The recent tragic death of Cory Monteith has finally brought media attention to an epidemic that is killing today’s young adults in shocking numbers. As tragic as his death is, it is happening everyday, in every neighborhood around this country, and it is a topic that hits close to home.
Fortunately, I have not experienced first hand the loss of a friend or family member by the tragic disease of heroin addiction, but I have seen its affects.
The people my boyfriend grew up with, his friends, men in their mid to late twenties, are the new face of heroin users. In the last two years, I have witnessed the downfall of friend after friend who started out with recreational abuse of opiate prescriptions, and became full blown junkies. We have attended a funeral and have seen a few struggle going in and out of rehab, losing relationships with friends and family and facing homelessness.
Everyday, my facebook feed shows another person mourning the loss of a loved one to the drug, another relationship broken and every once in a while a glimmer of hope when one out of a thousand reaches a sober milestone.
Heroin addicts don’t look like Amy Winehouse or the homeless guy down town. They look like the kid next-door that was your best friend and it sneaks up on them so fast, they never think that they will become addicted until it is too late.