do for him, but what you can do for you. Nar-anon will give you a space for yourself to find support, as well as some tools to understand the difference between helping and enabling.

    In terms of your husband, the first thing that is important to remember is that he is going to be very limited in his ability to process emotions, including guilt, if he is still using. You said he is making changes, but I know well that can mean a range of things. It is not your job to fix him or get him clean – no one can do that but him – but you and he both need to know that fully experiencing and working through grief while using will not work and that continued use is likely to delay and/or prolong grief. It is a big step that he went NA meeting last month, as NA is an wonderful program and structure for addressing so many complicated emotions. But NA is not a once-in-a-while thing. For him to find those benefits in NA he will need to ‘work the program’ and go regularly. Many people who are just finding sobriety attend daily – sometimes even more than once daily. I will say this again, because I can’t say it enough, you cannot force him to go or to work the program. That is his decision and his recovery. But if he finds a sponsor and begins working the steps he may find that it begins helping him work through some of the feelings of guilt and grief. If NA is not the right fit for him there are other alternatives – SMART Recovery and LifeRing come to mind. The differences are really between ‘powerlessness’ vs ‘self-empowering’ approach, and a secular vs faith-based approach, and again this is something he will need to figure out as part of his own recovery.

    As for the guilt, there is so much to say there that I feel like I need to write a post (so I probably will!) but for now there are a couple things I’ll mention. First, telling him it is not his fault certainly provides support, but ultimately it will be up to him to resolve his own feelings and guilt. Though guilt gets a bad rap if it is all-consuming or cannot be integrated in a normal way, guilt is not inherently a bad thing. It is often a normal part of grief. There are three Cs you will here sometimes in the naranon world surrounding someone else’s drug use: I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. Your husband cannot control whether his friend’s family will ever believe that or not, but hopefully he can work toward accepting it when it comes to his relationship with his friend’s use an overdose. Each person individually is powerless over someone else’s addiction or recovery. Yes people may use together, but they each use because they are addicted to the drug, not because of the other person. Can people drag each other down or hold each other back in addiction? Sure. But ultimately your husband could not ‘slow down’ or stop his friend’s use because that is not how it works. If another person could stop someone else’s addiction, with love or money or time or energy or force or anything else, there would not be an overdose death every 14 minutes in this country.

    I would strongly suggest you mention some grief counseling to your husband – ideally a counselor with experience in both grief and addiction. He has had a lot of loss in a short period of time and having someone to help him process his complicated emotions may be a huge help to him. The guilt will not magically disappear, but a counselor may be able to help him recognize the space for his guilt, grow for it, and potential transform components of his guilt into meaning. The only way to do this is to face his guilt, accept the role he did play and the role he didn’t play, and figure out how he will move forward. Those as tasks much easier faced with the support of a counselor.

  7. Coco  September 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply

    Where did you get the stat about overdoses almost equalling breast cancer deaths?

  8. Sherry Wellmer  December 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm Reply

    Alhtough I do not know 100% (I am still waiting on the autopsy report), I lost my 18-year old son to a possible accidental drug overdose just 9 weeks ago. I have heard rumblings from his friends that he was doing Xanax, cocaine, and, recently I was told, heroin. My son was a gifted young man, full of so much potential. Although I started seeing issues with marijuana use and other drug-experimentation when he started high school , I still cannot believe what I have been hearing. I did try to get him into counseling (he went a few times on both occasions but said I was wasting my money), and tried to live my life around him and his needs. I was there for him every day when he came home from school, work, or out with his friends. I tried so hard to love him with everything I could, but now he is gone and I am left with this unbearable pain and guilt of wondering if there was more I should have done. The saddest part is that I heard him “snoring” the morning he died. I thought he was in a deep sleep and possibly had a stuffy nose as he had allergies, but now I know the sound was his lungs filling with fluid. I went to the grocery store and, when I came home, he had not gone to work yet. I went to his room and found him in his bed, already gone. I tried CPR and called 9-11. I even woke his older brother. It was just too late. I am devastated that drugs took my little boy’s life. Just wanted to share…

    • QT  March 5, 2016 at 9:33 am Reply

      Omg..Sherry first let me say I’m sorry for your loss…My husband passed away from a heroin overdose as well and when I saw you mentioned the SNORE I also heard the snore and this is where my guilt begins…about 2 weeks before he passed he confessed to me that he was shooting up meth .. I started crying because in my heart i knew something told me this is it he got mad at me for crying and kept telling me to stop but i couldnt…i think this was when my heart first broke.. i saw his arms they had like lumps and so when he went to sleep that night I did a lot of research and found out that the lumps were from him not hitting a vein he had so many track marks I got some vitamin e and some warm pads and put them on his arms he slept a couple days and I was right by his side trying to feed him and get liquids in his system when he finally woke he was mad at me for using the warm pads even though his lumps had gone away he said I made him feel like a real bad drug addict so I left the room for a while when I come back in he is sitting there holding a light bulb to his arm trying to find a vein I never seen him like that he did such a good job of hiding it so it shocked me he yelled to get out so I did about 3 hours later I go back in he is still trying to find a vein I said what are you doing he got mad and stormed out he didnt come home for 3 days and I wasnt able to sleep just worried about him and when he finally did I was so happy to see him I just wanted to hug him so bad but I didn’t want him getting upset and leaving again ..I could see the shame in his eyes..and he just went straight to the room it was late like 2am and I was tired and exhausted from the nights before and I ended up falling asleep I woke up to check on him and I heard him snoring so I thought ok he’s sleeping that’s a good thing I was so much in denial… I think… that I even thought he was fake snoring so I could think he was sleep and go back to bed so he could shoot up or something… I stood by the door a couple minutes to see if he was bluffing and nothing keep in mind it was already like 2 or 3 hours since I had first heard him snoring so I shook him and said you’re snoring its so loud stop it but he wouldn’t wake up I started freaking out then I saw the needle omg I’m tryig to carry him into the shower im 5’2 130 lbs he was 6’3 250 lbs I couldn’t move him an inch I called 911 and they told me to do cpr on him and I just remember everthing in slow motion it sounded so horrid when he took that last breathe it sounded like it was ripped out of him he looked like so scared I saw his face it was in slow motion the look on his face is what freaked me out and then his body just SHOOK and he began to foam at the mouth the ambulance got there like 2 minutes after but I knew he was gone they worked on him for a while but I knew he was gone…I could literally feel my heart break its been 4 years and I’m still trying to deal with it we have a son together our son was 5 yrs old at the time and I remember my son waking up that night as im doing cpr on him I couldn’t let my son see that so I ran to put my son back 8n bed it must of taken me 2 or 3 minutes to get him back to sleep he just kept asking for his Daddy I think maybe I should of never stopped the cpr but then my son would of seen but then maybe my husband would still be alive …four years its been …they say time heals the wounds but i dont think so .. my pain is worse than ever i feel alone so heart hurts I’m not sure if I handled the situation right…I just need to know that he is ok..I wonder if he sad..I wonder if he is scared I wonder I he is really at peace…I wonder if he misses us as much as we miss him …does anyone else ever wonder the samething? Somebody please…

      • Cynthia  November 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        Oh wait , maybe it was QTs story I came across on another site! So sorry about your loss!!!! No one will ever understand our situations until they have dealt with the same thing. Prayers for you!!!

      • Martha  July 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        The reason I’m replying to this story is because that’s my birthday and the day before my birthday March 4 2016 my twins sister died from a overdose of fentany laced Xanax and I’ve been so angry with her for leaving she was my everyday person so I disconnected from her death so I could raise her disabled son and this year February 27th my sweet baby boy died and I’m still struggling with her now
        I want help to grieve I know how all of u feel so sorry

    • Cynthia  November 11, 2016 at 3:18 pm Reply

      Hey Sherry,
      I am so sorry about the loss of your son. So,so young. I believe I have ran across a previous post of yours on another site or maybe just a similar situation. We are all searching for answers. I found myself even questioning GOD. My biggest fear is that of burying a child and as difficult as it is to deal with my husband ‘s passing I can ‘ t imagine your pain. It must be so much worse… Is that even possible? There is stigma associated with this type of death, I agree with the information mentioned on the podcast. I am so thankful there are others willing to discuss their situation. May God wrap his loving arms around your family and friends during this and all other difficult times. The pain doesn’t appear to be any less, I believe we just learn to handle and cope with things a little differently.

  9. Linda  December 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Dear Sherry,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my young son to an overdose almost 1 year ago and I have been through so many emotions in that time. Even though I am still extremely sad and at times get overwhelmed with grief, I believe that I will survive and experience feelings of happiness again. A friend of mine told me that life would never be the same but that it would get easier w/time. I believe she is right. I so want life to be what it once was for my family, but it never can be.

    I strongly suggest that you get counseling. That is the only way that I have managed.

  10. Amy  January 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Wow, this was a really great article. My mom passed away from an overdose when I was 17, and now in my 30s I still feel at a loss for words when a new friend or acquaintance asks me how she died.

    • Genie 123  May 4, 2016 at 7:22 am Reply

      Hi Amy I don’t know if you will see this but I think it is supremely rate to find stories of losing a mum through addiction. It produces emotions, situations and life choices that are forever clouded (imo) without significant support, honesty and openness which I myself haven’t had a great deal of. So I wanted to acknowledge your grief no matter how long has passed and say you are not alone. This is the first time I have heard someone mention losing a mum in 4yrs since mine died accidentally. That tells us how hidden and stigmatising it is. And the fact I won’t share my own name!

  11. Mark  January 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Our bright, handsome and creative 23-year-old son died of an accidental prescription drug overdose 18 months ago. His mom and I still think of him every single day and the sting of his loss is so permanent. This article hits so close to home for us — when the coroner from the county he was living in California called us with the news, she shocked us when she said that most of her time is spent dealing with these kinds of deaths in people of all ages. We cannot continue to hide our heads in the sand about this national tragedy — we must take action and stop the stigmas attached to overdose deaths.

  12. Dia  January 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    I lost my cousin about a week ago.
    He also died from an Heroin-Overdose.
    He was only 29.

    I still can’t believe what has happend and the pain makes me feel so numb inside.
    His addiction started over 10 years ago and it devided the whole family.
    We we’re always close until he got heavily into using drugs.
    He just wasn’t the same anymore.
    We tried and hoped for the best, but we knew we can’t force him.
    He was so in denial and never admitted to having a problem.
    At the point he wanted to change , it was already over.

    We shared so many memories togheter.Good ones and a lot of bad ones.
    We lost another one of our cousins 9 years ago in a drug related car accident, he was only 20.
    That was the absolut warning sign for me at 15 ,not to even try drugs in the first place.
    I just knew already back then, that using drugs always leads to a bad ending.
    So at 18, i joined our local Drug Councelling Team in volunteering and helping young homeless drug addicts to find help and shelter.
    We lived togheter when his mother was diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago.
    My aunt survived , thank god.But it took a tall on us, especially on my 3 cousins.
    We held hands at my grandfathers funeral and he hold me while i was standing on his grave crying.
    Tomorrow i will stand in front of my cousins grave.
    Crying over his demise.
    I’m so afraid of this moment and i don’t know if i can be strong enough.

    The Past 10 years have been so hard, scary and exhausting.
    Every time the phone rang i was afraid to pick up.
    Calling the cops on him, after he tried breaking into our house at 3 am in the morning , was the hardest thing i ever had to do.
    Avoiding him even though i wanted him to be around, just for the sake of knowing where he is.
    Seeing my Uncle breakdown with a hearth attack last year after a fight with my cousin made me so angry.
    But just seeing him being miserable and not wanting any help, broke my heart over and over again.

    I feel like we lost the battle, but it’s also the end of the fight.
    He’s free now, but also gone forever.

    Right now, it feels like being in a bad movie that i have seen way to many times.
    I want it to stop.
    But when it stops, it will become reality to me.
    And i don’t want this to be true…
    The pain and guilt are just too much to handle.
    How can i live with this and how i can start excepting that he’s gone?

  13. Sherry Wellmer  January 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm Reply

    Thank you, Linda. The autopsy report finally showed up the weekend before Christmas and my biggest fear was confirmed: His death was due to an “intoxication of Cocaine, Heroin and Xanax (the report used the chemical term of Xanax, not the drug brand name)” I also met with the detective investigating the case and he gave me Richard’s phone back. I have spent countless hours just reading and re-reading the text messages, in shock that these were coming from my son. It sounded like a different young man, not him. I don’t know what happened, or where things went wrong. We were so close until he was a Sophomore in high school. I can’t help but feel guilty about this, that, as much as I tried, I couldn’t prevent him from going down this road. So tragic and so very unnecessary. The only good that has come of this is that he was a tissue/cornea donor (he signed his license as such), so now I am advocating for that. I know his death was not a complete waste, for at least he helped improve others’ lives. I do go to counseling but there is really only so much your friends, family, support group and counselors can do for you. Most of it needs to come from inside of you and what you choose to feel and do with the life you have left. It is so very hard to keep going when that river of pain just engulfs your soul.

  14. Tim  January 19, 2014 at 8:42 am Reply

    This article was very good,as I read it I couldn’t stop crying.Between the shame,the blame,the guilt.We lost our son Matt on March 18 2013,23yrs old from a heroine overdose.He started using and abusing pot and cocaine his junior year in H.S.Prior that,he excelled on the baseball and soccer fields,enjoyed snow boarding and was a real jokester who loved to make you laugh.He basically spent his junior and senior years not in school but in rehab.His mother and I did what we thought was best for him at the time,after finding drugs in the house more than once we turned him in to the police,thinking this would scare him,it never did.He always claimed he didn’t have a problem even as his classmates were dying all around him.He would tell us that he would never even think about using heroine that his friends who passed were stupid and we believed him.Life has become very difficult after the loss of my only biological child.With him no longer with us,every day becomes a challenge.

  15. Eleanor  January 21, 2014 at 11:12 am Reply

    Tim, I’m so sorry. It sounds like you loved your son immensely and you and his mother did everything you could to help him. It is difficult for me to know what it’s like to lose your only biological child at such a young age. I can imagine how very difficult it is. I’m glad this post was of some help and I hope we can provide a small amount of support to you in the future.

  16. Sherry Wellmer  January 22, 2014 at 1:18 pm Reply


    I am so saddened by your post. It sounds so eerily familiar to me. My son, Richard, was only 18 when he died of a combination of heroine, cocaine and Xanax. He was also a bright young man. He was an avid soccer player, playing on a select team travel team for 6 years, until he started high school, then he ran on the track team. He was one of those people who got straight As without even opening a book. Richard was a kind-hearted young man. So many people would tell me how I did such a good job raising him since he was so polite and considerate. He too started smoking pot in H.S. At first I made a big deal about it, grounding him, taking away his car, even enrolled him in counseling. I found him lifeless in his bed the morning of Sep. 28, 2013. Before I got the autopsy report his friends told me he used Xanax a lot and a couple of his really good friends said they wished they would’ve told me, but he had started using cocaine and heroine a month or so before he died and was hanging out with some bad influence . When the detectives closed the case and gave me his cell phone back, I was in utter shock and disbelief about what I saw. His life became centered around drug use, buying Oxycontin, Vicodine, Percocets, then, eventually, cocaine and heroine. I still cannot believe that he was using all of these drugs and I didn’t even know. He was enrolled in a college scholar program and worked part time delivering pizzas and working for a landscape company. I feel your pain, Tim, I really do. There is nothing we can do to bring our sons back, but what can we do to keep others’ from going down this same path? Richard said the same thing to me when I told him to promise me he would never, ever even try heroine. He said he wasn’t stupid. I guess I just didn’t see past this.

    • Carol  February 17, 2016 at 12:28 pm Reply

      Sorry for your loss… I completely understand the grief….I lost my son just 6 months ago due to a heroine overdose at the at of 34… son had been fighting this battle for years….he too started smoking pot in HS…..Jimmy was a good kid until drugs got a hold of him. Due to the constant craving of the drug he was arrested several times for stealing……he was in and out of jail….the longest he was away was three years…but it didn’t take long for him to return to that drug. I watched a healthy handsome kid turn into a walking skeleton……through out the years I know I was his biggest enabler….I just loved him so much I though if I made his life easier he wouldn’t be so stressed…when everyone else gave up I never did…….I know my son didn’t want to be like that…..he told me one time “mom, I don’t take the drug to get high…..I take it to feel normal”…..just a few months before he passed, I tried tough love…..wasn’t giving him money or doing the normal things that enabled him…..I did tell him that he needed to get help and that I would support him in anyway…..I would stand in front of him, beside him, behind him…but if he chose not to get help, I couldn’t be in his life……..that’s what I heard all these “counslers” say……and thought it might work……his response was “love ya momma”……two weeks later he was gone….and how I hate myself for saying that.

      • Suzy  March 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        Keep in mind that as my doctor told me “you did nothing right, nothing wrong”
        You did your best and when you knew better, you did better
        IF YOUR SON had done well after you gave him the get help or leave option…you would be saying you did the “right” thing
        but because the outcome was his death, you feel you did the “wrong” thing
        Don’t get caught up in right and wrong…you did your best at the time
        My only son Kevin died on January 22 of heroin overdose…

      • Cheryl  July 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        Hello Carol, I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know that your son knew that you loved him. I can relate to the tough Iove thing. If I could have my brother back for one more day, I would just want the chance to let him know I loved him.

  17. Tim  January 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm Reply


    My wife and I are also saddened by your post,we tried so hard to get our son help for his addiction over the years,atleast 5 rehabs and multiple follow ups.It seemed for a while he was going to make the turn for the better, but just when you thought he was on the road to recovery as my wife would say,he would take two steps forward then three steps back.We would help him financially with bus money to get to work,then eventually buy him a car so he could get to a better job, but because of his drug use,couldn’t keep a job for long periods of time.We allowed him to live with us providing he lived by the house rules and didn’t bring drugs into the house,but before long was living with friends.That is what I struggle with at times,but what were we going to do allow him to do what he wanted,that’s what they call tough love.We miss Matt just as you miss your son,we both have experienced a loss like no other.I continue to tell him everyday,I wish I could have done more for ya Matt,but the entire family tried like hell.These drugs are killing our children,we need to find a way to get these drugs off the streets and better educate our children.

  18. Tim  January 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm Reply


    Yes,we had and will always have great love for our son.Like I said previously, every day is a challenge for me.It’s still difficult to comprehend that our son is no longer here with us.I feel his Mom and I did what we thought was best for him at the time.I struggle with guilt,anger and sadness on a daily basis.I know in my heart we did all that we could for our Son,but as a parent feel we could have done more.I was always a father 1st for Matt,I coached him in baseball for 10 years and will never forget those days.He was always a great competitor and had nothing but respect for his elders,coaches and parents.

  19. Sherry Wellmer  January 23, 2014 at 9:10 am Reply


    It sounds like you and your wife did everything you could possibly do, though I know it’s hard to accept that. As parents we just feel responsible for our children, no matter how old they are. I often think about what my life would be like had I found Richard sooner and he had lived. I would probably be in the same boat you and your family had been in for the past several years: rehab, then rehab again, etc.. I think these drugs take over and our children no longer are the children we had. Richard was gone so much that I didn’t have a lot of interaction once he graduated from H.S. (last June), so it was hard to see the day-to-day life he was living. He was either at school or work, or, after work, would hang out with his friends. I never noticed any behavior changes, other than he would nap often, but that’s also normal for teens. I often ponder what could I have done differently. How can we get the message across to those teens who are at risk or who are currently using drugs?

  20. Renee Saulsbury  January 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my 26 year old son to a drug over dose. Oct 8, 2013 Reading your stories I know exactly how you feel. I pray for you and cry wirh you. I too have not dealt with it, because then it becomes real. Every story i read i can find something that fits our story. My son died of oxy and xanax. The kicker is he beat oxy in 2008. He hadnt touched them. He told me on monday he had taken one that weekend but didnt know he was planning to take more. The guilt is unbelievable. The pain excrutiating. Thank you all for addressing this problem. O stumbled on this website by accident. Renee

  21. Litsa  January 27, 2014 at 7:33 am Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. Glad that you stumbled on our little corner of the internet, and hope you find something helpful here. I think so many will agree with what you say about not wanting to face it because it makes it real. I have often thought the mantra used in recovery from substances is so applicable to grief- ‘one day at a time’. Facing it feels impossible, but slowly we have to all works towards it, in order to figure out how we will ever integrate it. Thanks for sharing here.

  22. Angela Schmoll  January 28, 2014 at 8:09 am Reply

    Sherry, I lost my son in early December and so much of our stories could be the same. Like you, I’m still waiting on the autopsy results, but I’m less sure whether it will be directly linked to overdose or to chronic damage from drug use. He also began using drugs when in high school, but limited himself to near lethal doses the OTC cough suppressant dextromethorphan. He was 23 and had been using heavily since he was 16. As a result he had seizures, could not hold a job, suffered blackouts, hallucinations and psychosis. He had not lived at home since 18 because he was frightening to be around and our relationship was filled with anger and hurt. Counseling didn’t work. He didn’t think he had a problem. Despite the physical damage caused by the drugs, he still enjoyed the sensation so much that he had no interest in quitting. He died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for a week because he isolated himself so much from everyone who cared that we all just thought he was mad again. My father is an alcoholic who still wants to deny my son’s addiction because that just isn’t talked about. Talk about it. Share. Make people understand because it may help someone else.

  23. Angela Schmoll  January 28, 2014 at 8:27 am Reply

    I did not realize the statistics were so bad on drug related deaths. My 23-year-old son died the second week of December, alone in his apartment. He was isolated by his drug use from family and friends (his best friend had begged him to quit with him over a year ago and he refused) and had been dead for days before his grandmother asked police to do a welfare check.
    The guilt and shame have been so hard on my parents — I had already been to AlAnon with my ex and have been able to have what I hope is a healthier view of my role in this. My mom wishes she had sent police sooner, my dad doesn’t want anyone to know he was an addict, half of their community thinks he committed suicide. He had lived near them the past two years after I left him in jail for several months on some drug-related charges and refused to be his enabler any more.
    His drug of choice was the OTC cough suppressant dextromethorphan and he took potentially lethal doses on a regular basis (a dose is 30 mg and he would go for 1000 mg). The drug is a central nervous system depressant and causes seizures, hallucinations and psychotic episodes. At low doses it is like alcohol and at high doses PCP. He started using when he was in high school and was shoplifting it from dollar store shelves because they have lax security, although more recently he had bought it instead. Counseling didn’t work and he did not want to quit, so did not do rehab. Also, many programs do not recognize an addiction to DXM.
    After 25 years in journalism, I had begun blogging before his death and my blog now is my daily therapy, mostly charting where I am at in this ocean of grief. I’ve found a lot of mothers who are enduring the same pain and we help hold one another up in ways that even others who have lost children cannot do. I strongly recommend a journal or therapy (you need to deal with emotions and not everyone is comfortable as “out there” as I am) and support groups where you can find parents suffering as you are.
    I’m sorry we are all on this journey of pain.

  24. Justin Stewart  February 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm Reply

    I am so glad I ran into this article. Two weeks ago, someone from High School that I knew, passed away from alcohol poisoning. The town has been devastated, and this guy’s family, friends, and wife and four year old son are still broken. The worst part has been watching my friends suffer over this loss. No words can describe what I have felt for them, and no words can describe what they have been feeling. Things will never be the same!

  25. Lori  February 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm Reply

    I recently lost two sons from drug overdoses. My 26 year old in August & my 41 year old in October, two months exactly from the day his brother died. I was angry at my older son because he gave the drugs to my younger son.(not that he couldn’t or wouldn’t get them on his own). He was trying to get his life in order stopped smoking pot for two months. That was his drug of choice. But in my state that’s not legal, so instead he died of a drug overdose. I wasn’t really talking to my older son at the time of his death because I was still angry with him. I tried to forgive him but enough time didn’t pass and then he died. He was addicted to prescription drugs after being hurt in the Marines years before and had a Docter who prescribed massive amounts of drugs each month. They both died two days after the scripts were filled. They were both found on a Sunday. I found out about the older son while I was still in church just after I received communion. This is heartbreaking for me. I am glad to have found this site and thank you for the support and understanding.

    • Amy  December 12, 2016 at 1:57 am Reply

      Very sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine your pain losing two boys. I lost my brother two weeks ago on 11/27/16 two days before our fathers birthday. We don’t have results yet but from what I have found out it looks like an overdose of oxy. My brother battled demons and I would always try and talk to him let him know how proud I was of his success and how the rest would fall into place if he would stop the drinking and drugs But he just couldn’t give up the drugs and alcohol. I just never expected this. I have no idea about the prescription meds. My whole life has fallen apart I miss him so much. He was 39 and I just can’t imagine how the pain goes away. I am just lost and confused by this tragedy.

  26. Eleanor  February 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Two children…oh Lori I’m so sorry. I can only imagine how many complicated emotions your dealing with. I can’t believe the similarities, I’m sure it seem surreal. I hope our site helps a bit…let us know if there’s anything you ever want to see us cover.

  27. Dana  March 11, 2014 at 9:20 pm Reply

    My 44 year old brother is in palliative care as we speak. Nine days ago my brother took a prescription drug that was sold to him that was not what he thought (or so we think). As a result his blood sugar plummeted and he went into a coma. Now he has severe brain damage and is unable to do anything except breathe. His breathing has become difficult now and he is showing signs of the last stage of life. The doctors don’t expect him to last more than a couple more days.
    I feel like a zombie. I just want my brother back and it’s not going to happen. He has been separated from our family for 10 years as he just stopped calling one day. We have wanted to talk with him and see him ever since but couldn’t find him. He was too ashamed to contact us. I feel so guilty for misunderstanding him and not doing more to help him. I thought he was just being selfish but now I know there was so much more to his story. He is a victim of a child sexual abuse and I know now that was why he turned to drugs. I wish we could go back in time and I could help him to see his worth. I tell him I love him now but I don’t think he can hear me. I feel like I need to explain him to everyone so they understand that he wasn’t a bad person. Yes he was an addict but he had a heart of gold and emotional pain that he just couldn’t deal with. I know he is dying and waiting for that phone call is making me feel sick.

  28. Dana  March 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Today is St. Patricks day and my brother passed away peacefully this morning. In a way I am relieved that he no longer has to lie there unable to do anything. I really miss him. So does Dad and the rest of the family. I’ve cried so much in the past couple of weeks that I don’t have many tears today.

    • Sonya  July 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry. 🙂 My son died 2 weeks ago after buying some pills off the internet, his blood sugar was extremely low also. I’m sorry to have to ask you this question, if you don’t feel like answering I understand. Did they ever figure out what he had taken?

  29. Eleanor  March 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm Reply

    Dana, I’m so sorry. I’m sure there is a relief to knowing he is no longer suffering, but this doesn’t diminish your grief for all the time you knew and loved him as man who was full of life. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with the reality that you were going to lose him for sometime now and that you’ve likely been experiencing Anticipatory Grief (we explain that a little here: I’m sorry for your loss and I hope you can find moments of peace and relief throughout the next few weeks.

  30. brandi huntley  March 24, 2014 at 2:42 am Reply

    Hi there,

    I am glad to have came upon this site. I have had so many questions and no answers. My story- My fiance and the love of my life passed away on 9/29/13 due to an overdose. He was taking Oxy, Xanax, and also he smoked cocaine that day, however, he did this combo for about 8 months prior to his death so I’m not sure WHY he passed away this day? He was my high school sweetheart and we had reunited 3 years prior to his death and I still cry EVERY single day and ask God WHY? I miss him beyond words and I know that I will never love again, NEVER. He was my soul mate, my everything. His family won’t speak to me now so I unfortunately do not know the autopsy results, but he passed away in my lap. I woke up (we had fell asleep in my car) and his head was in my lap and he was deceased. 🙁 I literally was screaming and crying with 911 I didn’t know what to do. He had a black secretion coming from his nose/mouth and I still have no idea what that was. I am just so upset over all this, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get over this. He was my entire WORLD. To all who have lost someone- my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain. I am now in recovery and have 61 days clean. I will NEVER use again as addiction has taken the one thing in life I loved AWAY. RIP Charles, I love you baby and I will see you again!

  31. Renee  March 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm Reply

    I lost my 28 year old son to overdose of oxy and xanax October 8 th. I only know my son also had a black secretion from his nose and mouth and still don’t know what that means but I can tell you the toxicology came back as acute drug intoxication. I can’t help you with how to move on as I haven’t figured that out myself. He was my life. I miss him everyday and just go through the motions. I hope knowing what your fiancés toxicology report thru my sons gives you one answer. Keep up the good work of sobriety. That is for you. God bless us all who have lost the ones we love.

  32. Niki  March 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm Reply

    My name is niki. I lost my step brother yesterday to a herpin o/d he has been using since a teenager and lost the fight at 40 years old, he has been in rehab 5 times and had been clean for a year. He was staying with his mother and my disabled father helping them around the house and caring for my father. They found him yesterday dead. At first I was furious that he had put my father and his wife in such a terrible place then I cried all day. I now travelling 200 miles to be with my father who is distraught he brought him up as he was a toddler when he moved in. I need some advice on how to support them

  33. Litsa  March 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm Reply

    Oh Niki, I am so sorry for what your family is going through. I think one of the important things to keep in mind about this kind of loss is that there can be a lot of anger, guilt, and shame. This can come out in families if one person blames another in some way, or if there was disagreement about how to interact with the person suffering from addiction when they were still alive. Anything you can do to be aware of these emotions is important. That being said, it can be tempting to say “don’t feel guilty”. That is something you want to avoid, as when people are grieving they need to come to terms with their emotions, not be made to feel that there emotion is not valid or that they need to avoid the emotion. You can find that post here: In terms of just general support, anything practical and concrete that you can offer will be of huge help. This post may come in handy, as it has a lot of specific things that your father and his mother may need. Lastly, take care of yourself. The emotions that grief brings can be overwhelming. Take it one day at a time and don’t get so focused on others that you forget about yourself. Find someone you can talk to and lean on, journal, create art, or do whatever else works for you to express your grief. We have tons of tools here on this site – hope you find them helpful. Hope you are holding up and sorry for the delay in my reply!

  34. Niki  March 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm Reply

    Thanks for the advice I went today and listened and listened I think his mother is still in shock. Every thing we spoke about she brought Steven into the conversation. I took her food shopping it’s the first time she had been away from the house . I offered to do it for her but she wanted to come. She was like a rabbit in headlights timid and overwhelmed. She is blaming herself for having him live with her saying if she had not asked him if he wanted to come down it wouldent if happened, I did say if he wanted to start using again he would of regardless of where he was and although his death is tragic at least he was with people who loved him and not alone in a squat of in a gutter. It seemed to sooth her but I am not sure whether it was the right thing to say, I asked them if they wanted me to visit again tomorrow before I travel home and they both said yes please. When his wife was out of the room my dad thanked me for caring and being so kind and such a good daughter and he cried. Such a catrastothic effect on all of us. I just feel at least now he is not aflictected by the toument any more and I pray he has found serenity

  35. Julie  March 31, 2014 at 5:36 am Reply

    I am so grateful for this blog post. I found it by googling “How to deal with a friend’s death by drug overdose”. I’m really sorry I didn’t have anyone to tell me this stuff when I was 19. Thank you. It’s been 18 years since I cried like this. I really hope we as a society can start talking about addiction and overdoses. It will save lives and help people seek treatment.

  36. Litsa  March 31, 2014 at 7:33 am Reply

    I couldn’t agree more about hoping society will start talking about addiction and overdose more. I am glad you found this post helpful!

  37. Leslie  April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm Reply

    I am reading all of your comments and I am so sorry for all of your losses.
    Yesterday, our friends accross the street son, was found dead in the bathroom after what looks like is an accidental overdose from heroin. I am sickened by what this family will have to bare for the rest of their lives. I went back over today and without realizing it, I was asking questions like, How did you want me to say he died? Or, why is this happening to so many young men? Along with other questions. I wanted to be empathetic and instead probably made things worse.
    I am a child of a suicide. Much different than losing your child. I sent a short text apologizing for my insensitivity and told her we loved them. I feel sick that I may of hurt someone that is already in pain. Can someone please share with me the right thing to do.

  38. Litsa  April 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm Reply

    Leslie, don’t feel bad. When someone dies we all do the best we can in the moment. The fact that you are here looking for support and advice means you are a good friend, and I am sure they know that! I wish there was one easy answer to what the ‘right’ thing to do is, because the needs of each griever is so different. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. We have two posts that I think are a good start. The first is about how you conceptualize your role when supporting a griever, and you can find that here: The second is a really concrete, specific post on supporting a grieving friend. You can find that one here: I hope these are of some help. . . .

  39. Julie  April 2, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

    Litsa – I’m a writer, and I’m also an individual who has lost very close friends to drugs. I would like to know what your thoughts are on my writing about those events, and helping others through telling my story. I’m not sure if it will be a cautionary tale, or just a simple entertainment piece with a lesson attached, but in this country, we do not grieve the way we should. Everything I’ve read on your blog is right from what I’ve felt with my own grief process. I do not want to bring undue harm or sadness to any of the people involved in the situation that happened to me and my group of friends after our 2 friends overdosed. But some of the same people I’m trying to protect showed me none of the same consideration when this all happened 18 years ago. One girl od’d from meth, one from heroin. The girl who overdosed on meth was pregnant. Her parents wanted someone to blame. The parents blamed us – her friends. So did the whole town. It was horrible. I’m not trying to seek vindication or retribution – I’ve forgiven everyone. I just want to help others, and I want to help heal myself through telling the story. This blog is a great resource for those who are grieving, and you are very, very knowledgable – please keep the blog up. It’s great.

    PS – I would like to interview you for a story I’m working on regarding suicides by profession – a CDC report last year noted suicides by physicians, dentists and pharmacists are the top three, and I find this ironic, as they are all in the health professions – a profession you would think had better access to care and less stigma in that community toward talking about suicide or suicidal tendencies.

    Please let me know how to get in touch with you via email, if possible. I’ll send you some questions.

  40. Eleanor  April 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Hey Julie,

    I’m Litsa’s co-author so I’m authorized to speak on her behalf (just kidding….I just like to butt in) =). You can e-mail Litsa at I will say, and I know Litsa will agree, all of what you’ve said here sound like constructive and meaningful ways to talk about your own experience with death and grief while at the same time help others who trying to make sense of similar experiences. You story sounds very interesting and If you send a message to the above e-mail I know Litsa will get back to you asap.


  41. Beverly  April 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm Reply

    Thank you for this information, which like you reported, is few and far between. I lost brother Tracy 10/04/13 just 16 days before his 42nd birthday. The average age of overdose is 40 in the state of KY. My family had tried for years to get my brother help with no avail.

    Guilt has been a big issue for me but anger has played a bigger part of my mother’s grief. She dwells on what potential was wasted and that he has left two little boys behind with a mother who is also a drug addict. Coming from a rural eastern KY area we are no strangers to accidental prescription medication overdoses and trying to be prepared for the worst did not make it any easier.

    We struggle more with fear at this point with no power or say over what happens with his children. There is no way to get my sister in law into treatment and anything we try legally may result in the loss of contact with my nephews. I have spoken to friends who are police, social workers, county attorneys for advice and all report failing systems that do not support the children in this type of situation. So, all that we feel that we can do now is support them and her in hopes for a change, knowing that this method did not save Tracy.

    I am also struggling to understand a system that has lead to the situation surrounding my brothers easy access to prescription medication and his untimely death. He and his wife were arrested the day before his death and he was taken to the hospital and given an opiate blocker (unsure of the name of the drug) and instead of a 48 hour observation he was released the same night. He went home and took more Opana to get back his high and overwhelmed his body. He was then left to lay on the floor of his home eight hours after showing initial signs of overdose due to fear of legal ramifications of drug possession by his friends and wife. My sister finally found out from a distant relative. She and my brother in law rushed to his home and did CPR for forty five minutes until the ambulance arrived. He died soon after he arrived at the hospital. At the hospital it was like just another overdose and I had to push hospital officials about reporting it as an overdose and requesting a blood test. I have seen numerous accidental overdose deaths labeled as heart failure in my area and wanted my brother to be added correctly to the state recorded statistics. I had to end up making this request to the coroner.

    I am far from over my grief. however, I am appreciative of your blog and your efforts to get attention drawn to this issue. It is well overdue. I am also looking for anyway that I can do on a congressional level. I made contact with the KY-ASAP State Program Coordinator for the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet-Office of Drug Control Policy but was not provided any information on how to affect drug policy. I was just asked several details concerning my brother’s ability to obtain drugs across the state line with the ability to fill the prescription a in KY? I want to know what I can do to help my community with this disaster and possibly save other families from having to suffer a loss.

  42. molly  April 22, 2014 at 11:45 am Reply

    Julie, I was sorry to read about you and your friends experience with being blamed for your friends death. I wanted to share with you that we lost our son to an accidental overdose last November. He had estranged himself from his entire family for over three years. In the process of trying to piece together the distorted puzzle of his demise, I reached out to many of his friends, past and present. I was not in any way seeking to blame anyone, but only trying to understand, and to see if anyone was aware of anything that might have happened that would have driven and perpetuated his addiction.
    I met with so much resistance. No one wanted to talk to me about what their experiences were. I feel so alone and so disconnected with my grief. I don’t know the cause of their resistance but my sense is that they fear that they might be blamed.

  43. Julie  April 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Elanor – Thank you, and I did receive your email. I will contact Litsa at the email you provided. Molly – you and I could help each other. I would think the addiction spectrum shines far and wide on this blog. In my personal opinion, if you really want to find out the circumstances of what led to his death, you may not be able to learn everything right away. From my experience, my own conscience got in the way of my learning exactly what happened to my friends – I blamed myself so heavily that I didn’t think there could be a simple explanation that had nothing to do with me, for years. 18 years, to be exact. This blog is such a good way of learning what the professionals won’t or can’t tell you. Don’t let your grief get in the way of your brain – I mean, let science do as much as possible, and let your emotions do their jobs, and don’t be afraid to make some admissions about yourself in the process. I hope that makes sense.

  44. Litsa  April 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm Reply

    I think it is hard for people to imagine that someone could be seeking information without seeking blame in any tragic situation. I am sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. It may be with time that people will begin to share. I will say, from working with many people in similar situations, that often even with all the information possible, it still doesn’t bring the ‘closure’ or understanding that people are looking for. I am not sure how you framed your questions to his friends, but it could be helpful just to ask people if they have photos they would be willing to share with you, or good memories of him from the time you were estranged. This may build some trust that you are truly just trying to get to know who your son was in that time that you didn’t have contact with him. Doing this may be hard, as it is hard not to want to ask questions about the addiction, but if you can start with focusing on gathering photos and memories, with time it may build trust to discuss other things. The sad reality of addiction is that it doesn’t take much to ‘drive and perpetuate’ it. We often want to find a ‘why’ for addiction, when sometimes there is no ‘why’. I am so sorry you are feeling so alone – have you considered seeking a support group?

  45. Kristi  April 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm Reply

    I lost my husband of 10 years two weeks ago to heroine. I have so many mixed emotions right now it is hard to process everything. I know I have a long road ahead for both me and my girls.

    It was nice to find this page and read others stories, gives me the sense of not being alone. I tried for two years to save my husband. Finally in February of this year he made the choice to detox and do a 5 week inpatient program. He came home on March 31. While I was nervous for him, he was so positive and learned so many tools for coping with his addiction. I was supportive and encouraging, telling him that this was a fresh start only to lose him on April 10.

    Addiction has no prejudice, it happens to all walks of life. We need to be supportive and help those in need and avoid being judgmental. I hope one day soon that treatment is more readily available to those in need.

  46. Dave's Widow  May 28, 2014 at 6:49 am Reply

    You get it. That’s the first thing that came to mind….you truly, 100% GET IT and put it in print.

    My beloved husband ended his life via overdose. He’d refused to take Ambien for his insomnia – he was a pharmaceutical chemist and a retail pharmacist who knew that brand new drug could potentially be horribly addictive. Eventually, our MD convinced him to go on Prozac, which did help the insomnia. He tossed the remaining pills once sleep was back to normal. Didn’t know in 1998 to never go off anti-depressants cold turkey. He did, and mentally/emotionally was NEVER my beloved husband again. He turned into a complete stranger. A few months later, he died from an overdose.

    The shame, the stigma were crushing. I put in his obit that memorial donations could be made to the Mental Health Assn., yet my mom even said, “Are you sure you want to do that??”. I replied, “YES!!! THE STIGMA NEEDS TO END!”

  47. Doretta Johnson  May 31, 2014 at 4:08 pm Reply

    I am pretty sure I know the answer, but I have to ask the question. If not here, where?

    How many parents who have lost children to overdoses started their anti-drug education when the child was a toddler? (Technically mine started in infancy with application and withdrawl of stressors at increasingly longer intervals.)

  48. Tiffany  June 12, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

    I have read so many stories and found so much research on parents dealing with the grief of losing their child to overdose, and that breaks my heart… However, I didn’t find anything on the topic I was looking for… Mabye someone could help.
    I was friends with this lady a while back and we lived together for a while as roommates too.. I helped with her children all the time and I eventually realized she was an addict. She would disappear days on end, never bought food for her young children… Etc. I ended up the primary caretaker of all three. Her and I started fighting a lot and I moved out. Then she gave the kids away to their dads. I’ve seen them a lot over the past couple years (the kids) and have taken them on outings and things.
    Last night I got a phone call from one of the fathers that the mother had died of an overdose… The father did not tell them last night as it was the middle of the night and he allowed them to go ahead to their last day of school before summer break. They had been looking forward to this last day for quite some time…
    When they get home, he has asked me to come help break the news since I was close to them… But how do you break that kind of news to a 10 year old and an 7 year old? And I know they will ask how she died, do you tell them she overdosed? I’m at a loss for ideas on this one! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    (Let me apologize for any grammatical errors as I am typing this on my phone and typing quickly before work, so please excuse me!)

  49. Sherry Wellmer  July 19, 2014 at 7:52 pm Reply

    I just spent a few minutes re-reading these posts on drug overdose/addiction. It will be 10 months next week that my son, Richard, died from an overdose of heroin, cocaine and Xanax (actually the active chemical in the drug) at 18 years old. It has been a heart-wrenching time for my family and I, still struggling with the “whys” and “what could we have done.” I miss Richard with all my heart. It seems I read of young people dying from heroine overdoses at least once a week . It saddens me that these lives ended way too soon. I keep hearing about how some people just have addictive personalities, and maybe Richard did and I just didn’t know it. He was a quiet, gifted young man, but kept his emotions to himself. I don’t know if that’s because of the drugs or a reason why he turned to them. Anyway, I think of all of you on this site that have lost children, family or friends to this horrible disease. I wish there was an answer for all of us.

    • Eleanor  July 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm Reply


      Thank you for your message. I wish there was an answer as well…I guess everyone does. I’m so sorry about the death of Richard. I know your heart must ache for him every day.


      • Sherry Wellmer  July 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        Thank you, Eleanor. Yes, it has been a very hard time. My world was shattered when Richard died, and I have spent the past 10 months trying to understand why. None of his friends have admitted to anything. They just said they all smoked pot and “experimented” with painkillers. That’s where I think it all started. The detective told me kids start with prescription pain meds they buy on the street, but they are too expensive and that’s why they end up doing heroine and cocaine. Heroine in this part of Ohio is only $3.00 a bag, which is a lot cheaper than $80.00 for a Percocet. Anyway, it is a terrible thing but I do find some respite when I know other’s can understand my pain.

  50. Linda  July 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm Reply

    I lost my 34 year old son to a heroin overdose last July.It’s been a year but feels like it happened yesterday. There has not been a day that goes by that I don’t cry. I miss him so much. I am in a support group and that helps. I have come to the realization that I couldn’t have saved him. I tried for so long but he wouldn’t or couldn’t give up the drugs.I wish every day this could have ended differently. I love Jake.

  51. Linda  July 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Sherry, I know the pain your feeling.When I think about my son I can actually feel a pain in my heart. I think you got to look forward because it’s to painful to look back.

  52. Khristi Stump  August 13, 2014 at 9:58 pm Reply

    I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll begin with the day he died and part of me died with him. It was a Friday night at 9 pm on March 14 2014. I knew about his heroin addiction. This demon plagued him for 7 years. In and out of jail, rehab, and methadone clinics. He lost his job, his home and his beloved children. I have had custody of them for 5 yards now. I can b early cope some days I think the pain will just envelope me. Sometimes it’s so hard to find the light through the what seems like endless darkness. Yesterday while at the grocery store, the older women in line with me started telling meveryone how she had lost her son. I usually don’t talk about it but for some reason I told her that my son had recently passed away also. She looks at me and said “What did he have?” I said “A heroin addiction.” She literally turned her back to me in silence! I felt so ashamed, so embarrassed and hurt. Tears rolling down my cheeks I quickly paid and left. Once in my car this rage and anger began to swell inside me like a volcano! How dare she treat me like I was a horrible person or a terrible mother! My son wasn’t just a junkie. He was a son a father, a friend and a good person with a heart of gold. But most of all…he was loved! My son was Nicholas Sean Able and I loved him no matter what he had done! I dreamed of him. In my dream he was still my little boy. We walked on the beach, his tiny hand in mine. I looked down at the sand and saw his little footprints along side my own and kissed his beautiful face. My boy…Nicholas Sean Able. 11-16-80 3-14-2014

  53. Fuck Off and Get Off the Planet  August 14, 2014 at 12:38 am Reply

    Drug Addiction = Borderline/Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Drugs are a lame excuse for being born a demon. Fuck all of them, get them off the planet! Do yourself a favor and stop giving a crap!

    • Litsa  August 14, 2014 at 1:17 am Reply

      FOAGOTP, though my initial inclination was to delete your comment, we hate to delete comments around here unless it is promoting the work of spellcasters. You are absolutely entitled to your feelings about those struggling with addiction. I have similar feelings about those who leave thoughtless, uneducated and offensive comments on the internet using fake names and email addresses, especially on sites for those grieving the death of a loved one.

  54. Tasha  August 15, 2014 at 12:17 am Reply

    Hi. My name is Tasha. Three years ago my little sister died of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 20, her name is Breanna and she was my rock. I thought at the time I had handled it will but I am starting to learn that I have never really dealt with her death and it’s finally taking a toll. My sister was my best friend and we were really close. She was always there when I needed her no matter the time or the reason. I used to pick on her reminding her that I was the big sister not her. She struggled with addiction for several years before she finally lost her battle. No one understands the sadness and the empty part of me that is left. For years I have struggled with the questions always pushing them to a back burner in order to get through the next day but I can’t do it anymore. There is very little material out there that deals with overdoses and even less with the death of a sibling. Thank you so much for this article. As I finally claw my way to whatever peace I can make I know there are people out there that understand and that means a lot

    • Litsa  August 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm Reply

      Tasha, I am so sorry about the death of your sister. It isn’t uncommon for people to experience ‘delayed grief’, which is just what it sounds like – not grieving a death right away. It can occur for many reasons. It is great that you have been able to recognize the signs that you didn’t deal with the loss at the time and need to begin grieving the loss now. Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of delayed grief when it arises, so they are left feeling totally confused! I am glad this article was a help to you. We have tons of ideas here for coping with grief — from journaling, to art, to photography, to how to connect with the right therapist. We hope you will find resources here that help you. Please know we’re here if you have any questions or need anything!

  55. Bonnie  August 29, 2014 at 10:43 am Reply

    I am so glad I found this sight.. The lose of my nephew was different somehow I realized I was having such different emotions than when other loved ones had passed away. That is because on 8-3-14 my nephew who had just turned 29 overdosed and was found by his girlfriend after a Fentanyl overdose. We had no idea he had started using again he had just gotten out of prison two weeks before so we didn’t even find out it was a overdose until 8-21 from the death certificate. Needless to say I am heartbroken and all those emotions guilt,blame,shame and of anger. He had been in prison since he was 17 he had maybe a year and a half of freedom in 2011 and 2012. And somehow he was introduced to Heroin as soon as I found out he was using I lost it and it brought me to my knees. There are only two people I know that have used and still use Heroin that are still alive. And Fentanyl OMG what a dangerous drug to abuse!!! I am so surprised that there are not more overdoses on this sight with this drug it could be 100 times stronger than morphine. That is really scary! Addiction is so terrible everything was going so good for him he had chances he never had before. And a Awesome girlfriend that waited him. It is just so sad.

  56. Julie  September 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm Reply

    Hi, my name is Julie. Alanon. Been to a few. My son Matt just passed 2 months ago. July 1, 2014 at 27. He would have been 28 August 6. Matt had it all, looks, body, intelligent, personality like no other, but… he was ill. He was born with a brain disease called Addiction. It ignited fiercly after he had surgery at 14 and took pain meds. Although, it was calling his name before that. Nothing he didn’t do or try. Addiction is a progressive disease. It is relentless. Cancer aint got nothing on this. I have so much to say that my 56 year old fingers would freeze up typing. I been studying the disease when I realized, at 14, something was off with Matt. The last 14 years have been living hell for him and his family. He was in jail 17 times. Rehab, lock down rehab, you name it. He always completed because he knew at the end what was waiting. The anticipation was part of completing the program. I spent 2 years in another state with him living in an apartment. Trying to save him but knowing I could not. It was living a documentary. He talked about his disease, when he could, very candidly. He hated it. Hated having it. He had just gotten out of another half-way house 4 days before he died. I miss him every single minute, but, he is free of his suffering with this demon. He did not want to spend the rest of his life in prison for a disease. He told me this. He knew what he was dealing with. I would rather he be free and without suffering than imprisoned, mentally or physically. He has given us signs that he is a free bird. Finally.

    • Sherry  September 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm Reply

      Julie, That was the most realistic story of addiction I have ever read. Although it was also, sad, you painted a very real picture. My son, Richard, died of a heroin/cocaine overdose last year when he was 18. He was a gifted, quiet, caring young man full of potential, but for some reason, he got into prescription pain medication his senior year of high school, which eventually led to heroin. I knew nothing about the heroin or the pain medication until after he died, but I know that, in time, his addiction would have certainly reared its ugly head and I would have been dealing with much of what you had to. I miss Richard with all of my heart and have pretty much cried every day for the 331 that he has been gone. I have learned so much about addiction since then and just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your story. I am so very sorry you are suffering with the loss of your son, and understand the pain you are feeling. God Bless…

    • Suzy  April 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm Reply

      On January 22, 2016 my son Kevin overdosed on Heroin. On that day, in my daily bread reader that I keep on my nightstand the title was A Prisoner No More…I feel God was telling me the truth…still the pain is unbearable at times

  57. Claire  September 3, 2014 at 8:51 am Reply

    I’m glad to have found this site. My ex-husband and friend of 30+ years passed away this May of an overdose of the drug fentynyl. It is a medication they give cancer patients for pain. People who are addicted to other drugs, pain meds, heroin, etc., often use this for a “better high.” I learned that dealers also lace heroin with it for a more powerful sale to keep their customers coming back for more.

    I had no idea that he was using this drug, but I was aware of his addiction issues. Before I married him, he had a terrible addiction to cocaine, but overcame that and was sober for a couple of years before we started dating. He remained that way through our engagement and marriage until he had an injury and was prescribed pain medications. He became addicted to a few different ones over a few years. I talked to him about the affect it had on our relationship, and he sought counseling and actually got off them only to become addicted to another a short time later. I spoke to his doctors and tried everything possible to help him get help. It didn’t help that he was out of work on disability because he had entirely too much time on his hands to use and have few responsibilities to keep him afloat, or at least a part of the family and part of society. We had two children in the midst of these years and I run my own business. He promised to care for the children while I worked, and I was very open to the idea of Mr. Mom, though he couldn’t achieve success at that role because he often couldn’t get out of bed. The lethargy and fogginess of taking so much pain medication made him irritable and constantly tired, and I believe even messed up his own ability to discern the real chronic pain he suffered from.

    Finally, after a few years of living this way, and with a lack of motivation on his part to make a very big change as far as the drugs and his work life were concerned, I made the most difficult decision of my life: to ask for a separation. He was surprised and angry. He asked if there was anything he could do. I told him I’d been talking to him for years about the same issues and I realized I couldn’t make him change. I could though make a decision about my own life. And that was that I didn’t want to spend the rest of our lives making him feel bad or being resentful of him. I loved him too much. So we cried and parted ways, and ventured into a horrible period of the divorce process, where people pit you against each other and there’s all sorts of stress and stuff to contend with. Add to that his using turned from pain meds to street drugs, and it was a rollercoaster. He often didn’t show up to see our children and they were just little ones. It was heartbreaking for me, and for them. We each became involved with other partners, and unfortunately, I later learned that his had suffered from a Xanax addition when he came into the picture. I think it was like a tornado when they got together because both had issues to start with. It went from bad to worse, and he tested positive for cocaine for a year in family court, but due to privacy issues, the court wouldn’t tell me. They’d just say I had to use my judgement and not give the kids to him if I thought he was high. Nothing like putting the pressure on even more.

    Well this all went on for years, but in between his bouts of anger with me, we were still friends. I always told him I’d help him and that I was really concerned about him. He denied everything until one day he fessed up and cried to me about his lifestyle, and I assured him I’d never use it against him, but wanted to help him get well. At this point, I remarried and my husband was even supportive of this plan. He got better for a while, but as all drug addicts families know, it’s a rollercoaster on again/off again thing.

    I never lost hope for him, right up until his death. Very sadly, I lost one of my best friends in October last year. Then my ex-husband’s girlfriend died. I was friendly with her also, and believe she was trying to reach out to me for help just a month before she passed. She OD’d also. After that, my ex’s family stepped in (finally) and arranged an intervention. He went away, but he was grieving the loss of his girlfriend and said the place he was at was filthy and awful. No one had checked it out in advance so I believed him (and still do). He came home and his family wrote him off. My husband and I and one of his friends helped him get through a few weeks of winter while we searched for a drug rehab program that he could go to as an inpatient. There are so many limitations due to insurance requirements. Because it was winter, we were also afraid for his life because he was homeless. Couldn’t even get him into a shelter.

    All the while I kept his family posted on his well being, even though they wanted no part of him and made it very clear. I assumed, as a parent myself, that his parents and siblings would sleep better at night knowing he was alive and fed with a roof over his head. Finally, I convinced them that he truly did want rehab and at the ‘nth hour, they stepped back in and joined us in getting him into another rehab out-of-state where he stayed for 45 days. I spoke to him routinely while he was there, and we had some really good talks. Even though we’d been through so much in our relationship, we loved each other very much and were devoted to one another as the closest of friends. I never actually stopped loving him, which made all these decisions that much harder. Loving someone and having to end your marriage due to these issues is a very complicated and difficult place to be.

    He came home and was well. It was so great to see him healthy and happy, and peaceful. But that was short lived. He had all kinds of challenges, from financial debt, to finding an apartment, to dealing with the loss of his girlfriend, and the judgements of many people. We were able to spend some good quality time with him, and for those weeks, I am forever grateful.

    He was waiting to move into an apartment so his family finally agreed to let him stay with them for a week or two and that’s where he died. The week before his death, I became concerned because I noticed some of his old addiction behaviors – not showing up on time to see the kids, etc. He avoided me when he was using because he knew I’d know. He avoided me for a few days during which, I later learned, that he had a car accident and spent a night in the hospital with low blood pressure. He died a few days later on the couch in his family’s home.

    Fortunately, my kids and I and my husband were able to attend the services. They told us the medical examiner thought it was a heart attack or a blood clot. I’m sure they knew more than what they told me after hearing some stories about things that were going on that I was unaware of. The niceness was short lived, however. Suddenly, it was all about whatever death benefits he had – his family seems to think they were entitled to these above and beyond his kids. We had words about that and they have since made me the target of all of their anger about the whole situation. They have actually told me that I am the reason he turned to drugs. I offered to put a headstone at his grave (since the family was complaining about the costs for the funeral and there’s no headstone there yet), and the reaction was hate-filled words of blame and anger and bitterness. These people don’t even care about their son’s children! I’m so hurt and we are all so grief-stricken still. I have compassion for them because I understand there’s so much grief and mixed emotions, but there has been zero compassion for me or my children who really loved this man beyond belief.

    I have no regrets about never giving up on him and I also don’t feel angry at him for his relapse. I don’t think it would be realistic to assume that one would be fully “cured” and recovered after only 45 days of rehab, and a few weeks back home, with all the reminders and temptations.

    I’ll never forget the goodness in this man – he was a wonderful human being who I spent many happy years with and no matter what these people say, they can never take that away from me, or the love we shared. RIP JS. I miss you terribly and will never get past the pain of losing you. I can only hope that each day gets a little easier and that we will someday meet again. Watch over us.

    • Litsa  September 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm Reply

      Claire, I am so sorry for your loss and that the situation with his family has become so painful and complicated. Even without the complicating factors of addiction, death can bring out the worst in families. When overdose and addiction become part of the picture, worst can become even worse! We have another post that you may find helpful here:

  58. chuck mumah  September 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm Reply

    i live in powder springs ga. we lost our son to heroin addiction auguust 1. my wife is really having a hard time with it all with blame.shame. you name it. She asked me for help in finding some meeting or something to help her cope. can you help ? i miss my son herribly but it is tearing her up, and I do not know what to do.

    • Litsa  September 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm Reply

      Chuck, I am so sorry about the loss of your son. Please know that the feelings she is coping with are completely normal amd are some of the most common emotions after an overdose loss. Please take a look at part II of this post, if you haven’t already, for some suggestions and resources I am not sure where in GA Powder Springs is, but GRASP has two chapters that meet in Georgia. Their info is:

      Athens Area GRASP Chapter
      Krista Reed
      First meeting Sunday, July 8th, 2PM
      Please call to pre-register

      Newnan area GRASP Chapter
      Patricia Rudd
      Please call or email for pre-registration

      GRASP is a support group specifically for those who have lost someone to overdose. She may also want to consider meeting one on one with a grief counselor to help her with coping and working through some of her guilt, blame, shame, etc. If you call a local hospice they may either have a counselor or be able to recommend one. She may also find some ideas and resources on our site for all types of coping, from journaling to photography, to finding ways to memorialize and remember. Hope this is at least a place to start.

  59. Warren  September 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm Reply

    Hi my name is warren, from South Africa my son Dean died from a herion overdose on 31 May 2014. I also found this site by a random google search. It has been like reading an extract from my life and the daily torment Dean had to go through every day. The sad part is that most of our stories are so much alike, the struggles we had with our loved ones and the burden and guilt we carried with trying to help them and protect them yet we were powerless in preventing there overdose. To find a site like this after Deans death is helpfull but also frustrating, but I guess I knew a lot of the facts posted here and I could not have ever prevented deans death. He was in rehab more than ten times and staying at a halfway house when he overdosed. Our relationship was strained from all the past torment that had happened, stealing lying etc, but he tried every day to live one day at a time. People will never understand the helplessness of a parent who sees there boy being a herion addict, ” friends ” said show him tough love but now he” s gone what can they say. The guilt shame and pure hurt I live with every day is so painfull but I know with that pain he does not need to fight that daily battle he lived with every day of his life. I will never understand the battle he fought every hour of every day but one hope to come to terms with the grief. It is so true the loss of a child is never something you get over but a new way of living your life RIP my boy

  60. Warren  September 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm Reply

    Hi my name is warren, from South Africa my son Dean died from a herion overdose on 31 May 2014. I also found this site by a random google search. It has been like reading an extract from my life and the daily torment Dean had to go through every day. The sad part is that most of our stories are so much alike, the struggles we had with our loved ones and the burden and guilt we carried with trying to help them and protect them yet we were powerless in preventing there overdose. To find a site like this after Deans death is helpfull but also frustrating, but I guess I knew a lot of the facts posted here and I could not have ever prevented deans death. He was in rehab more than ten times and staying at a halfway house when he overdosed. Our relationship was strained from all the past torment that had happened, stealing lying etc, but he tried every day to live one day at a time. People will never understand the helplessness of a parent who sees there boy being a herion addict, ” friends ” said show him tough love but now he” s gone what can they say. The guilt shame and pure hurt I live with every day is so painfull but I know with that pain he does not need to fight that daily battle he lived with every day of his life. I will never understand the battle he fought every hour of every day but one hope to come to terms with the grief. It is so true the loss of a child is never something you get over but a new way of living your life RIP my boy.

  61. Harry & Gina  October 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm Reply

    I don’t know where to start. We red all the postings and cried. We lost our 19 year old Son last Friday what appears to be a drug addiction/over dose. This is so hard… My wife and I trying to make some sense out of this but can’t. We tried placing him to rehab, he kept swearing that he is no longer doing drugs, I don’t know why we believed him. I feel we could have saved him and failed to do.

  62. Nancy Trense  November 3, 2014 at 12:31 am Reply

    My 46 year old son died of an overdose of meth, ate a fentanyl patch, percocets. He was a chain smoker and had blood clot surgery. His body was a mess. He was a handsome, talented personal trainer, gracious, funny and intelligent, but he was an addict. He went to a boys home at 14 after his father and I divorced. I always wanted to blame his father for teaching him about drugs and myself for being a perfectionist and saying some things that were not nice. But I went to Alanon, and I learned better behavior when he was 20. He met a lady 42 years old who was an alcoholic. They would drink and fight and he would go to jail. He was in a bad car accident and became addicted to pain pills. He came to California and worked as a personal trainer and met a lady who had a lot of prescriptions. He was in pain from bodybuilding and the accident, and then learned about meth and it’s hightening sex. He told me about it.
    I got a call November 7, 2012 that he ha passed. I was so depressed, but got help from Hospice and Kaiser. It will be two years, and I have finally realized that he alone made his choices, and he was responsible for his death. I want to beat myself up for giving birth to a person that could act like a monster at times – and yet he was the sweetest child and when sober we had so much fun and got along. It is the biggest mess this drug thing, and it is an epidemic. My bio father was an alcoholic, and his father was a compulsive gambler who got into drugs too. I don’t know – it’s genetic and a personal choice. I had a rough time as a young girl, but turned out OK and had a successful life. It’s like someone who chooses to be a police officer and gets killed – it’s a choice that has been made by that person to take risks. This site is awesome and helped me a lot since it’s close to the anniversary of his death. I did the best I could as a 20 year old mom who worked, kept a clean house, loved him so much, and we got along. It’s a disease that is fatal without abstinence and a psychic change by AA and rehab.

  63. Joanne  November 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm Reply

    My only child & son died of alcohol and heroin overdose three weeks ago. He was 31 yrs. old. A brilliant , extremely handsome young man. He began drugs and alcohol when he as 12 yrs old. I have been going to Alanon for the past 6 yrs to learn about the disease of brain chemistry and my part in it. I am blessed to have really got the three C’s , I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it. I have been watching his struggle, torment, torture and the evil of this baffling, cunning, insidious disease for a long time. He has left a beautiful wife, 3 yr old girl and another one on the way. I just want to say thank you for this site. I was wondering today if he suffered or felt pain when he died? I have a lot of work to do now with so many emotions and the rollercoaster ride of the loss of an incredible awesome man. He had just finished an aviation program and was hired at a prestigious aviation company in a large city. His dream come true. He had been clean from heroin and meth for a couple of months…. so after drinking probably thought “just one more slam”….. Does anybody know if there are counselors just for us survivors of drug overdose deaths? God Bless You and my heart aches for all of the survivors of this dreadful evil disease.

    • Sherry  November 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm Reply

      Joanne – First of all I am so sorry about your son. It just seems so terrible that we are on this site( I am on others as well) that relay how beautiful souls first make a decision to use these drugs and then, before they even know what has happened, they become different people, no longer fulfilling their life dreams but just trying to beat the demon of addiction. My son, Richard, was only 18 when he died of a heroin/cocaine overdose. I never knew he was using these drugs. He put on a very good façade for me, being the “good son”, going to college, working, helping out at home. I was aware that he was smoking marijuana occasionally, but that was it. Richard was an honor student and athlete, and very loved by his family. He was the light of our lives. I don’t think I will ever understand this disease but am learning more and more every day. I do think there is an addictive gene that runs in the family and that probably contributed to Richard’s use. I do know from his text messages that he started using prescription pain medications that he bought off friends or dealers, and evidently this escalated to cocaine and then heroin use the past couple of months before he died. Joanne I appreciate you sharing the “3 Cs”, as that is really a good mantra to remember. I still harbor guilt over not knowing about this and not saving his life. I don’t know if I will ever get past that. Hugs to you all.

  64. Emily S  November 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm Reply

    Drugs are something that have been an obvious influence in my life for as long as I can remember. My father had been addicted since he was a teen. Memorial day weekend 2014 I lost my cousin who was like a brother to a fetanyl laced heroin overdose. Its only been a few months… I still cry about losing him. i still get angry. But, about a week ago my dad overdosed on fetanyl. TH he only way i;ve been able to really deal with it is by playing pool (our favorie game) and looking through old pictures off good memories. Don’t focus on the addict focus on the good person that they were.

    • Suzy  April 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm Reply

      working through the grief is hard but necessary to heal…I have been seeing a grief counselor and I attend a grief support group

  65. Donna Lungo  November 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Thank you all for sharing your stories of pain and loss of your sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, cousins and FRIENDS! My only sister died on October 25th 2014 from a heroin overdose. She was 50. The wound is still fresh and the pain excruciating at times…This site is helping me and I agree with the stigma and shame associated with losing a loved one by an overdose..I was worried what others would think when I shared her cause of death…how absurd! She didn’t want this disease! We need to stop the stigma.

  66. Faye  November 29, 2014 at 9:08 am Reply

    My husband (35) passed away a month ago to a drug overdose. I don’t want to see the coroner’s report so I don’t know what he took. It doesn’t matter. He was an addict and now he is free from his pain. But I miss him so much. He was the love of my life. Now I’m a single mom. He was highly functioning so people had no idea. He had a good job but was also a workaholic. He was funny and smart and kind hearted. It’s so unfair.

  67. Jenna  January 14, 2015 at 4:25 am Reply

    My partner died of an overdose. I don’t have the toxicology report, but his parents must have it by now and I don’t know if they will ever tell me what it said. He was 34 years old. I often thought about him dying because I lived in fear just about everyday, that his addiction to alcohol and drugs would kill him. I tried to warn his parents many times that he might die, and the last letter I wrote them went unanswered. I wasn’t surprised because I had a feeling they were sick of hearing about my concerns and their son’s dangerous and terrible behavior. It’s a long complicated story and I don’t blame them for his death, I just wish they had been more willing to talk with me and not enable him in any way. I enabled him in my own ways in the beginning of our relationship, but I had stopped when I did research and realized I was only helping him kill himself by living in any amount of denial with him. This pain I feel is unbearable and I replay so many memories in my head everyday and night. I go to therapy and al-anon meetings to help me cope. There are many unhealthy people in some of those groups, but also some people who just want to cope and not enable their loved ones anymore. I love to listen to others stories and sometime I share. So many people are affected by this disease…it seems to affect us (loved ones) almost as much as the addict himself. I feel so much pain thinking about how much my boyfriend suffered inside everyday….He fought a battle most of his time spent on this earth. I knew that and therefore felt compassion for the man I love. I knew how much he wanted to not use or drink, but I also knew he wasn’t fully invested in his recovery. It is one of the gut-wrenching feeling to think your loved one is going to die and not being able to stop it. Other than encouraging treatment, therapy and having conditions/boundaries. I did all of that and still lost him. I used to stare at him while he was asleep sometimes, and morbidly imagine what he would look like dead…how I would feel knowing he was gone from his lifeless body. He looked so peaceful and I would wish he could always feel so safe, comforted and at peace…instead of suffering with his demons of substance addiction. I knew I couldn’t fathom how it feels to suffer in that way. I didn’t want to give up on the person I love just because of this terrible disease he had…but I knew I couldn’t go on living in hell right along with him, dragging me down. I told him all this and much more. We would talk for hours in person and on the phone about his addiction, our potential future and love for each other. He like most addicts, was extremely manipulative to get his way, and when he didn’t their was hell to pay. I was always his target of choice because he felt safest with me. It’s was easy for him to take out all his self-hatred and anger out on the woman he knew he could always return to. Addicts hurt the ones who know the very best and worst of them. For him, that was me. He told me deep-dark-secrets. He felt comfortable confiding in me things he had never felt comfortable sharing with anyone. I listened and was there for him. I miss him as much a as a person can possibly be missed. I can’t say I loved him unconditionally, because I did set conditions and boundaries for our relationship….but this was because of how much I love him and wanted us to be together forever, as well manage his disease. You can’t have a healthy relationship with anyone, especially a romantic relationship without boundaries. He was finally getting help, but he wasn’t invested enough to stop using and drinking. His parents told my mom and I how good he was doing…but I knew this just wasn’t true. I had a few conversations with him while he was drunk on the phone in the couple of months before his death. Also, he had at least one withdrawal shortly before his death, and I had a strong feeling he was using or about to use. He treated me horribly before he died and I knew he wouldn’t be behaving that way if he was really sober and working the steps. Sure, there might be some anger and mood swings are a definite in these situations, but the level of irrational anger he had towards me showed me that he wasn’t anywhere near recovery. He half-assed it and even picked a sponsor who didn’t seem very responsible or involved. I had a feeling he picked the guy because of these facts and he knew this sponsor wouldn’t be “hard on him”. That to me is a clear sign of an addict not really wanting recovery enough to do everything to accomplish being in recovery. Everyday is a struggle and seems impossible to get through. I feel your pain and hope that the stigma and shame attached to this disease will get better. I don’t feel ashamed my boyfriend had this disease. I did lose some respect for some of his dangerous choices that endangered himself, me, and others at times….but this is not what he wanted and I know that no child wants to grow up to be an addict. It is not a choice…but managing the disease is a choice….Sadly most addicts aren’t able to do this and suffer their entire lives.

  68. Kara  January 18, 2015 at 10:42 am Reply

    Yesterday was the funeral of a friend of mine who died from an accidental overdose. He was 24. I only knew him for a little over a year but we had an on-again, off-again intimate relationship during that time. I didn’t see him the last 4 months of his life because he was in a program and then in jail for violating probation as the addiction worsened. I was told the morning he was found in his room dead. I was shocked. I had no words. In the week leading up to his funeral, I met his sister that he always talked about, and eventually the family. I attended the funeral but I didn’t know anyone so I felt out of place, like my grief was petty compared to the people that knew him his whole life or spent many more days with him than I. It was a sad service and I was saddened more than I thought I’d be but I had no one to share my grief with. I just left feeling alone and confused by my strong feelings for someone I had just gotten to know and had a brief year fling with.

  69. nellie  February 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm Reply

    My first bff and big brother passed away a year ago, on Feb.28. It has been extremely, yet necessary to have gone through the emotions of his passing. BC its complex and deep rooted. He was an openly two spirited man. He was the oldest of many half siblings. I was the fortunate flood blooded sister. He was genuine, outgoing, a very hard worker, a big teaser, sometimes stern family man. I believe he started using as a coping consequence from becoming HIV pos. I moved away from the core of my fam and he was upset with me. I didn’t know why. He then isolated himself and moved away from the core also. The thing that plagued us was the overwhelming historical trauma we fought out, together(by being together), that was embedded into our family, three generations deep. For 5years we didn’t know each other, and family never brought us back to together. I suspected he was infected, but by the time I suspected, our parents did not do anything. That was just how they were. Historical trauma didn’t force them to be dramatically different then their upbring, unlike my brother and I. So I yearned for my brother, I was upset our ‘rents weren’t proactive. I have been on a journey the remorse the guilt, the imprint of him saving me as young kid in depression. But I know he knows my truth with him, that he will always be the most couragous and strong family I have ever had. Thanks for letting me share.

  70. Lolita  February 15, 2015 at 11:11 pm Reply

    I do not want judgement. But I need to tell someone out there in anonymity as I am so so ashamed. My partner of 11 years and the father of my 9 year old son died just a week ago. The autopsy indicated his heart was good, no stroke or attack. No aneurysm. The tox report is not in yet-but he struggled with addiction all his life. He was a hardcore user – injecting heroin, crack and powder cocaine. He had been up the night before on crack but I saw him in the morning making breakfast for our son. I went back to bed. Later I heard a weird thud but just sounded like somebody dropped something. My son made some comment like “Daddy is destroying the bathroom” but jokingly. I thought nothing of it and fell back sleep and an hour or so later my son comes to my room again and says daddy won’t answer the door, I gotta go the bathroom. I yelled and yelled, heard water running -finally I had to kick it in. He was laying face down, he had vomited recently eaten food but there was also a brownish red liquid around that. There was some blood on the floor, and blood on his nose, nothing copious. I tried to wake him, thankfully our son did not see him. I was trying to move him, there was NO drug para anywhere – I would have known and there was nothing, no indication he had just shot up, nada. The emts came and they told me he’d been dead for awhile – probably very suddenly. It haunts me that I heard him fall – I just can’t get over it. The worst part? I too am a hardcore addict. We had been clean a few months and had just relapsed 2 days before. I do the same stuff-but was doing injection of crack. My drug addiction has been hardcore for about 10 years. BUT i have been using since two days after his death- every day. Everytime I am terrified I will die but I can’t stop. IT seems like the only way I can cope. I am too ashamed to admit it, I am in the process of moving as we were being evicted, so I can’t just check into some rehab or psych ward I have to take care of my boy. Don’t lecture about how I need to be there for my son, and that I have to find another way to cope, I KNOW all this. But I can’t understand myself all I can think is I am doing it because there is a part of me that wants to die? I love my son more than life itself, despite my actions. His father made our life very difficult with his moods, bipolar, addiction, etc. but still it has shattered me. Tell me someone else has reacted this way. It should be the biggest wake up call of my existence. I just don’t want to feel like I am just the worst piece of shit in the world-I just can’t seem to stop

    • Litsa  February 16, 2015 at 2:41 am Reply

      Lolita, I am so sorry for the loss of your partner. There is no judgement here and please know your reaction is normal. When the worst things in life happen to us one of the most common reactions is to avoid the deep and unimaginable pain, and using is often the easiest way to do this. I know many people can’t understand why losing someone to OD isn’t enough to stop using, but unfortunately addiction is a lot more complicated than that. It isn’t about scared straight or willpower or wanting it enough. Those things are a place to start, but it is then about treatment and support. I know you feel like you can’t check into a rehab because of your son, but I would encourage to look into your options. There is an article here about going to rehab when you have kids. Though in the short term figuring out options for your son while you are in treatment will be hard, in the long term it is going to help you be a better mother to him- something that will be worth it for both of you. The best way you can take care of your son is to start by taking care of yourself!! (We have a post about that here: ). I know thinking of inpatient treatment is a lot and you may feel like it can’t happen overnight. But you can always start by going to a meeting. Here is a link to the meeting search on the NA website: There is also an app. NA can provide an incredible network of support. Please know you are not alone and that there are programs and people that will offer support. The first step is reaching out, for yourself and your son.

  71. byran  March 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm Reply

    1year ago today I lost my sister to heorin,her and her daughter was living with me because she finally left a abusive boyfriend,that morning my neice came to me saying her mom was not responding so I ran in there and she was on her knees I put my hands on her shoulders ,she was so cold I always took CPR classes in school and was always certified but when you have to do it in real life I froze, the 911operator worked me thur it in till the first police man got there I tought she had a pulse but she was not breathing the cop put the defibrillator on her and it keep saying no shock needed so I took that as a good thing not knowing that if you do not have a heart beat it will not shock you they gave her narcan and adraling shot but it was to late I met our mother at the hospital and found out she pass away I did not cry because I wanted to stay strong for my mom and neice part of me wants to blame her ex and whoever sold it to her I have a hard time with feelings there have been times I feel like crying my eyes out out of no where me and my sister had a hard life growning up she was always there for me and I for her ,she would always say no matter how big I get I will always be her little brother ,I love and miss her so much ‘we will meet again’

  72. Auri  March 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm Reply

    I lost my fiancé and best friend about a month ago February 11th 2015. He was an addict and alcoholic. I’m also an addict and alcoholic. We both took clonazepam and tramadol with a few beers. I woke up and he didn’t because he took more. I called an ambulance and they got a pulse took him to the hospital. He was unconscious and under the respirator, also had brain damage. He died the next day. We were not careful and mixed prescription pills and that’s what did it. I was very lucky to have survived. I feel as if I could have prevented his death. We tried rehab a few times together but he always wanted to get back into drinking which later always led to using something stronger. I couldn’t convince him and myself to stop drinking and using. I feel so much regret and I just miss him so much everyday, I wish I could see him. I am sober since his death and getting counseling everyday. I hate that our addiction took him away from me. Two weeks after his death I found out that I’m pregnant with him, and it felt so bittersweet because I’m so happy to have his kid but I want him to be here for the baby and my pregnancy. I really wish he could experience fatherhood and have a family with me. He was the love of my life and I regret so much that I couldn’t convince him or myself to get help with the addiction. Going through this is so difficult and I just want him back.

  73. Paula  March 24, 2015 at 11:22 am Reply

    On February 7th 2015, less than two months ago, my partner of 11 years, father of our 9 year old son, died in the bathroom of our apartment. My son had to use the bathroom, but it was locked and he could not get his dad to answer. He woke me up to tell me. I tried to get the door open, but could not so panicking I told my son to go to the neighbors to call 9-11. He ran across the hall to the neighbors while I finally ended up kicking the door in. Thank God my son was not there to see what I saw. He was lying face down with a pool of vomit and what looked like blood on the floor in front of him. Just one spot, not like he moved about or struggled. He was a life long heroin addict, and struggled for years to get that demon under control, with some long successes but the last year had been mostly relapse after relapse. But there were no needles, no sign he had just used, no drugs. I said his name over and over, screaming it, wake up wake up! I tried to move him but could not. When the EMT’s got there I was hysterical screaming for them to do something and saying his name and “what did you do?!” over and over.. I had vomit on my clothes, in my hair – when I found him I felt he was warm and I moved his head and it just flopped grotesquely, making me grow more hysterical- I think part of me knew he was dead but when the emt said he had been dead at least an hour I fell to the floor screaming. There was no sympathetic person in the whole group who came-as the EMT commented right then over my husbands dead body, that they had “Just came two months earlier for an od” when I was at work. In rage I screamed at him “SO WHAT?! That mean something? Like he deserved to die?! Then I turned my anger to a police officer who appeared to have an odd smile on his face – What are you smiling for?! I screamed at him like three times and he in embarrassment and frustration, snapped he was NOT smiling. Ironically, he was the only one who came up to me later and expressed any sympathy and support. The Medical Examiner didn’t come for like an HOUR, so they just left my husbands body laying on the floor outside the bathroom and they didn’t even cover him. Weeks later it was confirmed it was a heroin overdose. Nothing wrong with his heart, no heart attack no stroke no nothing, just bad dope cut with something wicked. His heart must have just stopped.I had been hearing about these deaths from dope cut with fentanyl a very strong pain medicine. But he had done drugs so long and hard and OD so many times it seemed he was invincible. It just seemed impossible. Another horrible part of the story? About an hour earlier before I kicked in the door, I was in bed sleeping, and had a fan running. I heard a thud like someone dropping a box. My son went to my door and said “Daddy is tearing up the bathroom again” (long story, that), but I shrugged it off, as did my son as there was no other noise as my son would have heard so I fell back to sleep. Now I know it was his body hitting the floor that we heard. I feel sick when I think of it. It really seemed like he died before he hit the ground but still, I agonize that I didn’t get up and see what the noise was. He had a bruise on his nose and a small gouge in his forehead, blood on his nose. When I saw him at the funeral home he looked so beautiful and at peace. I kissed his lips that were still soft but he was cold as ice. I put my head on his chest and held him and sobbed, his heart silent as a stone. Then they burned him, cremated him, which I didn’t want. I didn’t want to think of my beautiful man burning. It seems hard to believe that my 6″ 220lb man is now reduced to ashes in an Urn on my dresser. I talk to him, have held that urn, smelled, touched and tasted his ashes. I am still in so much pain. Our son is so wonderful and we talk a lot and he has grieved a little, but I am getting him therapy. I had to go into a psych hospital for a week – I needed much longer. I cannot get the vision of him laying on that bathroom floor out of my head. I just needed to tell this to some people who can understand this. An overdose death is treated like a stigma at times, avoidable, blame to the victim, etc. He fought so hard his entire life. He was a good man with a beautiful heart, funny, brilliantly smart, charismatic, handsome, people were drawn to him. He could have been anything, he aced school and college and could have been a doctor. But tragedy and trauma in his childhood and teens turned him to drugs early, and the only thing that slowed him down a little was having our son, who he adored and loved deeply. But sadly, drugs finally won. Sometimes the grief seems too much to bear and I feel like I am screaming and no one hears me. I pray there is a God, and there is a heaven where he is finally at peace. He never felt loved enough. Good enough. He had an abyss in him that could not be filled so he did drugs. He was a monster when he used, but sober he was a better man than most, with a complex and generous heart, and I miss him everyday, his sins suddenly hard to recall, the good memories foremost in my mind. The everyday laughs, how he made breakfast for my son every morning, dinner for me every night. The shows we loved, the private jokes and laughter we had even though much of the time in the last year there was terrible fighting. 11 years and all the moments and history jam together in my mind, a mass of pain and loss. My son has no father and he is only 9. I worry how this will affect him, and I will do anything in my power that he does not know it was a drug overdose ever, at least not until he is an adult, maybe like 30. I don’t want him to ever think his father’s legacy will be his own. I am staying sober and we are starting over, but grief still envelopes me daily and I feel it will be ages before I will be able to go through a day without sobbing at least once.

    • Sher  March 24, 2015 at 11:38 am Reply

      Paula, there is so much I want to write, but I have seen my previous comments show in web searches, so I am more private now. Please look into GRASP, a support group for those who have lost loved ones through substance abuse. I lost my 18-year old son through this means, and it is a very empty, painful life. He was a lovely young man, so gifted, kind, and had so much potential. Anyway, if there isn’t a group in your area, you can join via Facebook. It has been a saving grace for me.
      I’ll be thinking of you..

  74. Paula  March 24, 2015 at 11:26 am Reply

    I just posted about the death of my husband to an overdose death. I forgot to mention he was only 43 years old.

  75. Paula  March 24, 2015 at 11:50 am Reply

    Auri, I so feel your pain and my heart aches for you. I got pregnant for son when I was using and it changed my life though I still struggle off and on. But since his death, though I did kind of lose it for awhile, I am slowly getting stronger. You have a gift, a precious child that you will love more than you will ever imagine. I was shocked to find out I was pregnant because I was 40! But I had a beautiful boy who is now 9 and the love of my life. I see his father in him, but I also see me. Just show your baby the best of both of you if you can, and don’t tell them about the reason of death. I just think at some point, especially tweens and teens, they get angsty and with information like that about the father it can give them an excuse to be destructive.

  76. Lea  April 2, 2015 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Less than 1 month ago, I lost a close friend. He was only 25. Today we found out it was a heroin overdose. I am at a loss for how I should feel because I’m angry, hurt, depressed. I feel like because he was recovered he should’ve known better and known how dangerous it was to use again.

    I feel like it would be easier had I not been there when he was discovered, but seeing him that way and preforming CPR was traumatic and I can’t stop seeing him like that, and seeing him everywhere.

    It’s like I see flashes of him when I look at other people because I’m just so afraid I’m going to lose someone else and find them that way… I don’t know how to get past all of this…

    • Eleanor  April 3, 2015 at 11:19 am Reply

      Oh Lea I’m so sorry these memories are so vivid for you, but I can see why they would be. You have been through something traumatic very recently. The anger, hurt and depression…these are all a part of grief. Go easy on yourself but if these feelings remain intense and intolerable then know that there is help available. I’m so sorry about the death of your friend.

  77. Jennifer  May 12, 2015 at 3:32 pm Reply

    My child died of an overdose. He was depressed in early teen years which led him to psychiatry, pill after pill, then street drugs. He was a perfect child until he met with doctors. I have tried countless times to get him help. He was intellectual, handsome, college educated 3 years, witty, and funny. All that left when he was an addict. It’s not their fault. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. My life is now over. My son, my best friend dead at 25. It’s just been a year God help me.

    • Eleanor  May 13, 2015 at 10:19 am Reply


      I can tell by your comment that you must be living with a lot of pain. I’m so sorry. Addiction is a disease and like other diseases it does strip your loved ones of the spark and the joy you want to be able to fondly remember. I’m so sorry for the struggled your family dealt with and I’m sorry that you now just grieve the death of your young son. No one can say anything to help take away the pain but I do hope there is comfort in knowing that, although you probably feel alone at times, you are not entirely. Please let us know if there are any more specific ways we can support you.


  78. R Johnson  July 25, 2015 at 10:33 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing this list of feelings and giving examples of what family and friends might experience as they cope with a loved ones substance abuse death. It is helpful to express this in a safe and supportive community.

  79. Vicki  September 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm Reply

    I know its fatalities are probably higher than for MVA’s (motor vehicle accidents); I’m a paramedic. Actually there’s a good reason for it and more than that the number of people doing it is so high. The reason is that naloxone, the antidote for opioids, is far from perfect. With cocaine there ISN’T any antidote yet. The antidote to crack lies in the paramedic’s knowledge of cardiac care and time means everything in those instances. At least in one case nobody can do anything to save the person; cardiac tamponade is a true emergency, meaning the patient will die within 15 minutes unless you get them into surgery stat. Which means within minutes.
    I honestly don’t understand overdoses, drug and alcohol addiction. That’s after spending a year in Paramedic School and listening to several doctors talk about all the varying diseases, conditions and syndromes. Nobody has ever explained to me why they would want to repeatedly put themselves through the pain of OD’ing and ALmost dying but making it only to finally die on some night when we’re too late or there’s too much drug in the bloodstream to be overcome by flushing it or using naloxone as antidote to heroin and other painkillers.
    My job isn’t as easy as some people think and I rarely comprehend the insanity of drug use. There’s a component to it that simply looks like insanity; it’s not a judgment, it’s an observation of how it appears when I see it in my work.
    Incidentally doctors are more willing to talk about unique diseases than anything related to drugs or alcohol. In one case we had a doctor who was using drugs and dosed himself before he started his operation but did so with the succinylcholine he was supposed to give the patient instead of the drug he wanted to give himself. He never gave his to the patient but he fell to the floor and stopped breathing after dosing himself with succinylcholine. It stops all your skeletal muscles from moving, including the ones in your lungs that control your breathing and we had to intubate him, then wait for the succinylcholine to take its course. In that case I think the doctor wouldn’t have wanted to talk about drugs & alcohol for an obvious reason. Maybe that’s why for lots of people; they don’t want to look at their own usage.

    • Litsa  September 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm Reply

      Hi Vicki, I think your point about not understanding addiction based on the concept of rational choices is understandable. What is important to understand about drugs is that they fundamentally change the entire way in which people make decisions, so it is no longer rational a rational process. Reason lives in the front of the brain, an area that can help us with long-term consequences of our actions. Alcohol and other drugs activate a part of our brain that is focused instead on immediate pleasure responses, while limiting how the rational part of the brain functions. This video actually does a great job to looking at the neuroscience of this. The end goes into a medication treatment that they were trailing for cocaine, and that isn’t necessarily relevant, but the explanation about the brain I think is helpful We also have a post you may find interesting. It is focused on alcohol, grief and the brain but some of the principles are the same:

      As for your work as a paramedic, I cannot imagine who would think it is ‘easy’! Being a paramedic is challenging work on many levels, especially emotionally. Like any job where you are exposed to pain, trauma and death, it can start to take an emotional toll over time and many times people don’t have an outlet to process the emotions that come with that sort of work. Thanks for the work you do and make sure to take care of yourself!

  80. blake langdon  September 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm Reply

    I am dealing with the lost of my ex of ex and best friend of 6 years, he helped raise my oldest daughter and we had two kids of our own together, its hard and this really helped because no on I know understands how I truly feel. Because they didn’t know him as well as I did, not even his own mom knew he was fighting certain demons.. Its only been 6 months since we lost him but it still hurts like I found out today..

    • Debby  August 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm Reply

      I just lost my beautiful daughter, Tiffany, on Thursday, August 3, 2017. She was an addict for the past 15 years, along with her two younger sisters (who still are heroin and meth addicts today). Her addiction made it impossible to raise her 3 beautiful children, and that guilt of not being there, raising them tormented her the entire 15 years. I put Tiffany in rehabs that never worked. Along with heroin, she began drinking heavily–vodka right out of the bottle all day. She had prescription medications for anxiety and sleep from Codac Behavioral Health clinic. Since December, 2016, I was able to get her into emergency room at hospitals for her excessive drinking. They would keep her a couple days and throw her to the streets just to continue on with heroin, alcohol and prescription meds. She got back into the Codac methadone clinic in Feb. or March. They would only keep her on 30 mg. of methadone, so she continued to use heroin and drink. (in the past, she had taken 85 mg. daily). That had worked for a few years, but she stopped going to methadone clinic after her second husband, who also goes there, abandoned her. She has had abandonment issues her entire life due to her dad abandoning her at a year old. This is when I saw her go downhill even faster–drinking, heroin, xanex). I tried to get hospitals and Codac to help her, but they just give you an appointment weeks or months down the road. Then, when she finally did get back on methadone at 30 mg., they refused to up the dose. This went on for at least 2 months, with her still drinking, using heroin, and xanex to cope with the painful withdrawals. One day, they noticed her possibly drunk and requested her to breathalize for alcohol and would not dose her. She left the clinic and just continued on with alcohol, heroin and xanex and her prescription medications of seroquel and other anxiey medications. Then, she called CMS to get on methadone there. She went in there, along with me, on July 24, 2017. She let the doctor know that she had been drinking and using heroin to cope with withdrawals. They knew Tiffany was with Codac for her anxiety medications and that she had been on methadone there two times before. I thought for sure they must have gotten her medical records from Codac as to her issues and would have clearly shown how they had refused to dose her unless she breathalized for alcohol. Thinking that they knew what they were doing and would use great caution with her and check her for drinking every day, I entrusted her to their care. They began her on 20 mg of methadone for first 2 days and kept increasing it every 2-3 days until it was at 50 or 60 mg. daily. They never, one time, checked her for any drinking, even though they should have known her huge history of this in her medical records that they should have gotten before even treating her at this clinic. They said she did not appear to be drunk, but an addict can hide it, and she did. It was their responsibility to make sure she was not drinking. So, as hard as it is to say, Tiffany, passed on August 3, 2017 ( only 11 days of being at this clinic). They had warned the combination of alcohol and methadone would stop her breathing, but, I find out now, never even made sure she was not drinking.
      That day was the worst, worst day of my entire life, and I have been through a lot of traumas in my life. But, this is the worst one. I keep asking myself why I did not feel something was wrong or going to go wrong that day so I could have gone over to where she was and save her. Her birthday was July 28, and, now, I also feel the guilt that I did not take her a birthday cake, card, balloons and gifts and her 16 and 17 year old sons to her that day. (that very day). She would have been so happy had we showed up that day where she was staying with a friend of our family. I planned on doing it the next Friday, thinking she would be more stable on the methadone, or for whatever reason I was going to do it then I still do not know. I will never get over that either–that we did not just go on her actual birthday. She would have at least had that joy. I also do not understand why I felt nothing the day she passed–like something bad was going to happen. Why could I not know that and make sure I was there with her to watch her? Was it God not letting me because He wanted to take her? What? I feel guilt for also not having her at my house instead of at the friend’s house, so I could make sure as best as I could that she would not drink. When he made that call to me that she was gone, I fell apart in a million pieces and my world ended. When God took her, He also took my heart. How can I live without my heart? I, now, have to worry about my other 2 daughters and their addiction. I just want Tiffany back, and I beg her all day to just come back. This time, God gave me a mountain way, way too hard to climb. I need to know that she is at peace and happy in God’s arms so I can go on. I just want her to come to me and tell me that she finally has complete peace and happiness that she never had here on this wretched earth.

  81. Cindy  September 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm Reply

    My husband passed in July of 2012. Our daughter, whom we suspected of being an alcoholic, spiraled out of control. I got her to go to rehab and after 3 months, she was herself. This lasted about 6 months than she began drinking and abusing prescription drugs. I found her unresponsive on April 29th. In less than 2 years, i have lost y entire family. I am overcome with grief and anger. Each day is a struggle to just get out of bed.

  82. Anne  October 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm Reply

    My beautiful, gentle, kind, FUN and loving son died of a heroin overdose on September 10, 2015, just a couple of weeks ago. I go through all the feelings that are described, but I try to push them away. We were given the grace of an amazing summer, where Brian was sober and happy and I cling to that. He had great plans of a trip booked to Vietnam and Thailand with the love of his life, as well as telling me all about the green chicken curry that he was going to make me the following week. The last thing he said to me face to face was “I love you mom, I’ll see you soon” and I remember the prickles of his beard as he kissed me goodbye.

    What I am trying to say, is that is what is helping me in these very early stages is to try separate the person from the addiction. I know my son certainly did not want to be addicted, or die. I know he tried as hard as possible to overcome this. He was a beautiful person with a horrible disease. I love him, I am proud of him, and like any disease, I am proud of his fight against it. If anyone is interested, you can see a little vignette of Brian’s life on youtube, under “Brian Seamus South” I really hope that by being completely honest and putting the truth out there about people suffering from this epidemic will do even the smallest bit of good.

    I miss my son so terribly, and now I realize this is forever.

  83. julia from  October 2, 2015 at 11:15 am Reply

    This is such an important post, Litsa, and I thank you for writing it. Well worth sharing, which I intend to do!?

  84. Pat zielinski  October 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm Reply

    I lost my son David, on Sept 9th 2015… and I am glad, I found this article.. there are not enough groups for parents… and this is a nightmare, an unbelievable situation… reading, the descriptions, on Guilt, blame..shame… It hurts, and I will forever have a hole in my heart… He was such a kind, loving soul..always, helped everyone, but struggled, with alcohol, then Heroin, …for years… re-nabs, and out-patient, he thought he can conquer his demons… I am sorry, but I can understand, the saying, of someone else’s, do tough love… well, now that he is gone… who has tough love.. we all would give anything, to have him back.. I sit, and feel guilty, try to justify, my actions, of not giving, him, money, when I didn;t have it… I realize, this pain, will last forever, and it;s effects, on the family, our lives, have forever changed… there are no groups, in my area, and I am glad, to at least found this… I don;t feel alone, ..thank you for this article…

    • Suzy  April 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm Reply

      Please keep searching for groups in your area…hospice has excellent grief counselors in my area and a group as well

  85. Juls  October 19, 2015 at 12:23 am Reply

    I have spent all night reading your blogs. My heart goes out to everyone. I have lost my nephew last July 24,2015. Due to accidental drug overdose of oxy. I raised him and his twin brother after my brother passed away of cancer at the age of 30. The boys came to me at 5 years of age. I was 21. Matthew passed at the age of 36. I am greive stricken. But, his twin Michael, is my main concern now. I don’t know how to help him. His loss is more than I could ever imagine. Michael was a heroin addict years ago. But with strong will and many many long nights, we were able to get passed it. He is a heavy drinker and now it is worse. I am having a difficult time trying to help him . I am grasping for any advise any one can give. He refuses counseling. My husband and a close friend has been taking him to AA meetings but, not regularly. I am exhausted. We are very close and always have been. We spend a lot of emotional time together. He is now living with my husband and I. But can’t hold a regular job. Any advise or comments are welcome. God Bless.

    • Eleanor  October 19, 2015 at 9:22 am Reply

      Hey Juls,

      Hopefully someone else has a helpful comment. I just had a few grief related thoughts, although I’m not sure they will be all that helpful because at this point because it seems like Michael’s alcohol addiction is far overshadowing his grief.

      1. Your comment reminded me of a book about a girl who experienced the death of her twin sister to a heroine overdose; after which she herself started to spiral I’ve never read the book so I can’t necessarily say whether it would be helpful, but if you’re interested here is a link to an interview NPR did with the author.
      2. If Michael is ever ready to attend a support group regarding the death of his brother, there is an organization called twinless twins specifically for those who’ve experienced the death of a twin.
      3. Have you and your husband ever attended an al-anon or nar-anon group? I’ve heard these groups recommended not only for people who are trying to support someone addicted to substances, but also for people who’ve lost a loved one to overdose. People in these groups also sometimes have good suggestions for resources, etc.

      Anyway, I’m sorry this was not more helpful with helping Michael which is your primary concern, but maybe some of these resources will be helpful if the time is ever right.


  86. erica  December 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm Reply

    We lost Andrew my son, Sept 16,2015…to an accidental over dose of prescription drug…oxcycodone …hydracodone…alcohol. He had just come home from the hospital…with a broken nose and his jaw wired shut. The doctors prescribe him…these opiates in liquid form…large bottles…they new he had a drinking issue…had asthma ..allergies…depression….anxiety…was in and out of rehab. He died the second day of being home. I read that he should have never been prescribed oxycodone. He should have not been lying down….so many should have nots. We thought he was finally on his way to going to a really good rehab within the month…he was going to a rehab in phionex az. He was home one day gone the next…seems he took a weeks supply of oxy and hydrocodone..for his pain , depression and anxiety….felt fine..laid down went to sleep never woke up…leaving us ..completely broken hearted , shocked and stunned,broken hearted and completely devastated……It feels as if someone with a claw and just ripped out our hearts…..leaving nothing but a huge gaping wound…that is bleeding out.
    I have never taken any drugs or opiates for anything…I am on two now….because I just cannot deal with the pain….My daughter who is like a twin to Andrew is trying to hold on…be strong…as I am….Honestly there are no words that could every explain the sense of utter loss….pain…..he horror of it all. Everything said is true….Years of fighting…all the battles…the sleepless night afraid to answer the phone….the heart ache of watching my child …morph into someone I did not know any longer. Knowing there was nothing I could do nothing I could say that would get to him….His last words over the phone were …..Mom….please ..I am an adult….I am having fun living my life……please just leave me alone…..then he would change the subject. Andrew was a sky diver….just pasted his 100 then some…he love it more than anything….the thing is he loved living…he loved extreme sports..loved to push everything to the the edge….
    With those words…something finally woke me up….I could see I had to let go..
    He had to make his own choices….he was right on……I need to do as his councelor suggested to back away be unavailable….I believe this might have been wrong…all these kids…are different…..what works for one may not for another…..Andrew needed to be close to his family…I think being away from him ..well he just saw it ha another abandonment …so he got worse….pity we learn these things to late.
    I am like everyone else….I think back…wish I could have done this or that…I should have brought him back home…my girls remind me he was a mess here ..I was afraid of my own son…I no longer knew him….so this is the reason I sent him off…

    He had so many many opportunities and he blew every on….I didn’t just lose my son…I lost him many many years ago…..Now Christmas is on the way..his ashes are sitting on the mantle ….unbelievable…I really felt …sending him to phoenix was making the right choice ….who would have though t he would have thought he would come back in a box…..I have finally moved him to this beautiful..urn…an eagle has its wings wrapped around if it is in flight…soring to the the heavens….He did like flying always said skydiving was the closest to it …He loved it sooo… We shall always miss his passion….his deep loud commanding voice….He had so many good wonderful qualities…I understand this is an on going adventure…..I shall always love him…miss him….he will be always and forever with me…The one thing I do not regret….I told him I loved him almost everyday….how I felt he good do anything…..I wanted to make sure no matter what else…he knew in his heart of hearts…that he was loved. Cherished beyond words…
    There is a long hard rode ahead…..I love the still hear his laughter and remember his passion thru out my life….It is a day to day struggle right now…to stay up and positive….Christmas is hard…he loved Christmas…I still remember that Christmas morning he was six…he was standing in the middle of the living room in front of the fire place singing his heart out as he unwrapped his gift……..singing Jingle Bells ….Jingle Bells….I miss you Andrew…..with all my heart I do…

    Its nice to be able to put this down…..thank you…God bless to all..

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays..


    • Sherry  December 19, 2015 at 6:40 am Reply

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. It is all too sad and common anymore. I belong to many websites, GRASP, Heroin Memorial, and others just to help me get through. My son died at age 18 of an overdose of heroin, cocaine and xanax, but the heroin is what killed him. He was attending college, had a small scholarship, worked tow part time jobs and was a gifted, kind young soul. I knew he smoked pot but nothing else. When I found him in his bed the morning of Sep. 28, 2013, I knew something was terribly wrong. He had not gone to work and of course, when I went to wake him, he was already gone. As you said, it feels as if someone has ripped out your heart. After two years, I can say the pain subtly subsides, but it is always, always there. How can it not be? I think I cry more now than I did last year, but nothing as bad as the first year. I miss him more than words can say. I just want you to know I understand your pain. This Christmas will be hard for you and your family, but know that you are not alone. Blessings,

      • erica  February 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

        Hi Sherry just now getting this….I lost Andrew September 2015…today is 2/17/2016….his death seems like just yesterday…his birthday will be March 7, missing him seems to be the call of the day now. The thing I understand is this pain will never go…the feeling of loss is here to stay. All we can do is learn to manage it as much as we can. He was my only son my baby….I have to remember I still have three children who need me…a life to life. I have seen too many people just give up..the whole family goes up in smoke…I have seen this within my own too many times. One of my biggest fears in life was to lose one of my children….I prayed to God to please whatever he did to me to please not take one of my children. I do not blame God. Although I was angry at first..I have learned we make choices in life…some are bad and there are horrible consequences….I have no answers why Andrew chose drugs over everything else. He had a big loving family that adored him. Perhaps it was just about having fun…Simple…no, I don’t think so…Its our society. Our doctors who have no idea of what they are doing pushing drugs that can create addictions that can kill. Its the big pharmaceuticals that want to keep up addicted and sick. Its about greed and money. We are all suffering for it…I do not want to get political..things have to change too many people are dying from this.
        Sherry I feel for your sorrow…more than I can say. I have several friends who have lost their sons and daughters…the same way. One was a football player from a super home loving parents…they knocked on his door he didn’t answer…the dad walked in found him slumped over his computer gone..this was two years ago…this has taken such a devastating toll although he has another son…the dad has seemed to just given up…I really never thought anything would happen to Andrew….I thought he was too smart..had too much going in life….drugs and alcohol did and its like an epidemic ….its a horrible disease. More needs to be done about it…it leaves a path of sorrow and broken hearts and families. I am trying my best to keep my head above the water so to speak…trying not to blame myself..looking for answers …looking for comfort…trying to understand and find some kind of peace in my life. I really appreciate your comment….my heart goes out to you….everyday is a fight….Its very hard. I feel I have to keep strong…put on a happy face when all of the time my heart is breaking. I hear it gets better with time..but does it the moment I thank God we had Andrew as long as we did….
        Sherry I wish you well….please feel comfortable to contact me anytime…

        peace love and happiness

    • Carol  February 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm Reply

      Sorry for your loss…..I understand your grief….I lost my son August 2015 to a heroine overdose…Jimmy was 34…..He was my one and only……..Losing him was and is hard….but the “what if’s” and the “if I only did”…..are killing me…….I have to admit I was his biggest enabler….and also his biggest fan……I loved him like no tomorrow…..but in the end I tried tuff love and honestly it didn’t work… I have to live without him and not sure if I can.

      • erica  February 17, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        Hi Carol,
        Thank you soo much….I am so sorry for yours as well….it breaks my heart ..all these stories of loss. I am right there with you. Understand every word. I feel we all who have suffered this feel the same. As you I was Andrew’s enabler ….I have always felt love heals. I tried everything…towards the end I was soooo scared of losing him I followed the advice of touch love too…I even watched intervention to help me understand….I still do when I can stomach it …I am still looking for answers. So far I believe every person is different. Every situation is different. Even though I tried everything I knew to do bad or good….I never gave up on Andrew he had such a good heart…sensitive…gave the best hugs of all my girls.
        My gut still says I should have brought him home…my girls still say no it didn’t work before etc. In my head I still feel perhaps just maybe after him being away from home for so long….it would have worked. Now I will never know. This is a heavy weight to carry. Believe me Carol..I understand the “what ifs” and the “only if I did” I am not sure if they will ever go away….I can’t say I am really sure of anything at this point but the pain I feel of the very thought of losing him. This is the worst thing that has ever happened in my life…in yours ….even so Carol you can live without him…his spirit will always be with will always carry him in your heart…..I have been told it gets easier with time….I am not so sure…I feel we just learn to manage the pain..accept it live with it. Try as I do to concentrate on the living ..the loves of your life. Its ok to feel depressed down devastated this is normal. Just don’t stay in the darkness Carol…don’t do it. Its very difficult not to….but if you let yourself slip and stay there. It will only bring more pain more darkness. What I do is allow myself one pill a day..its a low dosage the lowest they had me on two medications but I stopped one because it was addictive and took me somewhere seems just to take the edge off ..I still feel down …I still feel…I function sometimes the pain is sharper than others…but I just suffer thru it. I let myself feel the pain of losing my son…the doubts ..the fears….the loss and emptiness that hole that will never be filled. I just choose not to stay there..I have a wonderful beautiful family..grandchildren two that are only turning 2 in a few months…My family all miss Andrew he was my only son…we are coping. We talk about him a lot ..we laugh we joke at what a jerk he could be…how crazy he was..and how he seemed to love getting into trouble living on the edge…..its bitter sweet. What I am trying to say to you Carol count your blessings…stay in life….we cannot do anything about our sons they are gone..but they will always be with us….I honestly have to admit..sometimes I feel I don’t want to live without Andrew just as you do….but then I see my daughter smiling faces and my grand babies so full of life and giving those sweet sweet hugs….I feel life is good its a gift….it is to be cherished even though our hearts our breaking inside….please try and be strong…I wish I could say it will get better…I can’t I don’t know….I do know we must learn to live with it to manage our pain or loss…not to blame ourselves…believe me I am first in line on that one..bottom line is we did everything out of pure unconditional love Carol. The good and the bad of it…it all was done out of love. This is everything…so don’t beat yourself up…you loved your son as I loved and do love and will always love Andrew.
        Take comfort in this. They knew that we loved them more than life….What a precious gift this is…no one can take this away…..the love goes on we take it with us…..

        Carol…thank you for your comment I hope I have helped and given you some comfort…I can only speak from my experience..please feel free to contact me anytime…
        blessings,peace and love


      • Carol Nida  March 3, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        Thank you for responding to my post. It helps so much to talk w/someone who has lost a child to addiction. I went to a support group Compassionate Friends and it helped but this for me is better because the stories I read are so familiar I know that so many understand what I’m feeling. Andrew sounds a lot like my son Jimmy, he was happy go lucky…..a dare devil… a kid he was the first one outside to play and the last one coming in for the evening. It’s been six months now and it seems like forever since I’ve seen him………As you….I miss my son so much when I think of him the tears flow and the pain is so intense……I know that sadly life goes on and I’m trying everyday to move forward….I have two grandchildren (boys) that remind me so much of Jimmy……the other day I took both of them for a hair cut the “13” year old was getting a lot of his hair cut off….and when I looked at him the tears started flowing…because he looked so much like his dad…..they were good tears. I hope our pain lessens as time goes on and that when I see a picture of Jimmy and talked about him, I will be able to do so without any tears…….I hope you find comfort also.

  87. Ashley Brewer  February 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm Reply

    I just wanted to thank you for this incredible article. I am writing one myself on substance abuse overdose avoidance, which prompted me to find your article while researching. I also found your article posted word for word on another site and I didn’t see you credited. Thought you should know.

    • Eleanor  February 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm Reply

      Hey, thanks for the heads up Ashley!

  88. karen  February 25, 2016 at 8:10 pm Reply

    So sorry for everyone on here. I lost my partner a couple of months ago. It said on his death certificate heroin intoxication. I have all the feelings related to grief like guilt.. being rhe main one. I have read that if you see them within a few hours of the overdose you can save them… This haunts me. Is this true? Does it take this long for someone to die from an overdose? Does anyone know why a pathologist does not give an approximate time of death? The time on his certificate was the time he was found. We suspect he passed away the previous day. Loosing the man I loved so very very deeply leaves me with so many mixed emotions. I’m hurt that he left me and I feel guilty for nit being with him but most of all I feel so sad for him I feel so sad that he could not place the same value on himself that I placed on him. He was worth so much more. Every day is a struggle. Every day I wake up to the banging heart wrenching truth that yes he is gone. I struggle with the fear that it was intentional, it didn’t say this in fact it states on the full report that the findings suggest a accidental overdose. How can they tell? It doesn’t bring him back to know but it would have served as some comfort to know he didn’t want to leave me and that it was just a silly mistake. I feel like I hqve let him down. I did love him deeply but I would get angry and disappointed that he continued to use a drug that he knew could kill him. I struggled with him promising me all the time he would stop then I get angry at myself for having such unrealistic expectations of him. I should have been more attentive I should have noticed more and I should have showed him I loved him more. I just hope he knew in his heart the love I had and still have for him. I really hope that he is in a better place and I live in the hope that I will see him again and that when my time comes he will be waiting to take my hand.
    It’s so comforting to read all the other posts but at rhe same time just so sad that we have all lost someone whom we loved very much.

    • Jennifer  June 28, 2017 at 5:55 am Reply

      My story is almost exactly the same. I have said every word that you have said, to myself. I miss my love everyday and everyday is a challenge. I also don’t know his time of death, if he meant it or if accidental. Seems to have been accidental. I also question that in my heart. Would be better if the ones left living had some sort of concrete knowledge to just digest the tragedy. I’m sorry for your loss and i know your suffering.

  89. Michelle  March 29, 2016 at 8:27 am Reply

    In September 2008 I lost my little brother to an overdose. He was the only boy in our family, I have three sisters. Michael was 23 years old and like so many of the stories here, his was a struggle that we all dealt with. Something that I felt resonate throughout this site, is that the loved ones that are spoken of are beautiful, kind, smart, talented and loving human beings. For some reason, they are commonly treated as subhuman, in life and in death. Michael was 14 yrs younger than me, but he showed me how to love unconditionally. I was aggravated with him a lot and always thought he would grow up and overcome his behavior. My mom called again(this had gotten to be weekly) and told me he was breathing strange, I told her to call 911. I never dreamed I would never see his smile again, I never wanted to watch my father fall to the ground screaming, I cant forget my sisters and mother around his lifeless body crying and begging for him. After his death my cousin died, o/d and it began to seem endless. children were dying all over, I thought I was just an epidemic in my home town ,I know realize its everywhere and no one wants to talk about it. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories, I realize it is very personal, to share sadness, I will never recover from his loss, just like I will always be different from having him for 14 yrs. Time has eased things, and faith

  90. Vicki  April 4, 2016 at 11:17 pm Reply

    I lost my daughter to what we believe is a heroin overdose on February 12 2016. Just 7 weeks ago. She was only 26! I am so angry at her, her boyfriend who was with her, myself, my husband, her friends and so on! I blame all the same! We are still waiting on the autopsy and the boyfriend of 9 years won’t talk. My husband and I had no clue our daughter had an issue until 6 weeks before her passing, when she came to us to let us know she had a problem with addiction but would not tell us what drug, she led us to believe it was pain pills. And come to find out it started with that and then turned into heroin. She started down the road to get help with Suboxin and seemed to be doing it. We thought we had time to get her into rehab! We thought she was doing ok! I had no clue she was in this bad! Again feeling guilty and anger! Not sure what to do to help with the pain of losing our MY daughter! I need to get involved to help others! So many people are dying from this epidemic!!!

    • Suzy  April 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Vicki and anyone else that is struggling…please try a grief counselor in your area (call hospice) and a grief group called Grief Share (at churches all over the country)

    • Laura Sanders  April 27, 2016 at 7:29 pm Reply

      I feel your pain. Our stories are similar. My son was 25. He had been doing well and then relapsed and died. I think they try to do the same amount and their bodies aren’t used to that much. We, like you had no idea it was so bad. I am sorry for your loss.

  91. Kelly  April 27, 2016 at 11:42 pm Reply

    I found my boyfriend after an overdose about a year and a half ago. I had done a really good job at distracting myself from the pain and trauma of that but any suppressed emotions and thoughts have risen ten fold recently. My therapist was the one who told me about this site and this pod cast in particular. I am on the verge of tears just typing about how much I related to the podcast. Its a small thing to hold on to but I am so glad that one of the last things we said to each other was I love you. A big thing for me with his death (and any over dose) was that it didn’t have to happen. I frequently catch myself day dreaming about what our future together would have been like.

    As someone who is in recovery myself I know that no external force (from the love of the people around you to the very real threat of jail or death) can deter and addict. An internal switch of sorts needs to be flipped within them. This I believe and is why I would be the first person to tell someone struggling with a loss like the one we share that it is not their fault. It also good to type that out and see it for myself because I am dealing with self blame, guilt, should haves and could haves and need to remind myself that his death was not my fault. I am sure I will still be playing our past conversations and scenarios out in my mind, thinking of how things could have gone differently but logically I know that it wont make a difference. I also don’t think that he would want me to carry the burden of that much blame. And like Karen said I hope he knows the love I had and still have for him.

    I have experienced a few different losses in my life but have never experienced anything quite like this. Thank god that there are people that understand. Needless to say, I don’t wish this on anyone but it finding people who are dealing with similar emotions is incredibly beneficial. In the podcast they mentioned the group GRASP. When I found one near me I was amazed that something like that existed and so grateful that it does!

    Sending lots of love to anyone who is dealing with this!

  92. Michelle  June 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm Reply

    I lost my eldest son 27 overdosed from drug toxcisity on 20 January 2015
    Can’t explain/express the pain shame and guilt I feel as I’m sure most of you feel after reading these posts. He struggled with addiction for the good part of 10 years. He was not the happy outgoing person I new before drugs/alcohol took over his life. Depressed, paranoid, sad, so sad all the time but always trying so hard to have a “normal” life. He used to ask me what normal was, he also thought nobody loved him. God I showed him with every ounce of my heart that I would die too if anything happened to him. It just wasn’t enough. Not even sure if it was accidental or he meant to. I’m angry with him for leaving us all in so much pain. Our lives will never ever be what it should have been. I fear the nights that are full of dread that we will never see each other again. He was my best friend. My partner is dying of bowel cancer also and has been battling it for almost 3 years…yes as if that wasn’t enough, my son died 16 months ago on our way back from hospital. If I can share anything to persons addicted or contemplating to leave because they are sooo tired of the battle, keep in mind just how many people love you and how it would destroy their life should you leave. It is so final, you can’t change your mind, don’t rush to what you don’t no, embrace what you do and be kind to yourself. I feel everybody I love is leaving me and I can’t do a dam thing about it. I fight to have faith and hope, that is all I can do. God bless all of you!

  93. kiley  June 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm Reply

    March 3, 2016 I lost my 24 year old step son to an accidental overdose of Meth. He was traveling with friends. His friend had a bag of meth when they got pulled over my step son was driving and ingested the meth out of what I can only guess to be panic. I am still having a hard time accepting that he is gone, let alone that he did something so stupid. There are so many unanswered questions and my heart is forever broken.

  94. Cheryl  June 11, 2016 at 12:04 am Reply

    Hi, My family just lost my brother on May 14, 2016. He died while rock climbing. I know it’s not the same as an overdose, but my brother battled addiction for 18 years. For years I tried to save him, going to hell on earth looking for him, offering to pay off his drug debts if he would go to rehab. A few years ago, all my pain turned into anger and I stopped trying. I will regret this for the rest of my life. This tough love stuff is crap. When someone is in pain and suffering its so hard to watch,but don’t shut them out. Reach out and let them know you still love them. I would give anything to have had one more memory of my brother. Even just to tell him how much I love him. My heart tells me he could have beat his addiction if he had more time. Now I’ll never know. It’s like my worst nightmare came true. The only thing that helps is being alone, and now finding this website. It’s awful that I’m finding comfort knowing that other people are experiencing this awful and complicated grief. Most people don’t know my brothers story because of all the shame that goes along with addiction. People just think I’m grieving a horrible accident. It’s so much worse when there has been so much pain for so long, so many what ifs, unanswered questions, guilt and regret. It’s so hard to look at myself in the mirror knowing I abandoned my little brother during the darkest years of his life.

  95. Heather P  June 26, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply

    I just lost my 22 year old nephew to a heroin overdose on June 24, 2016. The emotions flooding in are like nothing I have ever experienced with a loss of a family member. Addiction takes such a strong hold and those who have to watch it take over someone’s life is like watching a horror movie everyday, every minute.

    • Litsa  June 27, 2016 at 9:49 am Reply

      Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. You are absolutely right that addiction is like a horror movie. In many ways even when someone is still alive you can feel like you are grieving the loss of the person they were before the addiction overtook them. Thinking of you and all who loved your nephew.

  96. larissa  August 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply

    Your post is wonderful and beyond helpful to anyone who has suffered such intense pain. It seems so crazy that emotions seem to be within and pain in the heart is not truly painful but when you are going through something as hard as this, it is difficult to keep from crying and swearing that the pain is physical and emotional. THanks so much for this post. You do an amazing job of inspiring wellness after horrible grief.

  97. Kaykay  September 29, 2016 at 3:59 am Reply

    Hi, exactly 2 months ago I lost my husband to a drug overdose of so I believe no toxicology report answer yet. I found him in his car unresponsive, I tried my best to give him CPR but in my head I knew it was a little too late I was almost 7 months pregnant I still am got 2 more weeks. Prior to that night we had a big argument and though we apologized to each other I know in my heart the words he used towards me were bothering him. Most importantly I hate to say it but in my heart I know it wasn’t his time I know he is better and at peace and no more struggles with addiction and the nightmare of a life you have due to the drugs. I have 3 beautiful children with him and put oldest 8 years old he loved his daddy very much and it is soooo heartbreaking when all of a sudden he says ” mommy sometimes I wish my daddy would walk through our door” but I have to remain strong and positive though at night and my solitude I break and cried. My husband was more than just an addict he was a man a father a husband a son and more I loved him since we met in high school and now I have to live a life I never thought I would and raise 4 kids on my own. I just wish I could have done more but I also know it is not my fault. It is just so heartbreaking !!

    • Jennifer  June 28, 2017 at 5:38 am Reply

      My story is similar. I lost my soul mate of 12 years the same. He passed in February. I found him, We did CPR until the ambulance came, with no success. It took 4 months for the toxicology to learn it was fentanyl. He was my best friend and mate and I miss him everyday. I cry for him everyday, still 4 months later. I seem to be paralyzed most days. We did everything together and I can’t seem to experience life without him. I work, do chores i need to and go to bed. Day after day. I can’t imagine the stress of having 4 children, but on the other hand you have a piece of him left behind. My partner had no children. I wish we had had a child, so I could at least have a piece of him left in this world. Good luck to you and your little ones. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Sandra  October 26, 2017 at 11:32 pm Reply

      I feel your everyday pain & sadness. I lost my husband May 30th 2017 and also was pregnant two weeks later I had our first son he never had a chance to meet him. It’s so sad My heart hurts! Our other 2 children don’t understand it’s so hard for them too. My husband and I had gone through so much and I thought he was doing so good we were doing good! I was wrong and to live life alone is something you can never prepare for. Until I came across this site I felt no one would ever understand my pain & loss .. thank u for sharing be strong when u need to be & allow urself to breakdown when u can too.

  98. luara  November 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm Reply

    Thank goodness for your wonderful help and prayers Diviner Odi. My son Stephen is now well and have quit drugs and alcohol. I was making all efforts to make my son Stephen quit drugs. He was addicted to drugs for the past 13 years. He had made my life a living hell and that of his siblings. His late Dad developed a heart attack and died as a result of when Stephen was caught with cocaine and sentenced to 6 years in prison. He steals from me to buy drugs when he has no money. Sometimes, i do pity him when he sit down crying like a child when he does not have the money to buy the drugs and alcohol. He has been taking to rehabilitation centers, yet he did not change.I came across a testimony of a man on a prayer blog of how Diviner Odi helped his daughter to quit drugs. I wrote Him, and i was told what to do, in 5 days, my son quit drugs and alcohol. thanks to Diviner Odi for his prayers. If anybody on this blogs needs his help you can contact him via his email address:

  99. Kim Hallberg  December 7, 2016 at 3:48 am Reply

    Tonight I can’t sleep
    As I am getting ready to go home for my ex’s and my 9,year old son’s dad’s funeral!! Im still in shock from the call I recieved a week ago ,telling me that my biggest supporter, my friend ,my ex partner and co parent has sadly passed away.why???I screamed at my dad through the phone ,daddy why? I suddenly am a small girl who wants her mommy and daddy….. Well he overdosed, hun my dad said! You’d think that as an addict I’d be somewhat more jaded or prepared for this, but I’m not. I’m scared, I’m lost. I’m so sad. And I am just so confused……so please anyone with any suggestions for !myself and our beautiful 9 year old son please send them to me! We need your help!!

    • Rachel Broome  January 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm Reply

      After losing someone so close to me this way I can empathize so deeply, it hurts every day.. it sometimes hurts to breathe without her and I don’t know if it will ever get better but I promised myself to try to do something for her and everyone else that has lost their lives in this way. What I would like to do is ask people to email me with a story about their loved ones and I will post it on my blog. Why this will be different is because this blog is dedicated to honoring our lost loved ones and remembering who they were as a person and NOT what this disease stole from them. I would like to only hear about remembering the person and who they were please and I will post. My email is and the blog I have made is called There is no advertisements, this is not to make any money, this is not a scam, I am a real person suffering in pain over losing my best friend in the whole wide world and I just want to do something I know she would just love and now we can honor other people as well and remember them in a way they deserve to be remembered. Thank you for reading my post! Rachel

      • Mimi  May 13, 2017 at 10:06 am

        Are you still collecting these stories?

  100. Rhylee  December 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm Reply

    The past 6 months have all been a blur, for on June 16th, at 10:27am i got a call telling me that best friend overdosed and died… She wasnt even 15. That was the worst thing i could have ever heard.. I had/have zero energy to really go out and do things that i really enjoyed. And when i miss her most i draw pictures for her and put them in a box that is on a shelf with all her things. It was a hard day, even to this day there are timea ill be in class, amd ill start crying because a single thought of something me and her did a year earlier could ruin my day. Im never going to forget the memories i have had with her, and never going to get rid of the things she gave and drew me.

  101. luara  April 21, 2017 at 3:54 am Reply

    All thanks to Cardinal Joshua for his help.I was struggling to make my son Rod to quit drugs addiction. He has been addicted to drugs for the past 13 years. He fights, and inflict injuries on people and he also breaks into people apartment and steals whenever he does not have money to buy the drugs. He has gone to jails countless times. He has been taking to rehabilitation centers, yet he did not change. infact he get worst.I saw a testimony of a woman on the internet blog of how Cardinal Joshua helped her daughter to quit drugs. I contacted Him, and i was told what to do, in less than 2 days, my son quit drugs, he was very responsible now. Anybody that has problem should contact him on.

  102. Lily  July 21, 2017 at 6:50 pm Reply

    I just lost my fiance on June 19, 2017. I have zero desire to continue life without him. I feel so much guilt and pain, it’s literally unbearable. He struggled with addiction which was mostly alcohol, but hid other things that apparently he was still taking. We had decided to move far away from everyone and everything so we could lean more strongly on each other and I was not only committed to loving him for the rest of my life and marrying him, but I was also committed and determined to help him get better. We decided to move to Cleveland, where he had lived before and had easily gotten a job, but he had to go ahead of me, because he had to start working right away. So we drove up together, got him settled in and I came back to Florida to clean out my apartment, give notices to my job and where I lease my apartment from, pack all my things and was scheduled to go up. My flight was for Saturday June 24, 2017. My last conversation with him was the early afternoon of Monday June 19, 2017. When we initially started our drive, we had barely reached West Palm Beach, (about 45 minutes into our drive) and he wanted to turn around! How desperately I now wish I had let him. Then when we got up there, that weekend was really tough for him. He was so sad, and afraid and expressed to me how he did not think he could handle being alone. I didn’t understand, and I just replied, “you won’t be alone, it’s only a few days”. He also repeatedly told me that Sunday, Which I had to leave him to fly back home, after our drive up, how much he felt that he wanted to die. Again, I ignored him, believing he was simply over reacting and just didnt want to be alone, so I assured him again, it’s only going to be a few more days. I had no idea that that day, would be the very last day I saw him alive. We had planned our whole future, marriage, life together around this move to Cleveland. I lost everything in an instant, because I failed to listen. I lost the one TRUE love of my life, my future, my hope, my everything. I feel so lost, empty, alone, broken and the emotional pain is so overwhelming. But there is slso physical pain, my heart literally aches, my throat swells shut, and I just find myself without any will to live. I’m just stuck being alive when I really don’t want to be.

  103. Melissa Curtis  July 22, 2017 at 6:22 pm Reply

    July 8, 2017 a day that will haunt me forever, this day my oldest son passed away from a drug overdose. I feel lost…sad….mad…have many regrets. Listening to this podcast makes me think of many things and how I do blame myself for not doing something different or more to help my son. If I had, would things be different? Would my son still be alive? Unanswered questions…..guilt haunt me.

    Part if not all of my heart has been ripped out and it is all because my son is gone and as a mother I could not help him….

    • vince mansfield  September 21, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply

      i’m very sorry for your loss. my 22 year old daughter died from an opiate/cocaine overdose January 22, 2017… 8 months ago. i miss her every day.

      hang in there and take it one day at a time.

      – vince

    • vince mansfield  September 21, 2017 at 9:55 pm Reply

      i should add that i too constantly say to myself “what if” and “i shoulda…”. i shoulda loved her more, i shoulda wrote her a letter telling her how i feel. what if i had moved her outta state… what if i put her in Catholic school instead of public?

      hopefully someday i will forgive myself. i do realize though that she’s the one who ultimately chose drugs and wouldnt go to rehab.


  104. Grace Jenn Ramirez  July 31, 2017 at 6:56 pm Reply

    I see a lot of people talking about their loved ones passing from an overdose, that was because they relapsed. My fiance died on July 21, 2017. Just days ago. I thought he was clean too. I didnt notice the relapse. I was visiting with family that week, so I feel like my attention shouldve been more focused on him. I know Im not supposed to blame myself, although his mother blames me, but I wish I could’ve noticed the signs of relapse too. Does anyone know what signs to look for? Maybe it can save someones life. I wish I couldve helped my fiance. He went from pills to heroin. I hate that drug. I am not a user of any drug (and I dont judge those who do) so I dont know why his mother blames me. She wont tell me why either. Im hurting really bad too. He wouldnt want us aurging. I just want him back.

    • Julie  August 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm Reply

      His mom can’t help her feelings right now- just try to understand you are both in such pain and neither can see past it. We lost our son on July 19th 2017 and I am blaming everyone, but mostly myself- and likely so is the mother you are dealing with. All I can say is there is no pain like this and we can’t see straight to know there is another day and also we think somehow if we can figure out how it happened we can get some part of them back. I know it is crazy but our minds are not working right now. I know you are suffering such a loss. I hope overtime all the blame goes away and we can move forward to help other people who are going through this or others who are addicted. Right now I just want my son back like you want your boyfriend back. There is nothing so hard as all of this
      Sincerely, Julie mom of Boone.

  105. Debby  August 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

    I posted my story about my beautiful daughter, Tiffany, today on August 6, 2017, but as distraught as I am, I posted it as a reply to another blog in 2015. It has been only 3 days since she has been gone. I just do not have energy to write that whole blog again. So, I want you to know if you want to read it, it is after one from Blake Langdon on September 21, 2015 at 4:31 p.m. I have 4 daughters that I raised alone. My 2 youngest daughters were only 3 and 5 when their father was killed at age 28 by a drunk driver. My 2 older daughters were abandoned my their father after we divorced. Now, out of the three remaining daughters, I, now, have to worry about the 2 youngest ones who are still on heroin. God, help me through this. They say God never gives you more than you can handle. Really???? I feel like I am splitting mentally in a million pieces. I just want my baby, Tiffany, back. Why could I have just known to be there and save her? I just need to know she is in complete peace and is totally happy now after a lifetime of pain and struggle. I need so badly for her to come to me and tell me that.

    • Gwen  October 9, 2017 at 8:58 pm Reply

      Our son died from a fentynal/morphine overdose on August 27th 2017. We never knew he was using heroin or such but he was being given huge amounts of Oxycodone, Percocet, Valium and Ambien for at least a year by a pain doctor after he got hit by a car while riding his bike home from work. He had abused cocaine for almost 2 decades, done time in prison and we were alarmed that a doctor would give him these drugs. What made this even more horrific is the police never notified us of his death and we found out by a Facebook msg sent to his brother. When I complained the police man said my son was fat, obese, weighed x amount of pounds, was a drug addict, probably had a heart attack and told me not to call anymore when I was just TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED. It is beyond words the grief I feel. He was doing so well we thought and had just paid off about 8 thousand in fines to get his drivers license back and had just bought a car and a motorcycle. I really can’t imagine living without him. Every day is a struggle. I just want to be with him but I know his brother needs me. He was my best friend and I don’t know how to go on without him. Please pray for our family.

      • Cm  October 13, 2017 at 9:06 am

        Hi Gwen I just read your post, me and my family have suffered similarly recently in the same circumstances as yourself when we lost someone to addiction, if you would like a one on one chat with me I’d appreciate it for myself and yourself

      • Gwen  October 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

        That would be great.

      • Gwen  October 16, 2017 at 11:16 pm

        CM I reached out to you a few days ago saying I would love to chat one on one. I’m not sure how to go about it so please get back with me and let me know. Thanks

    • Josie Cofer  January 28, 2018 at 8:08 pm Reply

      Dear Debby’s- my son Bruce was found dead in his bed on Aug 22 , 2017. He died from an overdose of melds. That day I ceased to live physically. How I went thru the funeral I will never know. All I know is that we were so close and that we loved each other very, very much. I cannot believe that he is gone. His birthday is coming up – 53 years old. Divorced and father of 2 children. My husband and I are raising our Grandaughter who will going to college this fall. I have no grip on life. I go thru motions, cry constantly and ask the Blessed Mother to send me a sign that he is ok and in Heaven. I wake up each morning and expect him to show up. I go to his grave and cry- asking “WHY” my sweet son did you die. ?.. I am not doing well and I don’t really care. You indicated that you wanted a “sign” — I want one too! Please let me know how you are doing. Thank you for your message. May God bless you and may your loved one be in Heaven!

  106. Panda  October 14, 2017 at 12:35 am Reply

    I am so glad I found this thread. My best friend died on February 11th, 2017, of an apparent heroin overdose. He was 26 years old. It’s been 8 months now, and while I have lost others close to me for other reasons, this one hit me the hardest. He was like a brother to me, and his story sounds like so many of your loved ones stories, where he was doing so much better for himself, and was clean, and then relapsed so suddenly, and then he was gone.

    I find myself feeling so angry with him at times not only for doing the drug in the first place, but not coming to me with whatever issue it was that was causing him so much pain that he felt the need to turn back to his drug. I am angry that he didn’t confide in me. I am angry that he “left me”. I know that he didn’t do this on purpose to hurt me, or himself, or his family and other friends, but I can’t help but feel this way sometimes, just because I love him and miss him so much.

  107. Emilee  October 19, 2017 at 1:05 am Reply

    its been a little over three months since I lost my soulmate my best friend and the love of my life. I will never be the same after July 3 2017. I appreciate everyone who has commented and shared their story. I know how hard it is. We went to highschool together we were just friends then but became closer after highschool and college and eventually started dating the last five years. For some reason I always felt like I knew him and his eyes were so familiar looking. It felt like once we started dating we had just been together forever. I’m lost without the person I buried my soul to, the closest person who knew me better than I knew myself. Dan suffered a lot of loss in his life, from his brother passing away when dan was just 10 in a car accident, to his aunt and uncle being murdererd in their jewelry store, and his best friend who was like his brother dying of a heat stroke a few years ago on a baseball field in college. I never understood how he got through all of this loss, but now I know you just don’t understand until you go through the pain yourself. I thought of him as the strongest most loving caring person. He struggled with addiction since highschool but had been clean the last couple years. We moved in together this past March and he had started a new job, now I find out there was someone there that sold heroin. We spent every day together and I still don’t know how I missed the relapse. How I missed the signs. I had a huge job interview the night before July 3rd and I decided to sleep at my parents to have a night away from our roommates and him so I could focus on getting this job. It was the first night we spent sleeping apart from each other in years. He told me to call him in the morning on my way to the interview to prep me as I usually get anxious. He didn’t answer. I came up the stairs so excited to tell him I did well like we had practiced and he wasn’t asleep in our bed he was face down on the floor. I called 911 did cpr but when the ems got there they told me had passed hours before I got there. When his parents and I got the autopsy we found out the heroin was laced with fentanyl. I still feel so disconnected from the rest of the world. I’ve been going to therapy and support groups but I cant find one centured around loss from addiction and I just want to say I appreciate all of you and I’m so sorry for the loss you’ve endured. He always told me to take deep breaths with my anxiety. I try but I still feel like I can’t breathe and thinking anything further than day by day is impossible. I appreciate antime who takes the time to listen to my story.

    • George  April 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm Reply

      I read your story and it is sad how ones life can turn out.

  108. Jim  October 19, 2017 at 6:02 pm Reply

    My 23 year old daughter passed away on Sep 23, 2017 from an overdose. She had struggled for more than 6 years with addiction and recovery. After she left treatment this time, I could not find any hope. I only found resignation that the end was near … whether 1 week or 10 years … it was the same conclusion. In less than 2 weeks, she died with a needle still stuck in her arm.

    I grieved some the night I got the call from the medical examiner. I had to be strong and supportive of my wife and son. I needed to make sure that all the arrangements were made. I felt through my head not my heart. I started grief counseling and rationally explained my feelings. Not sure what happened, but 2 days ago, I felt the most intense emotional pain of my life. I was able to cry. I attempted to talk, but the words made no sense. Crying is all I could do. I can’t say what feelings I experienced, but I do know that the pain was overwhelming. My wife let me cry, she was quiet. She was supporting me as I had been supporting her. Afterwards, I felt better.

    I am relieved that my daughter is no longer in pain and that she has found rest with God. I expected that if she found peace that my family and I would find relief and peace too. I think we will eventually find some relief, and, maybe even some peace.


  109. Danielle  October 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm Reply

    Friday October 13th, 2017 4:06 pm was when I received the most horrific phone call of my life- I received a phone call from my fiance’s mother that he had overdosed and they barely brought him back. I was at work at the time, fell to the floor when I heard the news and immediately rushed to the hospital which was thankfully only a few blocks away. When I got there they stated he showed signs of being completely brain dead, but could not confirm until a cat scan was done. About 30 minutes after his cat scan was done, he was moved to ICU and we had to wait for the results from the doctor.. Several hours into the night the doctor called the entire family into his ICU room and declared him brain dead.. The family and I, not accepting the answer asked for more tests to be done. They did a bed side test, shining light on his eyes, dropping water in his eyes, and inflicting pain. None of which he reacted to..

    The next 48 hours would be the most grueling hours of my life.. With him being in the ICU you are on strict visitation hours. 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm for THIRTY minutes at a time. There was six of us who wanted to see him and only two allowed in the room at a time, which gave each of us 10 minutes with him every three hours.. Knowing you are spending your final moments with someone and only being able to spend 10 minutes with them at a time was gut wrenching. So much angry flew out of me and his family for the hospital enforcing these rules.

    Come the next morning October 14th, me and his family did not want to accept the news. We wanted ONE more test to be done before we decided to pull the plug. We were holding onto any hope that he could POSSIBLY make it through this. The doctor agreed to do one more test, the brain flow test.. After continuing many visitation shifts, he was finally brought back to testing around 6pm. At around 7:30pm the doctor advised there was in fact no brain activity and no way that he would ever come back from this. At 7:35pm on October 14th 2017 they have declared the love my life deceased.. My instinct reaction was to crawl into bed with him and ball my eyes out. I couldn’t stop crying, holding him, squeezing him, and at some points almost wanting to strangle him for putting me and his family through this all this pain.. At one point of being in that bed with him by myself I had about 2 minutes of complete peace. Being in my loves arm’s again, the most comforting place in this earth, I barely dozed off..

    After somewhat gaining some of my composure me and the mother have decided to donate his organs as we know that is what he wanted. The next 24 hours was all about keeping his body alive.. Still visiting him every 3 hours on the dot and never leaving his side. Several phone calls saying he wasn’t going to make it and to rush back down to the hospital in between the visits. At this point I have gone 2 days without sleep and no food. Once I got the phone call that he may not make it through the night I decided to set up a blanket in the waiting room and got a few hours of sleep. Over those few hours he finally began to stabilize. That night at 12am – October 15th they have now transported his blood work to see if he can be an organ donor. By 4pm that day we received the news that he will be able to donate both his kidneys and his liver. Still doing our routine visitations, by 10:30pm at night the family was all able to go in the room with him the last 30 minutes before he was sent off to surgery. The fastest 30 minutes of my life. As I said my final goodbye.. me, the mother, and the step father were walking downstairs and up came the people ready to collect his liver..

    The next day was really rough, because the last 3 days I became accustomed to going and seeing him every 3 hours, even though I know he was gone, I still got to hold him, touch him, whisper to him, tell him how much I love him.. and now thats gone and reality started to kick in. I just lost the man that I planned on spending the rest of my life with. The man I was trying to conceive a baby with the past 6 months. Every hope and dream possible taken from us. He was 26 years old. Gone way too soon..

    He had struggled with addiction for about 8 years. With every fiber of my being I spent every day determined to try and get him better. The last month and a half of him being alive I left him.. Being stubborn, I was hoping that if he would lose the ONE thing that meant the most to him that he would find a way to stop.. The last month of him being alive he had convinced me he had stopped and the day that he passed, I was supposed to pick him up from work and the next day we were going to pick up his things and have him move back in. and now all the what if’s go though my mind.. What if i didn’t leave him maybe he’d still be alive. Did me leaving him push him to the edge of constant/harder abuse? Did he go ahead and use that day ONE last time knowing he was moving back in with me and had to get high a final time? What if I tried harder and kept pushing for him to get better.. what if what if what if.. My heart is shattered in a million pieces. Knowing I will never get to see him again. Trying to get out of bed every day is a constant struggle. Trying to be a support system for his mother and myself. The only sense of peace I have is being with his family.. Praying everyday that one day I find a purpose to keep moving forward…

    12/18/90 – 10/14/17.

    I love you.

    • Jami Schoenhoff  October 30, 2017 at 1:02 am Reply

      We went through the same thing.
      My fiance was found a year ago today. Had our baby 10 days later. I’m on FB as Jami Lee. I’d love to have someone to talk to about this. It’s been very hard.

      • Danielle  October 31, 2017 at 6:54 pm

        There are many Jami’s not sure which one is you.

        You can add me on fb Danielle Leezer. It would be nice talking to someone going through the same thing

  110. Marianne Brown  October 25, 2017 at 10:47 am Reply

    On Sept 2O,2017 our life turned upside down. My 26 yr old step-daughter has over-dosed on heroin. We thought she was doing so well. She was working, her grandmother had bought her a ca,r and she had a beautiful daughter Laynee. Our lives will never be the same without her.

  111. Klarees Hansen  October 26, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply

    My first love, soulmate and 23 year old fiance passed away on September 3rd, 2017 by drug overdose. I’m 22 years old. There’s no words for the pain and the hole in my heart will never be filled. It was a very unexpected and tragic accident. This is a very good read and I’m glad to know none of us are alone!

  112. Jacqueline Young-Simcak  November 6, 2017 at 9:52 am Reply

    I lost my 24 year old son, Stephen, on April 30th, 2015, due to Acute Fentanyl Overdose. My story is not unlike other parents but I seem to put myself into a separate category for some reason because I truly feel that I failed my son. The guilt is overwhelming because I did so many things “wrong.” I enabled, got angry, gave tough love, gave in, convinced myself his addiction wasn’t critical, turned him into police…I did everything. I was worn out and didn’t have the strength to continue his fight. I question every aspect of my child raising skills and often wonder where I went wrong. What I really want to understand is any genetic, environmental or medical explanations. It’s been two and a half years and although I function on so many levels, I’m just a shell of my former self. I have one surviving son, who is 30 and is married with three children. My youngest son did leave behind a five year old son, who is now eight. They hardly knew each other because his ex-girlfriend, who also struggled with addiction, did not allow him to see his son. As a result, I too missed out being allowed to spend time with my grandson for four and a half years of his life. After my son passed away, I have been granted unlimited access to my grandson and I try to take advantage of that opportunity as much as I can handle. My grandson has not been told how his father passed away and I have mixed emotions on that subject. Sadly, six months after my son passed, my grandson’s uncle passed away too from an overdose. Such a burden for a young child.
    Thanks for listening.

    • Carrie Dwyer  July 9, 2019 at 7:25 pm Reply

      I relate to how you feel. My story is unlike others. The guilt of how terrible of a parent I am and giving up and I assumed I would never lose a child. It’s just so unbearable how I feel yet I feel I deserve it!
      Thank you for your post. It’s the first I could relate too. I don’t know you or if you will even read this but you and your son will be in my thoughts.
      CHW 10/01/90-10/14/18💔 my beautiful son!

  113. DJ  December 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm Reply

    My husband died Nov 11th 2017 of a Meth induced heart attack. For 11 years I tried to get him help and to help him with almost loosing my life and myself. He was only 55 and didn’t make it to his 56 birthday in Jan. I was the only one who tried to help him. His friends were his drug dealer and other addicts and to him I was the kill joy. But reality was I loved him and wanted him well. Drug are selfish and always take.

  114. Honey Wheeler  December 29, 2017 at 10:46 am Reply

    I lost my dad to fentanyl Jan 7, 2017. One day after his 53rd birthday. He had overdosed the previous day and was able to be saved. He was in my young child’s bed when he died. He had just been released from prison less than a month beforehand. My son had just started to get to know him and with a blink of an eye he was gone. I blamed myself for a while for not noticing the signs and sometimes I still do. We meant so much to each other and we were best friends. My heart definitely feels empty without him though he has been with me in spirit since he left. I haven’t had many people to talk to about this because I simply get tired of hearing “it’ll get better”, or “he’s in a better place”. I shared our story on the local news in an effort to get people to pay attention to those around them struggling with disease but it seems to only be getting worse. Please love your loved ones before its too late!!

  115. Albert  December 30, 2017 at 9:29 pm Reply

    I lost my beautiful son. 23 yo, last year of university, MMA athlete. clean 4 years. Died in his bedroom with his earphones in!!
    what the hell is wrong with the thinking of these addicts? my son had so much going for him, friends, work, school, loving supportive family.
    I know i did all i could, and even so he chose heroine over life. Why?? boredom, excitement, stupidity
    I blame him for this destruction. Or is it all the “disease”? Or is it a mix of free will and robotics?

    His choosing to use heroine and killing himself has destroyed most of my happiness and lust for the future. It seems so fundamentally wrong to poison the self. It must be an amazing high to risk one’s incredible and delicate life. Reading thru these testimonials is horrifying. I’m horrified that these addicts, our fellow humans are finding so much meaning in heroine and cannot seem to avoid or recognize the nightmare they’re causing.
    My son died for nothing.

  116. Jenny D  January 12, 2018 at 12:30 am Reply

    My heart is broken. I’m so sad ,I have no words to describe my feeling. My husband passed away On December 27th,2017 He ‘s been sober almost 6 years.but he went back for 6months . we have 2 beautiful children 4 and 2. I gave him. A lot of chances . I went to an AA NA meeting with him. That night I found him doing drugs again. We were arguing then I told him the kids need to sleep I want a divorce. Then he told me without us he will kill himself. I said I don’t want the kids grow up with a drug addic. Then he went downstairs. The next day morning. I found him in basement died of a overdose. I was scared and screaming called 911, they said he was died for several hours. I blamed myself so much. Inshouldn’ tell him i’m Going to leave him. Everything could change. I can’t even stay at our house , because everything reminds me of him. I can’t go to sleep when I closed my eyes just like a movie ,when we met ,when we married ,when we have kids. ,when we go to Florida ,New York ,California, China,Mexico,he face is in front of me. I feel he is still there. On Christmas-day he gave me a love jar that he spend a long time made ,Inside he wrote 25 things that he loves about me. I was so moved and in tears. He was a good father and a good husband. He loves me so much. He told me many times I’m his soulmate he can’t live without me and the kids. I just can’t believe he is gone. It’s like a nightmare. I love him so much The kids love him. I feel my world is destroyed. I just don’t know how to keep going on right now

    • Monica  September 3, 2019 at 11:47 pm Reply

      Wow what a heartbreaking story. I am sorry for your loss, words cannot comfort anyone when something like this happens. I hope you and the kids are doing better. And, please don’t blame yourself, you would had never thought he was going to follow through with his ideations. God bless you and your children, hope to hear from you and find out how you are doing.

  117. Cory G  January 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm Reply

    I recently lost my mom to a methadone overdose. She was doing really good for a few months. About 10 yrs ago she got pain pills and really liked them. It doesn’t help my father is an alcoholic and has been for 40 some years. I am currently on methadone and have been for 2 yrs now. I always keep it in the safe in my bedroom. My mom was always at my house helping me with my 2 young kids. We had a really good relationship when she wasn’t getting high. She was such a wonderful mother and grandmother. My kids adored her! It was on a Thursday that she left my house to go back home. I opened my safe to get my methadone that Thursday morning and saw that the seal had been broken. She took about 3/4 of the liquid methadone out of my bottle and filled it with water. I called her over and over but she didn’t answer because she knew I would find out and flip out on her. My father is too much of a drunk to even care that she took it from me. He just tells me I’m overreacting and being dramatic. I sent her a text telling her how upset I was and that I hated her for doing this to me. That night she went to sleep and never woke up. My heart is so broken. I feel so lost without her. And my dad is such a worthless drunk that my sister and I had to plan her entire funeral. My dad is now sleeping in her room, smoking and drinking it. Her once beautiful clean room now smells like a bar. My father is very lazy. My mom did everything! Cooking, cleaning, bills etc. she always kept the house clean and always smelled nice. My sister and I have to take turns on cleaning the house and doing all this stuff for him. I don’t want to help him! Anyway, glad I could get this off my chest.

  118. Carla  January 21, 2018 at 3:59 am Reply

    Thanks for this article. On 6/7/17 I lost my Son, my only Child, my Best Friend to an overdose of Fentanyl combined with U-4770. He was in a halfway house in Charlotte. I was at home alone at got a Bing that I had a message FB. I looked at it and it said RIP( my Sons name) me in shock..I grab my glasses and yes that what the post said. Me hysterical calls the Halfway House and tell them who I am an was something wrong with my Son. I got a very long silence and then a yes he is deceased. I probably did not say nice things. Then the Founder calls me an tells me times and the “story” of what happened I wrote down everything. The Founder told me to call the Detective. Who gave me a “story” which did not match at all. My Son was found in the Bi-lo parking lot in the passenger seat of his jeep slumped over on the dash with a uncapped syringe in his lap. And 4 capped ones in his pocket he was very close to the entrance did no one see him and call someone?. Rigamortis had already set in. His body was removed placed in a body bag an released to the ME’s office. I said where did you tow his jeep? “Oh it was released to the Man at the half way house.” I did my own investigation by the tag number and found out the Man I bought it from( I have the receipt) Never signed it over to my Son. He is a Staff member at a Rehab facility my Son was previously where he was clean about 10 months. The Cops did not run the tag they found a dead Man in and released it to a place that did not own it. By the way I never got a call about my Son from anyone I had to do the calling. If it hadn’t been for the post on FB when would I have found out. The weird thing is my Son called me every morning never missed a day except that one. I called my Mom earlier that day and said Mom I have a weird feeling their is something wrong with(my sons name) she said don’t worry he hasn’t missed a day maybe he is just working alot. I still felt uneasy. And then this all happened. When the ME’S office finished the complete autopsy and toxicology I was allowed to send the Funeral home from Charleston to pick up his body. My Son came for a visit on 5/21/17 the day before his 40th birthday so we could celebrate and he could see his GrandMa who helped raise him. I drug tested him when he got here and he was clean we spent the day at one of his favorite places Folly Beach then back home for his favorite Birthday cake and all his Favorite food. I then drug tested him again and he was allowed to take his jeep back. I forgot to mention,they let a student/resident I don’t know what they even call them there. My Son was dead 11 days later. Now that I have come out of my isolation I am looking and reading my notes and something just isn’t right with this picture. Nothing will ever bring my talented guitar playing Son back. But none of this makes since.

    • Theresa  February 13, 2019 at 12:15 am Reply

      Me too Mom. The exact same story as most of us have. It’s been exactly one month. Nobody is talking I get all kinds of conflicting stories. all I can do is trust that the truth will come out soon if it was Foul Play. kids these drug dealers ain’t nothing to play with. They’re not in their right mind. probably kill you for the smallest slight

      • Lilly  November 26, 2019 at 3:52 am

        These stories popped outfor several reasons including the added frustrations similar to what you mentioned . I’m sorry to hear about your losses btw. Despite dealing with addiction/addicts and losing a loved one to OD after a year of really hard work, I do get parts of it but otherwise circular thinking.

        “His choice” , “Gratitude and forgiveness” “Being a victim won’t help. Be of service” “let it go” and the far less graceful and more resentful mindset of “This fucking sucks. And some of these jerks off still alive do too.” Not proud of that one personally but idk.

        Within appropriate level of anonymity, have you found other helpful forums online?

  119. Miss him  March 10, 2018 at 6:32 pm Reply

    My ex-boyfriend of 5 years is an addict. I didn’t break up with him because I wanted to. I wanted to marry him and have children with him. I left because I didn’t think I could help him anymore. We had a passionate relationship that was toxic at times, but I really did love him so much. I was super jealous; He was that amazing. We were together for five years. To this day, he is the only person I have ever been with who’s feelings for me I never had to question. Not ONCE.

    We used to experiment with drugs together, so I blame myself. I wanted to try this, because I always felt safe with him. He got excited. I knew he had tried it before. I never would have thought it would get out of control. I was always able to rope him back in. I had NO idea of how often he was doing it behind my back, and I will never know the truth. The first time I thought there was a problem, I called his friends over to talk to him. The problem seemed to subside. Months later, he is lifting up his arms to show me track marks. After telling me that he wasn’t an addict, and then coming home on suboxone the next day, I knew we had to end things. He called me days later from the hospital. He overdosed for the first time. When I called his aunt, she told me not to go. I will FOREVER regret listening to her.

    He showed up unannounced at my house 6 or 7 months later, to make amends. He was shoveling the snow outside for me. I wasn’t even going to go talk to him, terrified of saying or doing the wrong thing and him relapsing, but I did anyway. I’m so happy that I did. I don’t really remember our conversation, and that kills me. I know we spoke about his rehab, and how he didn’t come over for ME — He did it for himself. We talked about his friends a little. And then we hugged and said goodbye. That was the last time I ever saw him, besides my numerous Facebook “stalks” to check up on him and make sure he was okay.

    He died almost a month ago.

    I’ve never felt loss like this, ever in my life. If he were in front of me, he would tell me that nothing I would have or could have done would have been able to stop him. Stop this. And part of me knows this. The other part is consumed with loss, guilt. And sadness. Regret. And I know he would hate that. Maybe he made his peace with our relationship and its ending. But his death made me realize that I didn’t. And that I never stopped loving him. There was so much I had to say, so much to tell him. And I will never get to now.

    No one had a negative thing to say about this guy. He was so damn attractive. Funny. So smart. Personable. Fabulous taste in music. He had it all. I absolutely HATE that this was his ending. Because he didn’t deserve it.

    I didn’t speak to him for about a year, and I think that is my only saving grace at this time; it kind of softened the blow. But the news still rocked my world. I’ve been depressed, sleeping a lot, and I’m always sad. Every time I look at his mass card, I swear my heart breaks all over again.

    • Eileen Espino  November 2, 2018 at 5:40 am Reply

      I just lost my first love this passed Sunday… October 28… to an overdose… I still don’t know what exactly but your story is exactly like mine except I NEVER did drugs if anything I hated them even before I knew what they were. I was always begging him to stop smoking so much weed and eventually he started smoking Percocets and well ever since he got hooked it was down hill from there… he was in rehab for 40 days clean sober happier than ever. Lived in sober living home for god knows how long… he would avoid my calls… I just wish we would’ve returned back home… I would’ve been there doing whatever I could to keep him from relapsing but God knows why it had to happen that way…. I’m just so hurt I’m numb to even cry anymore… I’m just scared to see him in his casket this upcoming Wednesday…. I love him so much.

      • Sam  November 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

        I understand your pain. I lost my husband 3 years ago 11/6/2015. He was addicted to pain pills. He would do anything to get them. Including getting them from his mom before she died of cancer. It is an ugly thing addiction. He went through rehab and was good for 3 years but then car accident happened and back on pills. It was hard to see him like that. He would loose days and not know what happened, we have 2 kids and they are now 20 and 16. It has been a very hard 3 years but as the time goes it hurts less and sometimes I feel guilty about it but then realize he is not hurting himself anymore and the kids or myself. He was getting worse and worse and taking everything he could get his hands on. We were married for 17 1/2 years. The last 5 years he was alive was a battle every day. It was taking a toll on the kids and myself. My daughter had knee surgery at 12 years old and he would take her meds. I to this day will not take any type of narcotic pain pill. My kids and I make every day count we try to share memories of before his addiction. My daughter has a hard time remembering him without the addiction. I share with her who he was before addiction.

  120. Carisa Witt  April 18, 2018 at 5:54 pm Reply

    I lost my Daughter to meth 3/4/2018. She was a beautiful child and I miss her so bad sometimes I feel like I can’t breath! I am not ashamed of her or her cause of death. She was a very troubled person from an early age and I and every member of family did all they could to help. She had anxiety, depression and bipolar ll disorder. I also suffer these issues and I can understand the drugs allure to someone that has this mental problems. They find out the drugs work better than the prescription medication, if only for a little while. I held my daughter close in her final days and I thank God for that closeness but I do suffer a lot of guilt I should have known and did more to save her. I also have more blame than guilt for the boyfriend she loved who provided the drug to her and watched her convulse for two days before she died and did nothing to help only to save his butt. He is a drug felon who is guilty of possession, use and selling meth, child endangerment, probation violations as well as feeding my daughter drugs and watching her die. He walked away with no charges and my granddaughter of my unmarried daughter. I am paying a lawyer most of my income to get my granddaughter’s custody back. The guilt and blame are eating me alive but the grief is going to win with the most damage. I am looking for a way to help stop hurting but fear it will take quite awhile. I found part one very helpful and I look forward to read more of your work.

  121. Janice  May 12, 2018 at 11:59 am Reply

    Fentanyl killed my beautiful 29 year son on New Years Eve, 2017.
    I don’t relate to the feelings of shame around the way he died. How is that relevant?
    I don’t buy in to the guilt, shame or blame game…and worrying about what others think about me or my family is the last thing in my mind.
    I will honour my sons life with honesty, open-mindnesss and acceptance.
    Stay gold….

  122. Andrew  May 16, 2018 at 1:32 am Reply

    My best friend passed away from an accidental overdose from heroin laced with Fentanyl. I’m in shock that he’s actually gone and i’m angry that it was laced and he didn’t know. I do feel guilt that i didn’t do or say something about his addiction or suggest he seek help.

  123. Corinna  May 29, 2018 at 7:19 am Reply

    I lost my son Nicholas, Sunday May 6th, 2018 to fentanyl overdose. He had been sober for almost 90 days. His last several months he had been happier than I can recall. He would call me a couple times a week, was working and being responsible. We really thought this time he was going to overcome his addiction and not relapse. They found only one small bag with a rolled up paper. No other drug paraphernalia. Its still not real. I keep expecting him to call me. I have a pain in my chest that wont stop hurting. I miss him so much.

    • mary kay philips  December 12, 2018 at 10:27 pm Reply

      I lost my 25 yr old son Sam, May 31st 2018. He had been clean for 2 1/2 yrs! He moved back home from Miami for a girl, much to our dismay! She broke up with him only 1 1/2 months after he moved back home, after a stupid fight. My son turned to what he thought was heroin and actually had fentanyl and ketomines in it. He laid on his forehead and knees for 18 hrs before he was found by his friend. He spent another 16 hrs in ICU where my husband and his sisters watched them doing CPR, kidney dialysis and putting central lines in him. We had to make the call and made him a DNR. He died that day. We had done so much for him to get his life back on track. He was very happy for that 2 1/2 years. He found his Salvation in Jesus Christ and was Baptized on May 1st 2016! I am so grateful that he had that time to be saved! Our lives have been changed forever! This horrible empty feeling that I have consumes me ever morning when I wake up is at times unbearable! I call it Groundhog Day!!! haha. I don’t know what to do with the visions of him in ICU and the thought of him on his forehead and knees for 18 hrs! So hard to move on when your body feels like a lead weight! My grief has overshadowed my faith and that so worries me and gives me major anxiety! We as a family need help and will be going to counseling because I have no idea how we will ever feel even a little bit better. Seems to be getting worse! Hoping that after Christmas we will feel a little relief! My heart completely goes out to everyone here! I love you all. I just pray we all get some peace!

  124. Laura  July 11, 2018 at 12:25 am Reply

    The number of comments here shows how important this issue is and I’m so glad it is being discussed on this platform. My younger brother passed away from a heroin overdose at 21 years old. He battled addiction since adolescence. My family battled with him and found that there was limited support for families of addicts which i thought was kind of crazy considering the impact of our actions on his life. I find that the same is true in the grief stage. Someone once said to me that an overdose death was just “one step above suicide”. Is that supposed to make me feel BETTER??? Many people are clueless and very ignorant to the topic of addiction, mental health, overdose etc. They have no idea what to say. The funny thing is that my brother wasn’t ashamed of his addiction and he spoke openly about to anyone who cared to hear about it. It seemed only appropriate to use his funeral as a way to help people understand addiction even the tiniest bit more. I think we need to educate people and talk as openly about this as possible.

  125. Joseph  August 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I lost the love of my life on July 18th, 2018, to an heroin overdose. I was the first one to find her, i was asleep next to her during the night when she passed. I heard her snore/gargle during the night, i woke up half way and rubbed her back, like I always did when she snored. That will haunt me forever, that I could of called someone and maybe given her more time if I only would of woken up completely. When I woke up, she had been gone for many hours. I wish i never saw her that way, it is burned into my mind.

    She had been in recovery for 2 years before she went back out. We were moving to another state that morning, car packed the night before. We had just celebrated her son’s 5th birthday(his father passed when he was 2 so now his grandfather is adopting him).

    We moved into her father’s house before our big move, after she passed I didn’t have any place else to stay, so I am in the same room she passed in, on the same bed.

    I never had an idea of my life without her, we spent every moment we could with each other, spoke and texted all the time. I never had a plan of her not being in my life. I just feel drained and broken.

  126. Ashleigh  October 19, 2018 at 12:22 am Reply

    My dad died of a heroin overdose when I was 14. That was over 6 years ago. I remember waking up that morning and going straight to the bathroom to take a shower and as soon as I got out I saw the paramedics inside my house and my mom told me “dad is dead”. I will never forget the disbelief and how horrible I felt at that moment. My dad had went to the hospital 2 weeks prior for an overdose and promised he would never do it again. He even wrote my mother a note that said “I know you don’t understand this now but you will later”. Whatever that means. I hadn’t even really spoke with him after that because I was so angry at him and surprised. I had no idea he was even doing drugs up until then. He had a problem with ringing in his ears so I think maybe that could have been what made him start using in the first place. My brothers are drug addicts as well and I think they may have even been the ones getting it for him. They promised after he died that they would not use drugs and here we are 6 years later and both my brothers are still active drug addicts even after their father and tons of their friends have overdosed and died. Sometimes I think about my father overdosing and I can’t help but think that he was selfish and knew what he was doing to himself. I can’t believe that his 5 kids and wife weren’t enough for him to just stay here. I really don’t consider addiction a disease like some do, I think it is a choice. People can and do get over it all the time. Now we are all impacted from it emotionally and have trust issues and it just isn’t fair. I think about childhood memories sometimes now and I can’t help but wonder if he was on drugs during that time or not. I wish I didn’t have to feel this way. I hate drugs and I am so sick of seeing them ruin and kill so many good people. Hopefully my brothers will get their shit together before the drugs kill them too. I don’t know why anyone would ever feel the need to do drugs that are obviously known to be deadly and I don’t think I will ever understand.
    Thank you for reading and I am glad to finally read stories from people with a similar situation to mine.

    • Bob  November 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm Reply

      Wow! you are an amazing person. It’s inspiring to read your post. So glad that the inner you has been in charge of your life. Your so strong. I am on this blog because I lost a Son to Heroine. The crazy part nobody had a clue. We knew he drank (Marine) and smoked weed but no hard drugs. He outsmarted everyone but in reality outsmarted himself. In some ways I agree with you that you make choices and that it’s not a DISEASE. But please consider this Your Dad, Your Brothers, and probably even you are predisposed to certain addictive personalities. I was never a Heroine addict but I will tell you I’m an addictive personality. I have been addicted to gambling, drinking , etc . My Son had the same traits and did make the CHOICE to chose the drug that killed him. He was an amazing Son and person but he had issue’s. He simply lost his way. I have to make peace with it. It has only been two months since he has died and frankly I am just broken by his death. I am a Christian but haven’t been overjoyed that GOD took my baby! I can read the anger you feel and who could blame you. You have dealt with so much but still you endure. Being a Dad please remember the times you had with him as real and genuine. Don’t consider whether he was on drugs when he was with you. Remember he made a choice to be there with YOU. Enjoy those memories. I think you deserve it. As far as your Brothers I have no answers. My Son died in the infancy of his addiction. I see so many that when this/these drugs get hold of you they just won’t let you go and that is when it isn’t a choice! My Prayers!

      • Gavin  November 23, 2018 at 11:22 am

        I’m 14 and I lost my dad on Oct. 2, 2018. Please don’t blame God. Everything that happens, happens for a purpose and to better his kingdom, and maybe you needed this to give you a reality check to try to shake the addictive personality because no one wants you to be addicted to anything, I haven’t met you a day in our lives and I still care about you and don’t want you to be addicted and neither does God, just please don’t try to push him away from you because (I would know) now is the time that you need him the most.

      • Monica  September 4, 2019 at 12:27 am

        Well said Gavin! God bless you now and always. I can’t believe you are only 14 years old. I am very sorry about your loss.
        I lost my beloved nephew “Julian” on July 29, 2019. He was only 16 years old, unfortunately he and his friends decided to try psychedelics and he jumped from a balcony and died. He was my sister’s only son, and we are all now facing the reality that he is no longer with us. I love my nephew, and I miss his beautiful smile everyday, I wish I could bring him back….I know he is in heaven with God, and to be honest that’s the only comfort that I have.

    • Natalie Cupps  November 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm Reply

      Hi Ashleigh,
      I am so sorry for all of the pain that you have gone through. Addiction is a horrible thing. I know that when you have never had an addiction, what they do does not make any sense. It really doesn’t make any sense. The definition of addiction is that you continue to do something harmful over and over again even though you continue to get bad results. The drug takes over any reasonable thought and unfortunately, love is just not enough to make it through the crazy that the drugs cause. I know it should be enough. Love seems like the most powerful thing on earth and it should be enough. Heroin is just more powerful. I know it is very hard to understand, but I promise your dad and your brothers did/do not want to hurt you. That doesn’t change the fact that you were hurt very deeply and permanently. Just try to remind yourself that his intention was not to hurt you. He did not do the heroin thinking he would die. He couldn’t think past that very moment to any consequences. Yes that is crazy and yes it is selfish, but it is the power of heroin. Please try to find some al-anon or better yer nar-anon groups in your area. You will find people who have been through similar experiences and you can all work through it together. ❤️

      • G  December 22, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        Thank you for sharing this, making those of us living in this world without our kid, that our kid really had no control once the heroin became the Pacifier. I needed to hear it wasn’t done to hurt us, it is just an overwhelming drug and sometimes people can’t beat it, especially the very young without lots of life experiences. My girl was getting ready to turn 20. Sorrow Forever

    • Gavin  November 23, 2018 at 11:17 am Reply

      Hey Ashleigh, I feel you, I’m 14 and my dad passed away on Oct. 2, 2018, from a fentonyl/ Xanax overdose. I just kind of wanted to try to sway your opinion on addiction not being a disease. My dad was not like the majority of drug users. He tried Xanax to help his knees after he played basketball. He did not use them to get high, and he didn’t want to get addicted, but he did, and about the “people get over it all the time” many people get over diabetes all the time too, and you get diabetes from self inflicted things (not eating healthy, no exercise, ECT.) but that does not make it not a disease, I do believe addiction is a disease because no one wants to get addicted and no one wants to die from it. As much as my dad has told me, “maybe if I drink these redbulls I’ll have a heart attack and die.” And “it will be better for you if I were to die, because you would get social security and you don’t have to worry” I know that he did not want to die, me and him had so many things planned, I had just got my first car and we were working on it together. He was also unlike other addicts because he was murdered, yes, if he wouldn’t have taken the drugs, he would still be here, but if his drug dealer wouldn’t have put three other additives in there he would still be here as well, his drug dealer killed himself on Oct. 4, 2018. We got the toxicology report back and the drugs have been tampered with. Just listening to your story, I feel that your dad was probably in a similar position, he did not want to die.

    • Denise  January 16, 2019 at 12:32 pm Reply

      hey ashleigh..
      im so sorry to read of your intense pain/trauma. that sounds so heavy to hold and live through. you are so so strong chick 🙂 ill be praying for your family and you. i understand the trust issues, barriers (resentment to drug addicts), lack of sympathy, its tough to care when caring has broken your heart. you love and care to these people and seeing them go down this dark path is a lot. thats the thing with drug addiction, once you begin there is no ever getting off. typically, there is something before the drugs ever got there, emptiness, despair, chemical imbalances in the brain that are just not in control of, a need for escape because life might be to overbearing, and once they’re on it they’ll always fight for the rest of their life or until an overdose. Its hard to forgive anyone you love but they never meant to cause you pain. i found therapy to be an incredible outlet and source of help, to be able to live a happier more freeing life, maybe it could help u if u dont already go/ would even want to try it.

    • missy  April 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm Reply

      Dear Ashleigh
      I too have lived with addiction my entire life. I do hope you will research addiction. Science has proved that addiction is a disease. Research has found which receptors in the brain are impacted by nicotine, sugar, alcohol, meth, heroin, etc.
      Yes, others have gotten to a point where they are in remission – much like people with cancer – but, addiction forever changes your brain and those people who are in recovery work everyday to maintain that recovery.

      Loss of a loved one – especially of a parent or a child – is more than terrible. I just buried my adopted son at age 24, 6 weeks before his 25th birthday, after 10 months of being clean.

  127. Rashanda  November 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm Reply

    I just recently lost my unborn sons father to an overdose.
    I am 6 months and due in February. This is so hard for me because i feel like Ive failed him. I worry about my child growing up without a father. I am so broken . My hormones are beyond controllable. I need help.

    • Melissa Kirkpatrick  November 12, 2018 at 12:19 pm Reply

      Hi Rashanda, I’m 32 weeks pregnant and due January 5. I lost the father of my unborn child/love of my life on October 26, 2018 to a heroin overdose. I too feel broken and my hormones are uncontrollable. I feel like I failed him and should have seen the signs of his relapse coming. I also worry about my unborn son not having his daddy around and my heart breaks for him. My boyfriend was so excited for this baby, I thought we were going to best his addiction. I can relate to how your feeling. Take care of yourself and that baby.

    • robert Jenkins  November 15, 2018 at 10:17 pm Reply

      So sorry for you loss. Do you have any Family that can help you?

  128. Rachel  December 6, 2018 at 6:12 pm Reply

    My children’s dad and my exhusband (married 9 years) died 3 years ago. He was found dead in a toilet block of a hospital. We had found him living rough 18mth before and had taken him in to try and help him get off drugs and get his life back. I had been looking for him for 6 years. We had split up because of his drug addictions to weed and alcohol. He plunged into a heroin and meth addiction. It’s ironic that his youngest son was 18mths old when he disappeared. My son didn’t remember his dad and developed a close relationship with him in the 18mths we had him back in the love of our family. My eldest was 5 when his dad left so had harboured a lot of pain and anger that was soothed when we took him back in. Ryan went missing on the Thursday I knew something was wrong. I believe he planned it and it was a suicide. He took a load of different prescription drugs including Valium and shot up two hits of heroin. From his autopsy I know he didn’t suffer so that was some comfort. I think he chose a hospital to die in so regular people wouldn’t have to deal with his body. The pain this has caused me and my children is indescribable. I thought we would get him better and we would have a happy ending. I feel like the Harry Potter dementors have sucked all the happy out of me and the world. I feel like I move through life on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My sons hardly see me any more. Non of us know how to deal with this and I think it will forever affect our relationship. Even though the stress of dealing with his addiction was a huge burden I still miss him. I never stopped loving him and only divorced him so that my kids wouldn’t have to grow up with addiction in the house. I wanted to protect them and ultimately I couldn’t which makes me feel doubly guilty. I feel very angry toward drug dealers and now wish that governments would bring in death penalties for inporters of heroin and meth cooks. I am angry that drug companies make profits off pills that kill so many good people. It’s really hard to not be angry all the time.

    • Dazed  February 6, 2019 at 1:16 pm Reply

      Hi Rachel…please email me I lost my 18 year old son this past September. Going thru a divorce I’m a non addict with two small boys I feel so stuck.

  129. Emily Hefner  December 13, 2018 at 9:53 pm Reply

    My daughter died 12/7/2018, from an overdose of what was thought to be heroin, but the person who sold it to her actually sold her about $40 if straight fentanyl. She died instantly. I know she is with Jesus now because He told me she is. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to call or text her, ti touch her precious face, hug her, kiss her, hold her, finish Christmas shopping with her, go to see Dumbo with her and eat afterwards, and so much more. I miss her so much and can’t stop crying. All I want to do is sleep. The loss is overbearing. I just want her back. She told me 2 weeks ago she was right with Gid and was tired of fighting her demons. Well now she doesn’t have to fight them anymore. Sadly now I have to fight mine, those of guilt, shame, hopelessness, helplessness, and so many more. I know I will see her again one day, but I wush it was now. I live you so much, my darling CaseyBeth Hefner. You will always be with me.

    • Debbie Rittenberry  December 23, 2018 at 8:59 am Reply

      We lost our 42 year old son Billy to an overdose on 12/20/2018. We were getting ready to go to our son- in- law birthday dinner. Billy didn’t answer when I called him downstairs. His father ran down.We had Narco on hand but it didn’t help. He preformed CPR until help came. Billy was gone……forever. The hours lingered by. The detectives,medical examiner,etc. I stayed above Billy (upstairs) in a daze of ‘ this isn’t happening ‘ . Billys sister came with family. It was horrible.I had just seen Billy an hour before. Billy was excited to be with family….We thought he was clean( just got out of jail) ..The demons that were in our sons heart I will never know. The pain must have been overwhelming. I cry all the time when I get a moment( like now), his dad sleeps a lot,his sister can’t get out of bed. I refused to go downstairs, she went. I knew Billy wasn’t there. His Spirit was with God! Without my faith,I believe I would have no desire to continue life,but I know we will be together again. Even through his addiction,his Love for Jesus stayed true. The hardest day will be Christmas,maybe forever and this saddens me for his child and our other grandchildren. Billy would have been43 on Christmas. Billy was literally my precious gift. My daughters family will remember Billy through their dads birthday. I think this will be a hard week for years to come. ……I feel a tinge of guilt at times,through the tears. Mostly because I cry for our lost and find peace in knowing my son will never suffer again. Demons are gone! I prayer that they catch the person that sold him this ‘hotshot’ before too many other families feel the pain of lost. Prayers to all who have posted here. My heart hurts for you all. God Bless

    • Kathy Z  December 25, 2018 at 3:47 am Reply

      My heartfelt condolences Emily. I just lost my beautiful 24 year old daughter, Victoria, on December 1st. There is an ongoing investigation but I believe the drugs she had were laced with fetanyl. I pray that someone is charged in connection with her death. I am dealing with the same heartache, grief and ‘what ifs’ as you are. I am no longer the same person I was on November 30th and fear I will never be the same again. I have begun going through some of her things as the tears stream down my face and I yell out in anger, “I should not be going through your things, you should be going through mine!” She struggled for 6 years with an opioid addiction and was in rehab 5 times. Her longest period of clean time was 18 months and I was so proud of her. 2017 was a great year but in 2018 things began to fall apart in her life and I feared she would relapse so I did everything humanly possible to prevent that from happening, sadly I failed and the regrets I have are endless. My heart is broken into a million pieces and my entire world has been shattered. My only hope is that she is finally free from all the demons that tormented her soul.

  130. Leigh  December 26, 2018 at 11:20 pm Reply

    Lost my 29 year old husband due to a fentyl over dose, he bought a Xanax off the streets and it was laced with fentyl, I worked night shift and came home to him… it is hard to face the death of your loved one due to drugs, they had their whole life to live… I lost my best friend and soul mate I don’t know how to go on

  131. Joe  February 20, 2019 at 7:42 am Reply

    Lindsey Lee (Lou) Natale passed the eve before Mothers Day 2017. She was a sister, mother and my best friend. She was also 4 1/2 mos pregnant with my 5th grandchild. She had been sober for over 8 mos and I will never wrap any part of my being around this. I am, I guess, what you would call a man’s man or at least I was. Now I cry at the TV and nearly every time Lou is mentioned and just thinking about her. Almost 2 yrs and I still miss daily calls and texts. She was the kindest and most loveable person I’ve ever known. She had a way of smiling and laughing, my god Her laugh was something to hear and so contagious. She was a great cook and baker. 900 miles apart and we would talk as we both made dinner. And that’s how it ended …..she died from fentanyl, 900 miles away, alone in a tiny bathroom. Her death rules my world at this point. I cried reading all of your stories and was, naturally, compelled to share a little. It really doesn’t help the pain but but at least you’ve had the chance to meet her. I hope everyone can find some peace or at least, a good day every now and then

  132. Lisa  February 21, 2019 at 1:00 am Reply

    One of my best friends just called me tonight to let me know that her 15 yr old son died of an apparent overdose! Her heart and soul is broken! Words can’t not express this
    Mothers loss and pain!

  133. Andrew  February 24, 2019 at 2:08 pm Reply

    I lost my little Windy in January to what is believed to be a fentanyl overdose. She went back to Missouri to visit family and was using hard drugs while she was there. Apparently this was something she did when she would go back maybe once or twice a year to visit family for a week at a time. She was only 27 years old and had been my girlfriend for nearly a year and a half. She faced some trauma as a young girl and I believe she used drugs as a way to cope with the pain. She didn’t tell me about this and kept it hidden probably for fear of being judged. Her passing has left me completely broken, I’ve never known love like the love we shared. She was my best friend, my lover, and my soul mate. We would talk and text nearly every single day. The last moment I spent with her was to take her to the airport so she could see her family. I miss my baby so much. Im so sad now, everyday is waking up to the realization that I won’t have her in my life anymore. She had so much life ahead of her, such a selfless and loving person. She had a son to who will grow up without his mom. I would do anything to have her back. She changed me in a good way and there’s so much I want to tell her now. She struggled with depression and had a very hard life and all I want now is to hold her close and tell her how much she is loved. I miss you so much baby!!! I’m always going to love you baby Windy!!! Bear and kitten always and forever!!!

    • Teresa Terry  September 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm Reply

      I lost my 31yr old daughter to overdose, not sure if it was herion or fentany just three weeks ago today, not sure which it was since we do not have the autopsy results back. This is the most terrible thing that has ever happened to me and my heart is so broken. I want to do something to change the laws for state rehabs from 28days to 1 year.

    • lex  March 11, 2020 at 3:26 am Reply

      I feel this so much I am in real tears. All we can do is love them, but the pain endures. Cheers to our great loves! Mine passed the day before Valentine’s Day. I can’t escape the feeling we will be together again someday.

  134. Gomillion  March 4, 2019 at 12:28 pm Reply

    I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined posting on this blog, that my Niece died from an overdose on Thursday, February 29, 2019.

    My deepest sympathy for all are in my prayers!!

  135. Carol  March 7, 2019 at 1:02 am Reply

    My 36 year old son just died of a fentanyl overdose. It was a week before anyone found him, a horrible way for your child to die. 4 years ago my husband lost is 24 year old daughter to an overdose of Meth. How much more can we endure – two deaths in two years is way too much to handle. We each had a chikd die of an overdose.

  136. AMBER BRAN  March 9, 2019 at 8:33 am Reply


    • Deb Flanagan  April 1, 2019 at 3:03 pm Reply

      Amber, my son died of an overdose 3 years ago. I am crying for you right now. The only truth that worked for me is cry out to God and give Him your life to control. He loves you and wants to see you living a happy and fulfilled life.
      This prayer is so simple “Dear Jesus, I have screwed up my life so much and I am so lost right now. I don’t want to live. Please show me today how much you deeply love me and how powerful You are to save me and turn my life around. Please forgive me for all I have done that I regret and wash me clean of all my son. In Jesus name. Amen”

    • Cely  May 14, 2019 at 4:57 pm Reply

      Hey Amber I am Sorry to hear about the lost of your FOREVER.. I to lost my HAPPILY EVER AFTER just recently Feb 14th, 2019…the day of love and happiness is now my darkness and misery.. I am 32yrs old and a widow.. My husband died of an “accidental” (AIR QUOTE) overdose of fentanyl and cocaine,. that is what his autopsy read.. he has left me with many un answered questions.. many unfinished arguments.. many what if’s and above all that the many unanswered questions of ” why did daddy die mommy?” .. how do I explain to a 8yo, 6yo and a 2yo that daddy choose his habit his weakness his demon his curse over THEM. That all the love he had for them , because don’t get me wrong he was a wonderful father one of the best (he was the good cop 🙂 in the relationship) but all the love he had for them was over powered by his selfishness of escaping reality of escaping life of finding “release”… I to am a former addict of benzos, you name it I used it and abused it .. and alcohol well let say I drank everyone under the table went on binges of 3-7 days without sleeping BUT and this is a big BUT I choose .. I choose to kill my selfish ness to kill the “I want the I need the I cant” because the moment I decided to give birth (because it is a choice!) I decided to kill the “I ” and turn it into a “them” .. they did not choose this life I choose it for them.. and its my job to make it better for them, to break the generational curses the saying of “all my family drinks all my family died from this or that” naaahhh not my kids AMBER YOU NEED TO CHOOSE whatever your drug is let it go and I wont sugar coat anything it will be the hardest thing ever!! harder than surviving your grief.. but if you don’t do it you are killing your son .. you are killing his hope of being better than his father. I cry ever day in the shower, while I drive, when a song comes on when I look at people hugging and kissing.. I cry I get angry I get tempted.. and I dream of getting high of getting drunk of numbing my pain but if I numb what I am feeling then I to have committed suicide I to have died in a sense because the way I look at it as long as I keep feeling I am still alive and my 3 beautiful daughters still have hope.. and that’s all I have to say about that… fight AMBER whatever your drug of choice is.. whether it be meth and you are bestfriends with the shadows, or alcohol and all you see is a blur or heroine and all you do is float .. none of that is worth the life of your son just know he to lost his FOREVER …

      • Patricia Olson  May 24, 2019 at 5:34 pm

        wow your words are amazing and full of hope and encouragement! Keep fighting the good fight!

      • Denisse  September 30, 2019 at 6:01 pm

        Hey Cely what you said really stayed with me. I lost the love of my life to cocaine/ fentanyl overdose. We have a 16 year old daughter. I repeatedly tell her that had her dad known this was going to be the outcome he would not of done it and left us behind. I fight every day to get through each day. I am all she has left and i refuse to let depression take over me. I have been trying to deal with this on my own because i feel like no one understands or feel uncomfortable talking about it.
        To Amber please try with all your might to fight those demons. Pray every morning, noon and night. He is listening. Ask for the strength you need to get through this. I will pray for you and i hope everything works out for you.

    • Monica  September 3, 2019 at 11:36 pm Reply

      Hi Amber, how are you doing now? I was very touched by your story.

    • Monica  September 3, 2019 at 11:38 pm Reply

      Hi Amber, I was very touched by your story. How are you doing now?

  137. Cassie  April 13, 2019 at 6:49 am Reply

    My father passed away last year unexpectedly, he was found in his apartment in his bed. I was crushed, confused, angry, and terrified because there was no indication of what happened or how, or even when he died.
    Unfortunately, my older brother had the power of attorney or whatever it’s called, and so he was the one who could ask for an autopsy. And to my surprise ..he didnt. It wasn’t until I was left alone in my father’s apartment and in between tears and constantly whailing . Was when I noticed my dad’s hand written notes…as I read there all the scratchy handwriting I noticed what they were written on, all of his prescription receipts…I hadn’t seen my father in three years since I moved away. I knew he was having surgeries, but I was not aware of all the pills they were giving him. (Mostly) because, as far as my knowledge my father was what you would say redflagged for even receiving opioids because of his history of abusing them. Once I saw all the opiates he was given a huge wave crashed into me leaving me breathless. That’s when I knew….that’s when I realized my father had overdosed. Immediately I called his primary doctor at 1:30 am completely coming unglued because I thought she had given my father the loaded gun that killed him. But she wasn’t, the surgeon who performed his last 6 surgeries in TWO YEARS was handing them out like candy. I’m talking oxi codine, oxi cotton, valuume, trazdone, ect…and here is the kicker , MY FATHER HAS HAD CONGESTED HEART FAILURE FOR THE PAST 32 YEARS!!?? what kind of doctor would put so much strain on a patient who has heart problems like that….? So because of what I found the medical examiner went over my brothers head and ordered a toxicology report. It was 4 months before I got the results back…they listed his death as a suicide by toxic affects of opioids. I was in denial I guess until that moment…and in that moment is when I realized I left my father alone while he was going threw all the surgeries and all the pain…he was 62 years old. And I left him….I think about him every day! And it still makes me cry….I’m so angry. I’m angry and the doctors who gave it to him, I’m angry at his caregivers who knew he was battling depression and didn’t say anything, and most of all I am angry I left him, when he needed me…our birthdays were a hour apart. He told me my whole life that all he wanted for his birthday was a baby girl, and then there I was, one hour before his. ….I Never got to say goodbye, or tell him how much he mentioned to me and that he wasn’t alone…I love you more then you’ll ever know Dad….rip ned bogen
    Love your,
    pumpkin heady

    • Joy  May 7, 2019 at 12:17 am Reply

      Oh my god..this is almost exactly what happened to me & my dad..all of it. Only difference is he had a failed mesh to repair an ulcer that had him in so much pain. I can’t understand why they gave him the oxycodone that he overdosed on. He was obviously addicted to them and already with an addictive personality, he was an alcoholic admitted into hospital treatment several times. It makes me so mad sometimes and so sad that he succumbed to his addiction. I missed him so much before he passed..i hadn’t seen him in a few years and we always had a rocky relationship because of his alcoholism. I always thought we had more time to make everything right and be in each others lives like a healthy father/daughter relationship. It’s just so sad. I hate seeing people who remind me of him, i almost lose it everytime i see a daughter with her father..i always look for him but I’ll never find him.

    • Leslie  December 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Reading your story, in some ways reminded me of my own. My dad who was 57 passed away July 30th 2019. He was an amazing person, school teacher…just honestly the type of person who treated everyone the same and loved to give. He had always struggled with sleeping pills. I had decided to put up some boundaries, 3 years later after talking about reconnecting we get a phone call he passed. Meth and Fentanyl. I am still in shock, feel so guilty for knowing he was struggling but not reaching out. We are a christian family…and I did not show him love or help and almost 5 months later it still hits me. It’s an unreal feeling…its an ache that with prayer gets better but never goes away. I think about him all day everyday and although some memories are so nice, the shame I feel and the what ifs just press into my heart. I have 3 boys my dad left behind, and my brother had 3 boys. My dad always joked he wanted to have a baseball team of grandkids…he was almost there. He also struggled with seizures and was on medication for that. He always said things were fine…and then hes gone. I’m so sorry the pain and guilt you are feeling. I wish I could tell you it goes away or gets better…but I havent found that yet. I’ve had to quit my job because I kept crying at work with customers…I once just curled in a ball at work on the floor. I used to work at Target! It was uncontrollable. A song plays, a smell comes to pass you, a person who sounds or looks similar…maybe the realization that hes gone just hasnt sank in. I will be praying for you and your loss and your heart. I pray for everyone on here that God would just comfort us all. Until we reunite in heaven, I miss him everyday.

  138. Woo2  May 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm Reply

    I lost my husband. Who was on fentanyl Patches for years. Prescribed from his doctors. The insurance company decided to stop covering them. He dies of a heroine overdose. It’s like the complete opposite. He was desperate. Desperation killed him.

  139. Sonya Andrea  June 10, 2019 at 10:49 am Reply

    Hi everyone, I was trying to save my husband from alcoholism since 2015. He refused all the different things I tried to help. I finally separated from him in 2018 because it was no longer safe for me. He grew deeper into depression and died of an accidental overdose last Thursday. I’ve been devastated and have felt an extreme amount of guilt and shame. Multiple people blame me, only adding to my own self guilt and shame. I have anxiety to go back to my normal life because I feel like I’ll be moving on and I don’t want to. Two days ago somebody messaged me this

    “I am sorry..I tried to keep it to myself..but seeing you at the funeral, listed and acting like Jon’s wife was..distasteful to say the least. While his family may be accepting of you, just know that his close friends, including me, are not. You may not be to blame for what happened to Jon, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible. You were his wife, yet the first to abandon him when he needed help. When you saw he was suffering, it was YOUR responsibility to help him or get him help.

    Because love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things, right? Isn’t that what the Bible says? Aren’t you a devoted Christian?

    He was my BEST friend. I left him in your care, and you destroyed him. In the future, I hope life treats you deserving. ”

    Since this message I have been obsessed with it and re reading it. I don’t know how to move forward or accept that my husband is gone. My heart is completely broken.

    • Diane cervi  June 16, 2019 at 6:23 pm Reply

      Addiction is hard to watch as you offer help to those who refuse it or continually go back to their addiction once they have been sober. I lost my son a little more than a year and a half ago. All I can say is there is no blame to those the addict leaves behind. We all question if there is more we could have done but the bottom line is that they can only control their actions we cannot. The hole that they leave behind in families and loved ones hearts is incredible . This just shows us how powerful the struggle they battled was. We miss them we love them. The best thing we can do is be kind to ourselves as we heal from this tremendous loss .

      • blt  September 5, 2019 at 10:55 pm

        It’s been almost ten months since we lost our daughter, your words gave me the first comfort I have felt.
        Thank you!

    • Melissa Monroe  July 31, 2019 at 10:44 pm Reply

      I am truly sorry for your loss. I want to start out by saying that is not your fault by any means. I myself am a specialist in addiction.. I have a father who is an alcoholic.. He goes in and out of treatment regularly. My brother also passed away from an opioid overdose. We can sit here and take the blame for others but at the end of the day we need to remember how hard we’ve tried. This works both ways…the individual has to want the help otherwise it will not work. You cannot be responsible for your husband’s addiction. The so called family and friends.. Why did they not take him in and help him out then? Please ignore the comments and live your life.. I truly understand where you are coming from.

    • Becky  September 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm Reply

      Hi there! First of all, I am tremendously sorry about your tragic loss. I just happened to stumble upon the horrible message sent to you from your husband’s ” best friend”. His message to you was completely inappropriate and certainly not very “Christian”. You are NOT responsible for your husband’s death. I don’t know any of the circumstances, but I do know that you are NOT responsible. Please get counseling and block the toxic people from your life. Prayers for you.

  140. Lola  June 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm Reply

    I have lost my sister to a methadone overdose, her son (my nephew) to oxycontin and most recently (6 weeks ago) my fiance to a cocaine/fentanyl and morphine overdose. My heart is truly broken again and still.

    • Lila  August 7, 2019 at 2:23 pm Reply

      I felt your post..needed to respond
      Ive had two partners due to drug related death pass away within 6 years of each other and i feel so alone in that..
      My son now has no daddy,my ex partner died only 9 months ago and although we had split, that last year was full of hope again..he was well and in recovery just under a year clean and those last couple of months we spent time building a friendship again n co parenting and who knows maybe we could build on us again..i realised within that year that i loved him and had truly missed the real him that had gone through addiction..and he used once n it killed him
      The guilt, pain, loneliness and overwhelming feeling at times that no1 understands this grief is hard
      Im so sorry for your loss

  141. Jessica zanatta  July 20, 2019 at 11:03 am Reply

    On October 21, 2019 my worst nightmare came true the love of my life my best friend my 23-year-old son had overdosed on fentanyl My heart goes out to everyone going through this nightmare

    • Alisha  September 18, 2019 at 8:47 am Reply

      On October 20th 2018 I lost my son to fentanyl overdose. I am having a very hard time this week. I feel like I am reliving the event. My son was in Charleston South Carolina. Your son would not happen to be in the same area? Feel free to email me at

  142. kelly babbit  August 29, 2019 at 10:26 pm Reply

    i guess we are all here for the same reason… i lost my boy 2/5/17 and the guilt is consuming.

  143. Chris  September 6, 2019 at 1:13 am Reply

    I found out today, 09/05/19 that my little sister died of a heroin overdose. My whole family had no clue she did drugs. We did know she drank wine often, but not any worse than I did when I was 34. I lost my 44 year old brother almost a year ago to alcoholism. I was just getting over that and this is a blow that’s gonna take forever to get over. Just never thought that my only siblings would be gone so soon. Wish I could have done something for both of them, just to help thier struggles in life.

    • John  September 27, 2019 at 7:26 am Reply

      My god Chris my heart aches for you… I guess I am in good company here. I just lost my only brother to suspected Heroin overdose on Aug 30th. He was just shy of his 54th birthday. He battled these demons for decades. I am still in disbelief that it really happened. I just haven’t been processing it very well have a lot of guilt but as I have read here in all your posts it seems to be a common thread and all your posts have given me strength. Just so heartbreaking the damage addiction leaves behind in it’s wake.

  144. Anna  September 16, 2019 at 4:44 am Reply

    I lost my son and best friend on July 15, 2019. He was 22. I miss him so much!

  145. Laura Burnett  September 27, 2019 at 11:40 pm Reply

    My 36 year old baby brother died of an overdose on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. We are waiting the results of the toxicology report to find out what and how much he died from. He leaves behind a wife and 5 children ages 3-16 years. He had been battling for a quite some time and been clean 23 days prior to the overdose. I miss him very much and am still not handling it well at all. I feel empty and numb inside because I lost him.

  146. Quentin Moon  September 28, 2019 at 5:59 pm Reply

    My sister passed away on my father’s birthday last month due to a heroin overdose. Her husband is a addict and a convict who’d gotten her over their 10 year marriage together addicted to heroin. He’s still alive he woke up and found her laying flat on the ground in an odd bent over position, and by then her lips were already blue grey. He started CPR ems showed up 6 minutes later she spent 2 days in the hospital on life support and that was it her brain was swollen her organs were shutting down she was gone.

  147. Tane Clark  October 3, 2019 at 5:24 am Reply

    I lost my son to prescription drugs overdose in August 24th, 2012, he was 22 and today I’m still not over it!!! I dont think I’ll ever be the same again. He mixed a sleeping pill with a pain pill(opana). I never forgive myself for not doing more to help him!!! I feel so lost and very depressed over this!!! I feel so damm lonely all the time!! No laughter, no son!!!

  148. Mel  October 6, 2019 at 9:16 pm Reply

    I lost my husband on September 3rd, 2019. Hurricane Dorian was headed our way, Florida. I was on the phone with him 3 hours before it happened. He sounded fine. I had no warning signs. The next day he was discovered in his aunt’s bathroom floor. They’re not even sure how long he laid there suffering. The grief, the guilt is overwhelming. Picking out a casket for a 33-year old is the most devastating thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire adult life. I don’t know how I’m going to get over this. We had separated due to other bad decisions he was making. But I thought it was just alcohol-related. I don’t know how I’m ever going to forgive myself for not getting in my car and going over there to check on him. But he told me no, he was fine. And with the hurricane coming I believed him. 24 hours later he’s at the morgue. We still don’t even have the results of Toxicology. But I’ve been told it was heroin. I had no idea. How the hell do you move forward with your life?

  149. Kristen Leary  October 11, 2019 at 10:08 pm Reply

    I lost my older brother from a heroin overdose on July 28th 2019, he had been in his car for five days before they found him in the July Heat, I still can’t come to terms with the fact he’s gone and the horrific way it happened , we had a very close brother sister relationship, he fought almost a 30-year battle with drugs and then lost his battle, I wake up every morning he is the first thing on my mind and he is the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep, I am having a difficult time coping with his loss, it does not seem real I miss him so much , my life will never be the same without him, I am grateful that I found this page, I got to say what was on my mind to people that understand

  150. Brittany Fairman  October 12, 2019 at 10:34 am Reply

    I lost my brother December 5, 2018 to an alprazolam ( generic Xanax) and Heroin Toxicity. He was 38 years old. The Hospital also said he had Cocaine and Alcohol in his urine. My family did not know he had these drug problems. He was with a girlfriend for the past five – six years and it seems like her moms house was a drug house. I realize now why my brother seemed to follow her around, had really stopped visiting his kids as much and always wanted to
    Be dropped off at this house. I noticed my brother would ask my mom for tramadol pills because of a tooth ache but he would hide his asking from me. We had no idea he was battling with addiction and I can’t help but to blame his girlfriend. I keep asking myself why didn’t she tell us he had these issues? I would have been more observant and forced him into a rehab and told him it’s because I love him. I can’t stop thinking about this situation because I never imagined my life without him at 33. I would always plan out goals with him and say by 40 what would you like to do? You are getting old! I enrolled him in school, we planned out him getting his license a car, developing a reading habit ( yeah I was like his mom). The bossy little sister! I was supposed to be my brother’s keeper but it seems like I was his enabler. I dropped him off at this house. I let days go by without checking on him. I didn’t realize he needed help!
    Some people are also saying that another person died at this same house of a heroin overdose! I am about to get an investigation done. His girlfriend kept his phone, his clothes, his wallet! He was paid that Friday and this happened on a Saturday! How should I feel about this? He has three kids with another woman but he was living with his girlfriend and her daughter. His girlfriend was pregnant but now she has had the baby. She didn’t offer to bring his phone. She gave it to her daughter. She kept all of his clothes did not give them to his sons! I planned many brothers entire funeral. Thank God my mom had a policy because his jobs policy said he didn’t name a beneficiary, but my mom said his girlfriend and him came to get his policy at one point so I don’t know how true this is. This is heart breaking and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it because I need to know what happened at that house between the hours of 6-8. They were able to revive him seven times but the doctor said he was brain dead. Some of the people at the house said he just put his head down and started snoring loudly. Some say he had a seizure . Some say he smoked something first. It’s horrible that we can’t get the truth. Cocaine, Alcohol in urine and Xanax Heroin in blood? I don’t understand this ?!?!?!

    • Jack Hendron  December 17, 2019 at 9:15 pm Reply

      Hello Brittany, I can’t see your post as I write this, but I read it a few days ago and the striking similarities touched me. There’s no way I could take away your pain and no way you could take away mine, but knowing there are others who have dealt through the same grief is slightly comforting. My 27 year old brother died from a heroin overdose on the same day, Wednesday December 5th, 2018. The year anniversary was just last week. Small world, huh? Feel free to message back or email me if you want to share anything or ways you’ve coped with the grief. I would find it helpful.

  151. joseline  October 13, 2019 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Wow! Reading all these stories has open my eyes about this problem society is not aware of. I wish I knew earlier before I lost my close friend to an apparent overdose. He was sort of like my bf just that I never wanted to make it official because he lived across the country. I first met him in Texas then he moved to Cali. We would text everyday and sometimes talk on the phone. We managed to visit each other twice out of all the 9months. I hate that I didn’t assure him my feelings. I kept being unsure because of the distance. I sometimes even wonder if that drove him to be sad. I never noticed he had a drug problem. He seemed to be very close to his family and friends. He was smarter than that! When his friend broke the news about his passing I was shocked. I was confused. Why did he not share that with me? What could I have done differently? Was there a way I could have saved him? Did I not pay close enough attention to him? I feel like I have so many unanswered questions. He was such a great guy and very attentive. As a matter of fact I thought I was the one who had issues and he would be the one to always give me great advice. It sucks all I wish is for a time machine. I would go back tell him how much he means to me and he is important to just stay here. I am flying to his funeral tomorrow and I am so sad. I wake up thinking about him and fall asleep doing the same. All I can do is reread out messages. I just want this to be fake.

  152. Cate  October 22, 2019 at 3:16 pm Reply

    My little brother died on October 17, 2019. He was 27. We are still awaiting toxicology, but going through his phone indicates a heroin overdose. He had been struggling for so long, and I was always harder on him because everyone else’s approach was too soft (or so I thought). I wish I had focused on being a friend.

    He was closer with my younger sister, and she has all these pictures and memories to look back on that I’ll never get the opportunity to make with him. I miss the old him, before he turned to drugs to help him. I know he was suffering, and I have to hope that he’s at peace. I just feel so alone.

  153. Brandon Herron  October 28, 2019 at 5:07 pm Reply

    I found out this morning that my sister died from a drug overdose at the age of 29. I am so devastated. She was in jail for shoplifting but that’s okay because she was getting clean. My biological father bailed her out on Friday and she found in the bathroom around 11pm. She leaves behind a 6 year old boy. My biological father has custody but I am going to help my mom get him. I talked to my bio father and he says “I’ve made a mistake.” How many mistakes does he need to make before he realizes hes unfit to have a kid. Tries to be too friendly and not fatherly.

    • L  November 13, 2019 at 10:05 pm Reply

      I’m so sorry. My son’s father died from am overdose two weeks ago. He was alone in a car for two days before he was found. He and I were no longer together because of his drug use. Drug abuse changed his personality and the friends he kept. He leaves behind adult brothers, a sister and our son. Addiction is devastating. I will do everything I can to teach and explain to my son when he’s old enough to understand. And you will do the same with your sister’s 6 year old little boy. He is lucky to have you and your mom. Warm wishes for your family’s happiness.

  154. calvin grubbs  October 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm Reply

    While these stories are horrific I hope that everyone realizes that the dead do not suffer, their worldly pain and suffering are over, they are at peace. What keeps me going is knowing that my young one is now safe, at peace, free from pain, no more suffering. His peace gives me peace, he is in a safe place, no one or nobody can ever hurt him again. That is what keeps me from continuing to suffer, he is safe now.

    • Kathryn Sytsma  January 26, 2020 at 8:15 am Reply

      And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ after you have suffered a little while will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1st Peter 5:10;11

  155. Andrew  November 16, 2019 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Sunday, November 10th, 2019 I woke up and found one of my dearest friends, Killian Kloog, that i considered a brother dead from accidental overdose from a dirty perocet 30 laced with fetanyl. I heard his girl friend scream and my gut dropped as I realized i was in the scene of finding my dear friend dead. We have both been on and off in our recovery and enabled each other in our addictions. I consider him a brother because we were both adopted and could lean on each other and share our pain and grief of not having biological parents in our lives. Our DOC was heroin years ago, but now these dirty pills laced with fetanyl are what everybody seems to be after because of how cheap and easy to find they are. I screamed with my face down in the pavement for 20 minutes before i could pull myself together and make a phone call to my girlfriend to tell her what was happening. I couldn’t believe this was happening. We tried harm reduction by smoking the pills instead of popping them, snorting them, or injecting..Or so i thought. I’m not sure what happened but i know Killian wasn’t suicidal we were suppose to pick up his dads old truck and go to the dmv together and get everything back on track and the day that this was suppose to happen i found him dead. I feel so much shame for enabling our addiction especially after going in and out of the rooms of AA/NA and knowing there is a better way to live. I am so scared of losing anybody else, most of my friends turned to drugs over the years and I’m wondering who is next..There is no saying who because now people are dying from smoking the pills this new game is evil and unpredictable. I have been struggling in every way i think is possible and I just wish we could go about that day and get his truck. This wasn’t suppose to happen and I am deeply hurt. If i knew this is what it would have come to i would have never gotten into it in the first place. The high isnt even worth it…

    • Brooklyn  November 18, 2019 at 2:53 pm Reply

      Hi, Andrew
      My name is Brooklyn and I am killian kloog cousin.. reading this statement hurts my heart deeply and We would like to get in touch with you since you were there when he passed. We have questions of that it alright with you. Also I would just like to clarify that my cousin was not adopted at all he has both biological parents on the other hand his little sister was adopted. Killian and I were inseparable until drugs came apart of his life and then we drifted away but I was always their for him and so was the rest of the family we love him and always will no matter what.

  156. Melinda M  November 24, 2019 at 6:33 am Reply

    My baby brother died alone on April 11, 2019 from a fentanyl overdose. I’ll never forgive myself that he was alone when it happened. It has devastated my family more than his addictions of the last 20 years ever could. The hardest part of accepting his death has been letting go of the hope that he would overcome his demons and learn to live in peace. Now that the hope is gone, it’s hard to find a way forward. Life has lost so much meaning. No one will ever make me laugh again the way he could. I guess one day I’ll find hope again, in the belief that he’s watching over me, and waiting to be reunited in a better place. Until then, I’ll do my best to live the life I still have regardless of the crippling grief that has broken my soul.

    • John  December 6, 2019 at 1:09 pm Reply

      Hello Melinda I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I know your pain all too well. I lost my baby brother and only sibling on Aug 30th 2019 also to Fentanyl. He had been a Heroin addict for the better part of 30 years and I spent most of that time being my brothers keeper. But he always had a job then would lose it for not showing up but would get another job almost immediately because he was such a good mechanic. I had grown close to him again over the last year and he was so happy and had gotten a great job and a place of his own to live and suddenly boom his dead. It’s been 3 months I still can’t process it. I have lost both my parents years ago but this loss haunts me. I feel I should have let him live with me again and I blame myself for not keeping a closer eye on him even tho he was in his 50s. Complicated grief is a good description of it. I pray for you and me to find some kind of peace from all this……

    • Loraine Zupancic  January 18, 2020 at 11:13 am Reply

      I share your grief 💔
      Same path that my son Joshua chose … all of these posts I can relate to … unfortunately 😭
      My heart is broken and I miss him so very much 💔
      I’ve been so consumed since 1998 trying to help him stay alive … when he died so did a part of me 💔
      I am so overwhelmed … I feel Joshua like there is a cord connecting our hearts! Does anyone else feel this very physical feeling?
      He died of acute fentanyl intoxication … he was poisoned. Law enforcement isn’t doing shit …
      Josh’s mom forever 37
      Hugs to you all.

  157. chris  November 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm Reply

    This past Sunday my 35 year old daughters body was found. She had been clean for 4 months prior to that. They do not know what she overdosed on as toxicology is not back. She had been fighting with her addiction for 16 years in a system that in no way helps. The rehabs didn’t work for her. The government ‘replacement drug’ did not work for her. It pains me greatly to know that she was alone in her last moments and had expressed to me, just 1 week before, that she was afraid that she would start using again because her life seemed so difficult and I did not rush to her and start trying to make her life easier. But why would it have resulted in anything different than it did before if I had? At least that is what I thought at the time.
    Thank you for this page and thank you to all who have commented. It has made me feel less alone as i read them.

  158. Pumby  December 26, 2019 at 2:16 pm Reply

    My sister isn’t even dead yet but here I am trying to prepare myself for the worst. She’s supposed to turn 28 next may… she’s been an addict since she was 15. For years she was squatting in my house with her no good bf and it was terrifying. I lived my life in fear as all they did was do drugs, fight and hide from all the drugdealers they stole from. She stole from me too, a lot. I never hated her but it was hard and at the time I was always prepared for the news of her death, or so I thought. I moved about a year ago and been able to keep it all at a distance, just the occasional sleepovers a couple of times a month or less so she could eat and get some rest. She’s got another bf now, a real drug lord and things are getting worse. She’s in really bad shape every time I see her. She left rehab just before Christmas so it’s yet another relapse. I don’t think I was ever prepared for that final call, I was just too deep in it, too close to all the bad shit that I just needed it to be over but now when I get to think of her as a sister who really is just sick I fear the call. I don’t want her to die but I fear it can can happen any day now and there’s nothing anyone can do. All she’s got is me and my mom, the rest of the family cut all ties with her because of this. This was really just a ramble, I don’t know what else to say. I don’t wanna lose her and I don’t want her to be in pain anymore. God only knows what she’s been through.

    • Natasha M.  April 4, 2020 at 3:34 am Reply

      My brother just died yesterday. 22 yrs young. The demons were stronger than the love consistently provided to him. The worst part is that with the current epidemic, getting his body back will be a shit show. All I keep thinking about was why didn’t I do one last thing, why was I so far (he was in NY I was in Boston) why can’t I take his place so my mother doesn’t hurt the way she is hurting right now. I can’t sleep, I can’t think, I can barely feel, and at the same time I can feel everything I wish I couldn’t. I keep staring at his currently sealed off bedroom door which is where my mom found him; curled up, alone and cold. I keep staring at it thinking maybe if I open it he will be there like he always was, waiting for me to jump on him like I always did and he seemed to hate.

  159. Mike Reardon  December 27, 2019 at 11:18 am Reply

    My wife and I got a knock on the door Christmas morning at 4AM this year 2019. I knew as soon as I saw the police my son had died. He apparently overdosed from meth use but we have not gotten the toxicology report yet. We did absolutely everything we could do to help him. Spent 30K on a 60 day treatment program only to see him lapse 4 days later. I still have a great deal of anxiety but my emotions have changed from worrying about him all the time to just sadness and what if I could have done more that day. That day he called and said he was high and needed alcohol to come down. I refused to buy it for him and he died later that next morning. I was there for my son every step of the way for him that last two years and the rest of the family was not. I know they are now feeling tremendous guilt over that. His real mother never came to help him and she is now obsessed with handling the funeral. I have guilty feelings for feeling some relief from dealing with his issues every day now that he is gone. God help everyone who is dealing with this National crisis. M

  160. Sherwood Joseph Muth  December 29, 2019 at 7:26 am Reply

    It’s December 29, 2019. Fifteen days after my birthday, and ten days after my daughters 27th Birthday I am sitting writing this painful message after getting the call seven hours ago that my beautiful 27 year old daughter was found in her bed at her recovery house in Philadelphia blue and dead. As I grew to expect this call and new it would be a matter of time the grieving is just starting. The story behind my struggle watching my daughter slowly be consumed is not just with her, she was also using heroin with my wife of 30 years for the last 8, and my only brother died of a heroin overdose 7 years ago. Totally unknown to me this secret between my wife and daughter was let out of the bag by my daughter only 8 months ago. Today Megan Elizabeth Muth is another statistic of a tragic heroin problem that has little attention in our society although it impacts an extremely large population. This is about all I can get out at this time but had to leave a message of my thoughts. I will return!

  161. Rhonda jackson  January 30, 2020 at 9:51 am Reply

    My only child and son passed away on August 29, 2019 and I am just devastated to say the least. I fought beside him for over 5 years. He was clean 99 days in treatment, went to sober living, relapsed (told me once but I knew better) and came home 14 days after leaving treatment and died the next morning. I should have known, I suspected at how long it took to get home. Why didn’t I question him, talk to him, take him to see the house we were moving to that weekend? I was 30 feet away with Narcan.
    I don’t see me making it through this. I don’t even want to be on earth without him. He was the center of my world.

    • Joseph Smail  February 3, 2020 at 5:36 pm Reply

      Holly shit man, I just lost my 1st born on Jan/8/2020 and Im freakin out too

    • Linda J  February 25, 2020 at 2:50 pm Reply

      Live for him, I too lost my 27 year old son to an overdose in Nov 2019. I miss him with all my heart, my soul and I think of being with him everyday. I have to get up and face the world everyday without him in our lives, the pain is like no other. But Mom, we can do this, we have to and really have no other choice. I know my son would be PISSED if he knew how I was caring on, he would tell me get over it! So I am taking one hour at a time xoxo

    • Kathleen Smith  March 11, 2020 at 1:39 am Reply

      your words describe my loss… my son was my center on living my most best friend 35 yrs.young
      a functional single man the best in his trade
      many opioids in his system n I believe a hidden
      depression problem never discussed…1/15/82-2/27/17….His dad n I (divorced) will never recover
      No one gets it ….thank you for your strong words😣

    • lex  March 11, 2020 at 2:57 am Reply

      I’m so sorry for your sorrow. I lost my ex years ago to addiction, but his sudden death last month after 6 months sober has left me in the wake of the greatest grief i’ve ever known. Another fentanyl overdose. Only two holes on his body. I love him everyday. Before he went off the edge, he was just the absolute light and love of my life. That’s all I can do now, love him.

  162. Shauna  February 3, 2020 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I’m 22 years old and my dad passed away in November from a drug overdose. I didn’t have a relationship with him past the age of around 8 because he fell into a drug addiction. Every day I am in a constant battle with myself, feeling regretful that I didn’t do more to help him. About 4/5 years ago I walked past him begging on the streets and knew it was him immediately. I gave him some money but had no further interaction. As I worked in the city centre I continued to see him for a couple of weeks. My mum offered to help him but he refused and said he didn’t want to see me as he didn’t want me to see him in his current state. I moved away for university and selfishly got on with my life, managing to forget what he was going through and block it all out. In that time, we spoke just once, over social media. I then reached out to him in April, admitting that in my younger years I didn’t truly understand why we didn’t have a relationship and felt a real sense of abandonment, but now that I was older I could understand and wanted him to know I loved him no matter what. He never saw or read the message and I am hurt by that. But I am more hurt to receive the news that he overdosed. And as I sit here crying most evenings, feeling terrible because of the life he lived, I also feel as though I have no right to feel so hurt, when I was so absent in his life? Does anybody else have any experience of this? I just keep beating myself up with unanswerable questions and what ifs.

    • Alyssa Bator  February 4, 2020 at 8:34 pm Reply

      Shauna, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.
      I was 24 when I lost my mother to a drug overdose (17 years ago). Please don’t punish yourself for the state of your relationship with your dad. Your loss started far before his death. He was your dad. Of course you have the right to be this sad.
      It sounds like in some way you had his blessing to preserve yourself and LIVE. Even in his addiction he found a piece of himself that could be selfless for his daughter. I’m sure he wished he was able to be something else for you and for himself. In the years I’ve had to grieve I think one of the hardest/saddest realizations I had was the burden of broken dreams my mother carried and couldn’t forgive herself for. I like to think she did the best she knew how to.

      • Kayla  March 1, 2020 at 2:49 am

        I’m 24. My Momma died February 16th 2020 from what we think was an accidental heroin overdose ( we haven’t gotten the toxicology back yet) She has struggled with addiction (alcohol and prescription drugs) her whole life and on and off throughout mine. I had no idea she was in so deep and I regret not being more there for her. I wish I could go back to that day and save her. How do I live without her? Does this ever stop hurting so much?

      • Shauna  April 13, 2020 at 4:09 pm

        Thank you Alyssa. These are very kind words. I am coping much better now 5 months after his death. Although not a day goes by where I don’t think about him. I hope you’re well during this crazy times.

  163. Ashley  February 6, 2020 at 5:55 pm Reply

    I recently just lost my best friend to an overdose in November of 2019. I’ll forever have the night it happened scared into my mind. Some nights when I try and sleep it’s all I can see/think about. I feel anger, saddened, fear, and also guilt because I too struggled with addiction and did it with him more then once, and I wish there’d of been more I thought or could have done that night, I didn’t even know there was a kit that could have saved his life til the next day, I’m now 3 months and a day clean myself but it makes me sad to think that I’m sober and he lost his life to it, i wish he was here beside me sober too, so many people blamed me for his death after it happened. I experienced yet another overdose about a month and two days after his happened thankfully this person survived because I knew what to do this time and what to actually look for. If I never have to see one again though, I’ll be happy. I lost a lot of friends once he passed away. I’ll forever miss him, and I wish it would just start to get easier.

  164. Marley  March 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Hi i’m 15 years old and my friend just died from an overdose on Saturday. We all knew he had a drug problem, and we tried to tell him to stop but he never listened. he was addicted to heroin and got some that had fentanyl in it. no one i know understands it, and none my friends have gone through this and we’re all going through it together, but none of those people go to my school. i don’t know what to and i feel so alone. my parents are trying their best but it feels like no one is getting it.

  165. Karen  March 7, 2020 at 6:43 pm Reply

    I lost my 21 yr old daughter to an overdose July of 2016. Heroin laced with fentanyl. Going on 4 years of living with this and I just don’t see how true happiness will ever be mine again. She’s constantly in my thoughts and the way most shy away from me now is just so hard. It’s such a lonely grief. I feel like a shell of the person I used to be. I don’t engage with people and just isolate. Feel like I’m just existing waiting for my life to end so I can be with her again. If only people could really understand…but they can’t unless they’ve experienced this horrendous unimaginable pain.

    • Julia Wheeler  April 12, 2020 at 8:51 am Reply

      Karen I know your pain! My husband died a day after my birthday on March 13 from a fentanyl overdose 🙁 I didn’t know this much pain was possible to go through and still survive. I’m merely existing not living now. I just want to be with him again! I’m only 39 and too young to be a widow! He just got detoxed and clean last June and didnt even make it a year and now he’s gone! I can’t wrap my head around it. Our children are struggling as well. He was our whole world! And you’re right unless someone has been through it they do not understand! Most are like you need to move on.. seriously! We were together 21 years! I will never get over this. I get angry then I get sad again, my emotions are constantly up and down! I’ve never cried so much in my life! I just want him back. I want answers .. WHY!? Why did he do this again? He left us and he promised he wouldn’t do that he promised he would never go back to drugs and now he’s gone forever! It’s a constant pain constant agony! My heart and prayers go out to you. I know how you’re feeling 💔💔

  166. Jackson  March 9, 2020 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Hey I’m 14 years old and my Dad died 8 days ago. The toxicology report hasn’t come in yet, but they are pretty sure it was an overdose. I hadn’t seen him since about a year and a half ago since he was an abusive father. But now I feel I could have done more to be with him now that he is dead.

  167. Jane Doe  March 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm Reply

    I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a year. She texted me on my birthday and I didn’t respond. She overdosed on purpose on Monday night. She’s gone.

  168. JUK  April 14, 2020 at 5:25 pm Reply

    My ex partner and father of my 3 children has recently passed away. Suspected overdose of his prescription. My 9 year old daughter watched him die but she didn’t know what had happened. Then my 11 year old son found him in the morning and my 15 year old son tried to revive him. My children will be traumatised by this. My heart aches for them. They have to live their life with out their dad and know he accidentally took him life.

  169. Sasha  July 2, 2020 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Thank you for putting my feelings into words. My fiancé and best friend died 2 years ago to the day from an opioid overdose. His brother and I kept the cause of death from his family due to reasons of shame and his wish to protect his aging father. Because of this I have internalized my grief as I can’t share the real struggle with anyone. It’s important to know I am not alone. I miss him every day. He was a beautiful person who had an addiction. I don’t want to grieve under this shroud of secrecy anymore. I am sad at his passing and should be able to suffer with dignity no matter the cause of his death.

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