Drug Overdose- My 27 Year Old Son

by Loretta Di Lustro
(Oak Park, CA USA)


My son, John, had a very long struggle with a heroin addiction. I found out by coming across needles while cleaning back in 2005- I almost had a heart attack myself. I could not believe it. He?d been smoking pot for a long time- he abused pills, Xanax bars, Somas, Vicodins, all of it. Eventually, he went to the smoking/snorting heroin and then, the dreaded needle. That led to jail time, all on drug related charges; hospitalizations. I thank God my parents didn't live to see this. This is unbearable for a parent, but my parents- well, this would have killed them. He overdosed once that I knew of, in June of 2009 and had to be rushed to the hospital. I was there, immediately. Only after he died, did I find bills from the Fire Dept that he o.d.?d again- months later, once in September and once in October- and had to be transported and was on advance life support. That means, he died- he flatlined- and I didn't even know about those. So he knew the danger, he knew full well that he could not handle the drug, and still he couldn't stop. He went into jail again on possession charges early in 2010 after these overdoses.
We were actually glad he was in jail this last time, so that he could clean up. After 10 months, he came home to me, just before Christmas. December 9, 2010 to be exact. We drove to get him, some 3 hours away. He was so happy to be able to return home. A fresh start, a new beginning. I'm finally in a great relationship with a loving man; my oldest daughter is married with a little baby (John missed the wedding, and the birth) my other daughter is happy and lives in Philadelphia and had just been visiting shortly before John's release. She would have stayed longer (we live in California) has she known. John was released early. He said he was done with all of that. never wanted to use again never wanted to go to jail, hated what he had done all the people there, etc And I was so happy to feed him and watch him devour the food- Everythings delicious Mom! he'd say. No matter what we had for dinner, he'd eat it like it was made for a King. Then, just 25 days later, he died. He reunited with an old friend who used, and we believe he brought this terrible drug into his life again. And again, it's gradual. We have pieced it together, and figured out he smoked the heroin, then injected it into the leg muscle, and a day or so later, mainlined it. He had 2 injection sites- on his arm. Two times, and he was gone. It was so strong, the Medical Examiner told us. 90-95% pure heroin going around in our community. He said kids are dropping like flys. We were in such shock, that I can't remember planning the funeral, but I know I did. I know we had company for 11 days, but I don't remember much else. His 3 sisters are devastated. On January 3, 2011, he was found lifeless in his room. I was at work already, that first Monday after the New Year. The day everyone says they?re going to quit smoking, exercise, lose weight. Me included. But at 11:00 am, I called my fiancé who lives with us- and asked him to wake up my son. I?m on the phone as he's banging on the door. I had a terrible feeling in my throat- I somehow muttered the words Break-down-the-door slowly I said it- it didn't even sound like my voice coming out of me. My fiancé asked if I was sure- that maybe he'd gone out- but again I said to break down that door. And so he did, and that's when my entire world, my whole existence- changed. While I'm on the phone- I hear the heart wrenching scream coming from my fiancé, his crying and yelling- as he had dropped the phone to resuscitate my son. He returned to the phone begging me to come home- screaming he's gone. he's gone I have to call 911! Those words- he's gone will never be forgotten. He had been gone for maybe an hour. My son was not a criminal; he kept violating probation, because of the heroin use. He would get caught with paraphernalia and the drug. Police would search him, and off he'd go. My blonde haired, blue eyed, little boy- with a home, a family, true and good friends who loved him, lovely pretty girls who pined for him, but all had to cut him loose until he straightened out. He was not a bad person; he was not a vicious person. I read the letters I wrote him while in jail, telling him his future is ahead and not to look back. That we wished he loved himself as much as we did- if he could only see himself through our eyes, just once.He was such a handsome boy, so talented and so alive. Everyone loved him- despite his addiction. He'd lie to me and say everything was ok. A few times he'd steal from me. I knew it- I'd punish him, banish him from the house, went to tough love, Al-Anon, the whole nine yards. He was only 27 years old. The girl he was with during those 25 days- had spent the night that Sunday night. She went to work in the morning. We notified her hysterically- asking what he took? How could he get it? He had no car, no money- had not found work yet. She claimed she knew nothing. We have not seen nor heard from her since his funeral. I know she used with him- I'm not about to make trouble for her, I want answers. He had needles, syringes, tar, foil, pipes- and she claims "I don't know." No, WE didn't know. I looked in his room and did the sweeping- it wasn't until those last days he kept his "stash" in the top drawer under his clothes. I believe he just started up again, his tolerance was low, the heroin was nearly pure, and he slipped into unconsciousness, and died. I finally got the toxicology report and amended death certificate. He had heroin and marijuana in his system. No pills, no alcohol- nothing else. He was my second of four children, and my only son. He promised he would always be there for me, and that he would take care of me when I got old. I'd laugh at him, and say that he wouldn't- because I was going to die young...and make a joke about how he'd have his sisters to contend with. They love him so much- it's so hard for siblings. We saw this coming- we feared this day...but we never really are ready for it. When I think of all the things left do to, all the holidays, birthdays, family dinners- without him- it's excruciating. I'm not on any medications, and I sleep well- but I dream of him each night- I think of him all day. I barely can get my work done. My employer is so wonderful- truly a wonderful man. Our hearts are broken, my Anna, Teresa and Gina and I look at each other as we visit the grave- still in disbelief. God help us- God help us all.

Comments for Drug Overdose- My 27 Year Old Son

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Dec 16, 2014
david's momma
by: leslie

Yes, I lost my son to a heroin overdose. I probably wouldn't be writing here if I hadn't. I don't even know if I have the strength to piece it out again. So, I'll just say that i lost too many loved ones, young and tragically. I had ptsd, but was doing well with treatment. I was an ER nurse who loved my patients, was married to a great man, and had two sons. David was a beautiful, very active, dark eyed great son. He was a BMX star, cared about his body, verbally ranked on drugs. In late high school problems developed, and I couldn't understand it all. He smoked pot, then pills. He drove like a maniac and lost his license. He couldn't find a job. He had a girlfriend he loved, and i know he loved us. I worked nights, and had spent the night at the hospital with David as his girlfriend was being admitted for a thyroid problem. When we got home, i went to bed and fell asleep. Hours later, my son Dan was yelling at my bedside "get up! get up! David's on the floor. Somethings wrong!" I flew into his room. he was on the floor. He looked so good, but he was dead. I wanted to grab him up and scream and scream Instead i started CPR, pounding on his chest, trying to get him to breath. The police came - Ems took over my place. I had been sleeping in the next room while my son was dying. He was 22,so we brought back his heart, and he was on a respirator. I am very educated, and to me I knew he was gone. He had been without oxygen too long. His cat scan was a blur. He lived for two more days and died at 4pm, just as his girlfriend got there. His wake and funeral were standing room only, and i went on with a scream I couldn't hear locked in my chest. He died of an opiate overdose that they said was heroin, needles and a spoon were found in his room. I didn't know - why didn't I? I just did not know and I loved him so. I was sleeping , and my son was dying. Life goes on as it will. I go through the motions, but I have this scream still stuck since the 31st of July, 2012. I see doctors and counselors - they give me meds that I take religiously. I have the rest of my family,but I feel that they are going on, and I stay in agony that I try so hard to hide. I love him so, and I am so, so sorry I wasn't there for him. I didn't know, and then I was sleeping.
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Dec 10, 2014
Almost 2 years
by: Anne UK

It is almost 2 years since my son killed himself with a heroin and cocaine overdose. I can't believe it is so long. It still feels like yesterday. The hardest part is the stigma I feel which surrounds such a death. It is hard to be honest in such circumstances when I am crippled with shame, guilt and anger at times. My little 3 year old grandson without a father and knowing that one day he will ask why he has no Papa! At the moment he just accepts that is how it is.
I can only relate that it must feel similar to loosing a love done through suicide , because that is what a drug death is , a slow suicide.
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Dec 09, 2014
My son was 27 as well only gone a week.
by: Annette

I lost my son to an overdose last weekend. Thanksgiving weekend to be exact. He was 27 as well. His father and I are divorced and we've done pretty damned good keeping things together for him. He started in high school on cough syrup and pot. Then somehow he got into the Navy and even finished Naval Nuclear Academy,which isn't easy, it takes a lot of hard work. To circumvent the drug test, he started doing an herb still sold here which comes from Asia, called Kratom. Don't believe what those hooked on it tell you that it isn't harmful. It does mimic heroin and guess what? Heroin is cheaper.He would mix the Kratom with the cough syrup which contains DMX. I'm not sure what took his life, or should I say which drugs took his life that night. I do now he was puking a black substance which was either his stomach or blood which means he had been hemorrhaging and foaming blood was coming from his nose. I didn't see this, just heard, and those are the last images I have in my mind of my son. The only son and only child I ever had. I'll never be able to hold him again, see his smile again, smell his hair again, and hear him say "I love you Mom."again. I desperately wished he would have been arrested too. I though maybe if he spent a few years in jail he could get the help he needed, because we could only sit by helplessly. I no longer sit by helplessly. I'm waiting on his remains to be delivered to me. No parent should bury their child over something as senseless as this. He had such promise. To any parent out there who has gone through this, I'm so sorry. They are supposed to bury us. Not the other way around.
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Dec 03, 2014
Praying For help
by: Anonymous

It tears me up reading these blogs. My son is still alive but has overdose twice on herion. My husband had to throw him on the floor of his bedroom with a needle in his arm to perform cpr. Jail, prison, sober living housing had not stop him from using. We been told so many lies iit's difficult to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. He has stolen from us, his sister does not want anything to do with him. Visits with my grand children are always at her house. My husband and I know that drugs will take his life. People say that I'm enabling him. He needs to hit rock bottom. He wouldn't make it to rock bottom. I don't want to bury my son, but as my daughter calls him baby boy. He will always be my baby boy.. I don't care what people say it's tough to perform tough love. He started at a methodone clinic about four months ago. Has not used herion but had mixed some type of pills with the methodone. I can just pray that the lord finds a cure for this addiction. My thoughts go out to any mother that has loss their child to this awful addiction and the ones that are still dealing with a child that is an addict.

Nov 28, 2014
funeral advise
by: Anonymous

Do any of you have advise for the parents about excluding or including friends to the funeral that were drug friends of their daughters. Is this an issue?
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Nov 14, 2014
Fentanyl overdose
by: Debbie

My son passed away on 10/16/14. He overdosed on the drug fentanyl which is 80-100 times stronger then morphine. He just turned 31yo, and had a 2 month old baby. He has struggled with an opioid addiction for years. He was very faith based and loved The Lord. People are turning to this drug because it is cheaper than oxycodone. Problem is you don't know what it's cut with. It is instantly addictive. They say that every line you do could be your last. I understand that all the pill mills in Fl. Needed to close but people aren't going to quit they find a new drug to abuse. How about helping addicts with affordable in patient rehabs. More help is needed. I can relate to the pain, I describe it like a pain in my soul, it's that deep.
I am so sorry for all of you who have lost their child. The pain is unbearable.
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ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!
Jennie

Sep 05, 2014
Stepson dead of heroin overdose
by: Sad Stepmom

My heart is breaking, reading all these comments.
He died three weeks ago. I suspect that the grief is going to get really bad before it gets a little better.

My husband blames himself. But in reality there was nothing he could have done. "Didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it." Naranon

Aug 07, 2014
Family
by: Phil's Brother

No matter what anyone says or does, It Never Takes The Pain Away.

I hate drugs and the harm that they bring upon families. I am so sorry that you lost your boy and i wish everyday that he was here with us. Its easy to be selfish, wanting people to live forever, but, the tragedy and torment that comes from losing someone to drugs or alcohol outweighs anything that should feel natural.

I used to be a Religious person. I lost my faith in anything other than my remaining blood family and invested my heart into the memories i have left of my little brothers contagious smile and uplifting admiration for others. I no longer feel sad when someone passed away.

Yeah, I guess you could say that I am frustrated, but you already know. Somewhere, sometimes in life there is a flicker of light in the dark. There is where you will find your son. It's hard to breathe and even harder to not feel guilty or hardened at life for your loss. But, One Little Flicker of Light, Can Erase the Dark. That's what we have left.

I love you and I am sad with and for you.

-Will

Jun 24, 2014
Drugs took my 31- year old son
by: Gale

Hello,
My son died of an apparent overdose on June 9, 2014. He was my only child; 31 years old. Michael had some struggles in the past for a few years and he even went to live in a sober home for a good year. Well educated, good job, creative, funny, well liked...but struggled. He was loved by everyone especially me, his mom. I know he knew that and he adored me. The last 8 months were great - Michael met a girl that he found a lot in common with; they were both artists, she was such a nurturer and they had great respect for one another. She also had a 7 year old son whom my Michael really hit it off with. I was so happy for them! On June 8th they went to the beach (the three of them) then went back to Michael's apartment where they swam. After that they went back to his girlfriends house where she lived with mom, they watched a movie and went to bed. In the morning little Kai couldn't wake them up........
I too am waiting for the toxicology report to come back. It's the most heart wrentching situation i will ever ever go through. My heart is so broken that I can't catch my breath some days.
My family is also suffering terribly - we are a close knit family and for something like this to happen has shaken our world.
Any suggestions, readings, words of comfort etc., would be so helpful. Thanks for sharing your story and may God Bless you and your family.
Gale

Jun 05, 2014
My son
by: Jill

My son just passed away last month of an overdose, which I think was heroin, but the toxicology report is not back. He was 34 years old. I didn't even know that he had taken a pill until about a month before and he was supposedly on his way back. He was married. I never saw him high or drunk in his life. It left me totally in shock and wondering, why? He had a great job and was very successful. Nothing indicated to me that he was in any kind of trouble like that. It does help to read all the other stories and to know I'm not the only mom that was "clueless." And I too am glad that he no longer has to suffer and hide. It must have been so humiliating and sad. He was a very kind, generous, funny person and was loved by so many. I don't think he ever felt good enough. I still don't understand and I never will. All my love was not enough.

Apr 27, 2014
Beautiful 23 year old lost to heroin
by: Anonymous

In March of this year our family suffered a tremendous loss. She was only 23 and had her whole life ahead of her. She told us she was doing great had a good job was getting her life together but then this happened. We all sort of expected this to eventually happen, but always hoped we were wrong. 2 years prior her 2 year old died as a result of her drug use. The baby's death was so hard to take, so unexpected. We thought we could never recover from. With lots of counseling and learning that it's not her fault it happened but the addiction. For almost a year I didn't really speak to her. I was angry at her and blamed her for her child's death. But then in the fall of 2012 an old fried that I hadn't talked to in several years died from an overdose and it was a wake up call for me. I needed to fix things with my family member. I know she misses her baby and regrets the choices she made. I called her and begged her to always call me anytime she needed to and she promised she wasn't using anymore. I talked to her pretty regularly from then on. The only time I didn't hear from her is when I believe she was using. She didn't want to disappoint me or hear my lecture. Them when she was clean I would hear from her again. She would ask for money and I always said no but always offered her a home and love. The last text I received from her was that she was coming to stay with me and wanted to get her life straight. I hadent heard from her in a while and she never returned any of my calls or texts. I knew she was using again. About a month from the last time I heard from her she died. Her family wasn't informed for about 5 hours from the time she arrived at the hospital. Her boyfriend never called 911 and refused to turn her phone over to police so family could be notified . She was kept on life support until family was able to get there. Her boyfriend was taken into custody and questioned. We had to plan her funeral and her body wasn't even released in time for the funeral. She was buried with her son. I miss her and blame her boyfriend for this. I know she chose to use but he injected it into her veins. I miss her terribly. I'm not sure how our family can recover from this loss. I hope her boyfriend goes to jail. I want to look him in the face in a court room and tell him what he did to our family. I want him to feel my pain and the pain of our family. I want him to pay for what role he played. Maybe her outcome wouldn't be different if he weren't involved, but there's a chance that it would. It has only been a month so I know I haven't finished grieving and maybe never will. I have no idea how to accept this and stop being sad. I miss her and would give anything to have her back.

Apr 16, 2014
So Sad
by: Charlotte

My son Christopher died April 3rd, 2014 from Overdose of Heroin, we don't have the autopsy results back yet but we know what he died from. It's so evil! His fiance is due with his baby boy in September. He has left a huge hole in all of us. This addiction and drug is so evil. It killed my baby. He just turned 28 this last February. He was in drug court and was clean for a month and a half. I know he was really stressed, but he had a really good support system, but just wanted to use so bad. We know he didn't mean to die. But the lure of this evil is just so powerful. I wish I could have saved him. His fiance and my son and daughter found his lifeless body. They called me right away, I still remember crying out. I had to tell his twin brother, and his other sister, and my husband and 3 and 7 year olds were in the car with me hearing mommy scream out nooooooooo! I drove to the scene. The police blocked us from the room forever and wouldn't let us touch him. It was days later at the funeral home that I could finally touch my baby and pray over him and anoint him with oil. We are all heart shattered. I miss my baby boy. He was so loved by so many close friends and family, and now we are forced to go through our lives without him. I pray for families going through this. Such a waste of precious life.

Mar 29, 2014
Tough Love doesn't work
by: Anonymous

My son died Oct 8th 2013 of a drug overdose. He had started on drugs at age 14. I tried everything in my power. I went to college to get a Master's Degree in Psychology and Counseling focused on drug addiction to help my son with rehabs, NA, books, prayers, etc. But looking back the thing that bothers me the most is thinking that Tough Love is a viable option for a drug addict. It is not. They are sick and have no ability to make any rational choice. They cannot chose the right thing to do because their ONLY concern is thinking about getting high. Their brain is SO compromised they can't think "straight". All of us in the family kept wondering why can't he just do this, or that, take advantage of all the opportunities, and help we provided. But it was impossible for him. He was sick, very sick...he couldn't think "straight".
So what is the answer? I don't know. I wish I had just locked him away in a cabin in the woods, and we all took turns keeping him there and drug dealers away-FOR A YEAR! A YEAR, so his brain could retrain itself to have its receptors be able to function without drugs.
28 days in rehab is a joke...methadone is just changing one drug for another...
Well, now I just ask why, WHY COULDN'T I FIGURE OUT HOW TO SAVE MY SON????????

Mar 13, 2014
may your pain lessen
by: Anonymous

We also went through this with our youngest son. He overdosed late one night but thankfully his girlfriend woke us and my husband preformed CPR and was able to revive him. He lost everything to heroin his home, two wonderful girlfriends, possessions, savings but thank God, not his life. As a last resort to save his job he went into treatment and had been clean about 6 months when his friend od'ed and died. I hate myself for saying this but had it not been for that I think he would be using today. I am so sorry for your loss because I fear it will be me one day. With heroin its not one day at a time its one minute, one hour and if he ever let's his guard down it will win. I hope you will find peace.



Dec 18, 2013
Wasn't there for him
by: Anonymous

Tough love or didn't want to believe my eyes. August 22 2013 truth be told my fears became reality. I got that phone call he died. His pain is over. And mine has begun..... I miss fighting with him to clean up at least he was alive. Two years away we didn't speak anymore. As many drugs he did but the one true love he had was his drug of choice. I wish he would of chosen us. Family is a big choice he didn't choose. Started at 15 and RIP at 38. He was always in pain now he is at peace and left the pain to us. Grief anger guilt all a part of healing they say but I wasn't there for him. I pushed him away cause I couldn't accept his destructive ways. He knew all the answers but one question unanswered Why?? Was I wrong to push him away or did his with acceptance of his drug he pushed me away. The blame game who do I blame. The dealers... Him... He did the drugs that Killed him. I miss him being my little brother but don't miss the way he lived his life he wasn't living he was dead anyway. I have to realize that but still hard to get over... Love you RIP away from your demons. 'till we meet again!!

Nov 18, 2013
re: Kicking them out
by: Anonymous

My son died April this year. 14 months earlier he was a different person, on a meth program for 5 years and really over it, his job and life were on track. A woman we knew barely 10 years ago got herself pregnant and stole my son's freedom, she was large, overbearing and would not care if she had to step over you for something she wanted. She was a selfish and dominating woman. My son was a gentle and very sensitive man, an adonis and as he said ' what will I do I hardly even know her', however I said give it your best shot I guess. I wish I had never let her into our lives. She worked my son into such a high state of anxiety, he started using opiates again, his hands swelled, no- one told me anything, she just is so ignorant. He is gone now, the Heroin was too strong, she was too hard. You people who are hard on your drug addicted family are completely out of touch, the world doesn't revolve around your assessments, and you are treating a 'cancer' patient like a criminal. Get to know more about their state of mind and don't be cruel with your 'hard lessons', no empathy, you may be part of the problem.

Sep 24, 2013
Shawn
by: Anonymous

My beautiful 22 year old son, Shawn Sperling, died of a heroin overdose on Sept.30, 2012. It is almost a year. Shawn loved fiercely and was loved fiercely in return. He had a heart if gold and the most contagious laugh, which won him the title of "best laugh" in the high school yearbook. What started as an OxyContin prescription from a doctor quickly became an addiction which quickly became a heroin addiction. Shawn was in rehab for 45 days which made me so happy yet so scared at the same time. I was so fearful the day he came home that he would slip back into his addiction. Sadly, he was only home 3 days when his brother Nicky found him unresponsive on the kitchen floor. Nicky also calked me and said that Shawn wouldn't open the door and I screamed for him to break the glass to get in. It was too late. My 22 year old son was gone. It was the day before Nicky's 24th birthday. Drug addiction is a powerful disease that can affect anyone. It is torture every single second of every single day to go on. What makes it harder is the stigma that's attached to a drug addiction or an overdose. So many people think that it can be controlled. It is a life long struggle and you are lucky if you can get help and stay clean. Shawn had so many friends who tried to help him but he always thought he was smart enough to stop when it became too much. He wasnt. So now I am living a mother's worst nightmare. And on Sept. 30 he will be hine a year.

Sep 09, 2013
Brandon
by: Anonymous

My beautiful 29 yr old son passed away in his sleep only 2 nights ago. I have never know a pain so intense as this. My heart has been ripped to shreds. He started at the age of 11 with obsessive exercising...which then let to vomiting In 1995 he was diagnosed with a severe eating disorder...hospitalized in the children's ward for 9 monthes in a behavior modification program which only succeeded in making him sicker. He vomited almost everything he ate and ended up with "intractable vomiting" whereas even if mentally he wanted to keep the food down..physically he couldn't.
We went public with his story..the local paper printed a story and soon real estate agents starting raising money to send him out of country for help. I thought only girls got eating disorders...not boys! was I ever wrong! Soon his story became bigger the Vancouver Province in B.C Canada headlines his illness and then Reader's Digest covered a story on him. He spent 3 long yrs between 4 different hospitals and no one could fix him.. In the end after fighting the medical system and leaving out jobs to go out of country to a residential treatment facility in England..we thought our nightmare would finally be over.....they had to do a jejuostomy where they bypassed his stomach and put a tube directly into his intestine....his hands had mitts on them so it was difficult for him to pull out the tube...(that alone could have killed him!) They kept him sedated and pumped 4000 calories a day into his tiny little body for months. After 13 months living in a strange country we came back to British Columbia Canada believing that finally Brandon would be better...but that was not to be. My husband and I broke up...my x had a breakdown from the ongoing stress of it all and shortly afterwards Brandon starting using pot..then abusing prescription medications.From 1998 till 2 days ago he has gone from walk in clinic to walk in clinic getting pills or stealing pills from drugs stores...when he is drugged he would get aggressive..he would swallow bottles of different pills..when he was clean he was the sweetest person..sensitive..artistic..incredibly smart...
He has been in jail numerous times for breaching probation (which was using drugs) his father and I never stopped fighting.and encouraging him...he has been in rehabs never fully completing one...been in shelters...begged and pleaded to go home and be with his dad....but his dad wouldn't let him because a couple of times while under the influence of these pills he damaged his dad's door. Two nights ago...he broke down crying on the phone..with me telling me "I;m scared mom...I don't know how to make it on my own." I want to be with dad...I just want to be "normal"...I want to be with my dad and go to school." hearing him cry broke my heart...the other night I called him he said "Can I call u back later mom?" those were the last words i heard from mmy beautiful son...he went to sleep and never woke up.

Sep 01, 2013
Drug overdose 32 yr old son
by: Anonymous

MY son overdosed on crystal meth and ambian 1 month ago, he had a good job, nice home ,wife, two kids that he was crazy about. Lots of friends. But he liked to get high. I knew he had tried cocaine, ecstasy, Xanax and any other drug that was offered to him. I told him if he didn't stop , one day he just would not wake up. He said that will not happen to me??? He was an awesome kid, so loving and so happy everyone loved being around him. He also has a twin brother and an older brother. He was 32 years old. My heart is broken, and I can't stop crying. I miss him so much. My life has changed forever.

Aug 28, 2013
one day at a time
by: Anonymous

Karen, I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my son Jesse one year ago this July. It dosen't get any easier. But you will find some peace in the fact that they finally aren't fighting anymore. The addiction was too tough to beat for your brother and my son. That dosen't mean that some will not win over this horrible disease. Its just so hard. I now only find comfort in knowing hes not struggling anymore, and he is truly at peace. Though his sisters and our entire family never ever will lose his memory, we realize the huge struggle he was facing every second of his life. My heart goes out to you as you go through this difficult time. Stay strong.

Aug 28, 2013
Lost My Brother to Overdose
by: Karen

I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story. I lost my brother less than a week ago to a heroin overdose and am just feeling so empty. Yesterday was Day 1 of his wake and all I could think was that all of these people will go on living their lives, but when the craziness dies down and the quiet rolls in, my mom, other brother and myself will be left figuring out how to go on without my brother. Finding these posts helps because it makes me feel like we are not alone.

My brother Robert, 38, was a licensed electrician, the holder of two bachelors degrees,a certified personal trainer, heading to graduate school to become a dietician, a marathon runner, a tennis player, an avid sports fan, a lover of history, politics and ufos (lol, he was so intrigued by ufos and the possibility of other life forms), a born leader, a funny guy who loved to bring happiness to others and the kindest soul I've ever had the pleasure to know.

Over his 20 year struggle with addiction my brother had achieved many years clean and through being a sponsor in N.A. was instrumental in helping countless others get clean. My brother never missed a chance to help others...we never knew who he'd be bringing to holiday dinners...whether it be someone from N.A. or his running team...he always brought someone who didn't have a place to go for the holidays...that was my brother! My brother loved and cared with every bone in his body and my only wish for him was to turn that love onto himself so that he could beat this thing once and for all.

As the true disease addiction is, it came back to haunt my brother for the third time (after two years clean) a little more than a year ago. It started with a drink and progressed within a year to shooting up heroin (which had always been his drug of choice). In July, after his addiction reached the point where he had trouble functioning to go to work, my brother agreed to go to rehab. He was home from rehab just 3 days when he overdosed. This last year we have seen my brother struggle so badly, this time was different, he started to become depressed and discouraged and at times I worried about suicide. I cannot imagine what it must be like to go through life with this demon always lurking behind you. And so as deeply as we hurt, I am happy that my brother finally has the peace that he deserves.

May God Bless all of you and provide us all with strength to be able to live, love and laugh as our lost loved ones would want.

Aug 07, 2013
Opiates
by: Anonymous

I am on suboxone for opiate dependence and it has saved my life. I no longer lie, steal or manipulate those I love to get opiates. For those who never were addicted on opiates, there is no way you can ever know the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal. I am a 58 year old woman who began taking opiates for legitimate pain. Like many others, it wasn't long before opiates used me. I saw many friends die from pills, heroin, Xanax and many times wished I too would die. I will be on suboxone for the rest of my life. My doctor and I came up with a maintaining dose which makes me feel normal and unable to take opiates if I wanted to. Please, your loved ones are suffering from opiate addiction and no one is forcing them to ingest opiates. Once you are off opiates it takes a year or many years for the Brain to return to normal and make endorphins again. In my case, probably never. That is why suboxone is such a life saver...my brain has endorphins, the medication does not get you high and you cannot use opiates while on it.

Aug 07, 2013
my fives sons fight with herion
by: Anonymous

my five sons are heroin addicts 3 are clean 2 have relapsed and are begging on the streets they did this before and nearly died my thoughts and heart are with u all i wish u strength and hope

May 26, 2013
my only son was 27years
by: sally from uk

i just lost my son on the 4th april,and that was drugs, we have not had the inquest yet,i feel so angry and so alone,i just know in my heart i will not be able to live with out him , but then i came across this,i wanted to see how to right a nice thank you letter to my family.so they do not blam them selves , i did not know how many people are going through the same thing,so you all know how i feel,dean was the love of my life, he gave me confidence,and i still think he is going to come home,this is all mad, let this all be a bad dream,

May 17, 2013
Be mindful what you say
by: Anne UK

I feel it is not right to tell others what they should or shouldn't do and find the last comment extremely offfensive . I did not abandon , but I chose not to enable and remain in a co-dependant relationship . I always hoped my son would choose recovery. In 12 steps we learn to "Let go and Let God" We are trying to tell our story here not to instruct others on the path they should walk.We should be mindful of that .

May 13, 2013
dont do abandonment
by: michele

My son died on 11th April 2013, I can;t even type it and believe it. One thing I know is that the sensitivity is huge in users and if you abandon them they will relapse in an effort to feel better. The worst thing you can do is abandon or threaten to take away their security or love. These kids are sick, they should be given the respect that they are in need of all the help and love they can get. Tough love only worsens the feelings they are trying to numb. Open your hearts with unconditional love and active support as you would someone very gravely ill for this is the truth of the situation. It requires logic and emotion, but more heart than anything and persistence. I am in intolerable pain, I send my love to you all especially grieving mothers, what will make life worth it again, it all seems so black.

May 12, 2013
So many of our children
by: Anonymous

My son died April 13, 2004, on his father's birthday. He was married with a one year old son. He was working in the aerospace industry as an engineer. He had gotten the best job offer of his class. He was 25 years old.

We thought he was doing great. We never knew he had ever had a drug problem. Apparently it was a recent one. His wife had detoxed him at home shortly before he died. She knew and never told us or asked for help. She was embarrassed. Well, it killed my son!

The drug was heroin.

We was incredibly brilliant, handsome and everyone liked him.

Why God did this happen? I am still reeling from it and it has been 9 years.

May 08, 2013
Brendan
by: Anne UK

Brendan was found dead in a hotel room on 24th Feb 2013. He was 3 days off his 35th birthday.We his family had all struggled to live with his drug use for 20 years. In my heart , I always believed this would be the outcome. During the last 5 years of his life I had little contact with him as I couldn't live with the fall out anymore. The places Brendan's addictions took me to were places I hardly knew existed, prison, rehab, homeless hostels, the streets! It broke my heart , my marriage and my family,
At first it was a relief, not to have to worry about him anymore, but now as the weeks pass , I am filled with so much sadness at the path his life took. Who gives birth to a child , and looks into that little face and doesn't expect the best life for them? Brendan's death has brought some blessings , the family becoming a stronger supportive unit , a baby grandson we are only just begining to get to know.
I loved you so much Brendan, my son.

Apr 21, 2013
Club 27
by: Cindy

On March 30th 2013 I was told my only son was dead. He had been at a party and had been drinking heavily. He was an ex heroin user but had been clean for 3 months. Then he met a couple girls and they had a party at their house. My boy went out the back door and met someone in a black car. He came back in with what we think was a drug called Dilaudid. From what I understand he crushed them and snorted them. He was awake and responsive for quite some time and even said he was hungry. His new friend made chicken soup but before he could eat it he fell asleep on her bed. She said he was snoring so she put his legs up and turned him on his side. She crawled in beside him and hugged him then fell asleep. When she woke up she said he felt cold so she pulled up the blankets and got up to shut the window. When she turned back to go to bed she says she realized his face was blue. My son was dead at 27 years old. I am crazy with loss.

Apr 16, 2013
Jesse
by: Anonymous

It has now been 8 months since Jesse died from an overdose of opiates. I don't know much at this point, but I know one thing for sure. If the person with the addiction does not want treatment, and I mean truly want help; not just because you have threatened them, or because they can't live with you anymore- they will never kick the drugs. Support, group therapy, meetings,love from family members, all of these are necesary, or it is going to end in a very bad way. They will lie, hide drugs, use make up to cover track marks, steal. I know these things first hand from watching my son destroy his life. It is too hard to kick alone, don't let anyone tell you that they are doing it their way, because their way will end in the loss of your loved one. This drug gets hold of them and it won't let go, it is a killer. Bless all of you that are going through this with your child or loved one. It will ruin you if you don't get the right help.

Apr 15, 2013
We threw out our heroin/meth addict son
by: Jaime P.

I am very sad and heartbroken to read over the losses of adult children addicted to drugs. I guess my wife and I are at the beginning stages in dealing with adult addict children. My son is 22 and is addicted to heroin and recently smoking/injecting meth as well. He was supposedly in recovery, but the addiction(s) are so strong, he doesn't want to go through the program. Last Tuesday, 4/9/13, after 3 relapses, he speedballed (heroin/meth), and was hallucinating.
My wife and I threw him out of our house and is now homeless sleeping in his old beat up car. I spotted his car in the middle of the night parked in the lot at the gym I work out at, and it breaks my heart to see him sleeping alone, isolated and destitue. He also looks so dirty and unkept. It's my understanding that meth makes the user look and smell disgustingly dirty like a homeless person.
As a show of courage we had to show "tough love" to our son by throwing him out for his refusal to seek help. But at the same token, my greatest fear is that if he doesn't quit using and his addiction escalates, he will OD and my son would die. Lord help us.

Mar 16, 2013
My Honeybee I miss you.
by: Anonymous

I lost most only, beloved beautiful daugther Melissa on on Feb 16, 2011. She was 32 years old, a beauty beyond compare. She was kind, loving, generous and to trusting. She died from a herion overdose. Her so called Husband who was in her life for 17 years introduced her to herion when she was only 16 years old. She left behind my wonderful grandson who will never know mother. After being released from jail, she went to be with her "husband" and was dead the next day. He never even had the decency to call me to tell me how she died or to tell me he was sorry. Since she would never give him up, she was loyal to a fault that cost her life. I blame others who had a had in her death, she trusted them as well, they know who they are and what they did.
I suffer so very much for her loss, I was in foster care and and all I have/had were my two children and my grandson. I knew she would die someday soon if she did not find a way to give it up, she knew she would as well. I remember sitting on my bed with her one day about a month before she died and I told her, Melis you are going to die I feel it coming. She looked at me with a look of acknowlegement on her face and a single tear rolled down her cheek. I Miss you baby girl. I love you always. Mommy I will never ever forget you my only daughter.....

Jan 18, 2013
my loss
by: Anonymous

I want to thank you for sharing your story and all those who have commented. I am up again tonight at 2 a.m. unable to sleep because I am to devistated still.
I lost my son to a presumed overdose on Dec 28th 2012. Presumed because we are still waiting toxicology report.
He went willing to rehab in Jan of 2012 did 14 days in detox and 30 days rehab. Thought it would be a up hill battle to keep him clean. He went 4 months then started hanging with wrong people again. In Nov moved back home seperated himself from his "friends" stuck to me like glue. Afraid that he would start again. He wanted to be clean is all he kept saying. He got a job 1st paycheck bought Christmas presents and even gave me money to help buy dinner. I didnt refuse figured was easier to keep him clean if he didnt have money. The following week he got paid and hooked up with a kid he hadnt seen in 5 years. I was at work and he left the house with him and his paycheck. I got the call that night to come to hospital. My heart dropped out of my chest. I knew before we got there. I lost my 20 year old son that night. I am not sure how we continue to live because my heart is so broken. God bless you and thanks for posting your srory and giving me the knowing that other people are going through this.

Jan 11, 2013
The cruelest thing that can happen to a parent
by: Lily

My 21 year old son Nicholas overdosed August 18, 2012. Our family is heartbroken and sickened by this tragedy. Nicholas had been addicted to oxycontin and heroin for the last 2 years and we sent him down to Nashville, TN for rehabilitation and sober living, he was doing wonderful and coming home in 2 weeks. He worked a full time job as a store manager, sponsored 2 boys, was on two first place baseball teams, had touched and saved hundreds of lives but couldn't save himself. He had been lettered in 3 sports and a captain in high school. Popular, handsome, the most sweetest person you could have ever known. And in one relapse, one instant gone w/in the blink of an eye. I miss him everyday and addiction has destroyed our lives and family. My goal is to educate every single person on how and what addiction does that i come into contact with, I wouldn't wish this loss on any person ever. May God give us all the strength to live out this dark journey we must now face.

Jan 01, 2013
All too familiar
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain so much to this day. I lost my son Travis who was 20 on Aug.18,2010 and the pain is the same now as then. My son had too just been released from rehab 3 weeks prior. He to seemed happy being clean. Until he was offered his demon methadone again. He went back to his 48 yr. old "girlfriend" who was prescribed 270 methadone monthly. Mind you this woman had been cut off once prior and twice after his death due to having tested neg for the drug in her system. I blame her, I blame the Dr but most of all I blame myself. I was his mother and it was my job to keep him safe. I never tried the tough love because I knew the inevitable would come. All I can say to those who did is this. My son was merely two blocks from me and a safe home and yet he died with that awful woman in a drug house of doom. He left behind two younger siblings that are consumed with grief. Everyone tells me I have to be strong for them but I struggle daily. I cant get it thru to people I didnt lose a peice of my heart I lost the whole heart. Without any of my children my faily doesnt work. We were a whole and now I feel we are broken forever. They will go onto their own families is really the only thing I look forward too. As for me my family remains unrepairable.

Dec 21, 2012
First Christmas without my son
by: Anonymous

9 months ago we sent our youngest child to wake up his brother he said he couldn't ( my son was not an easy kid to wake up) then my husband went but somehow I knew and was on the phone to 911 before I heard my husbands scream. We had no idea until his autopsy showed he died of an accidental overdose. He was an amazing young man doing well loving college and his loss is my undoing. The worst is well meaning people who said you should have locked up your meds. I can barely cope with the loss of a beloved child; will never forgive those words. My surviving children are my reason for trying to have a happy holiday they give my strength and hope

Dec 11, 2012
My 19 year old
by: Anonymous

I just lost my 19 year old son to what I believe was an accidental overdose on 11/17/12. I knew he had issues with prescription drugs. I am hearing rumors that there was more. I do not know. We are still waiting for the cause of death. My world is a blur and continues to be a blur. I keep hearing in time it will get better. I cannot imagine that it ever will. I will mourn my son until the day I die and maybe then understand why God took him. I to was doing the tough love thing and did not let him live in my house. He would come home drunk and high and fight with me in front of my nine year old. I had no choice. I struggle with the guilt of what if I had done things differently. I read your story and it saddens me to know that my son was on the same path. I love him and miss him so much. I do not understand why he could not get well...........

Nov 28, 2012
So Sad
by: Anonymous

I am so sad to hear about your son, I am sure he was a wonderful man and son. My son is 27 and he has had a drug problem for quite some time. We have tried everything to help him and nothing seems to work. We now have let go of trying to help him until he comes to us and asks us for help in recovering. He says right now he is clean but he doesnt go to meetings or anything. He married a 41 year old drug addict woman and lives with her and her Mom and his wifes two kids. I rarely hear from him because he doesnt have a phone anymore. He is not allowed in the small town he is living in, so he hides in their house.
He could come home where we live in a gorgeous house with love and amenities and have a normal life. He could get a job if he stayed with us for awhile but chooses to live where he is and there is no transportation or jobs there. I know he must be on drugs still because it make no sense. He started taking pills in his late teens and in the last few months I found out he had shot up meth and heroin (he told me) although he said he has quit. I feel so helpless,I wish I could get him help but he never mentions needing it anymore, he says he is clean and doing good. I feel like he will either die like your son or end up in prison. I feel your pain and it must be the worse pain in the world, to lose a child. I pray to God my son will turn his life around. God Bless You

Nov 12, 2012
Reply to Anonymous
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your response- I'm sorry you cried, but I know you had to. Thank God your son was found, by you, in time. Many nurse friends of mine, went through the same thing, and were not sucessful reviving their sons. As you can imagine, being a nurse, this has had a trememdous effect on these women. I think you should check out GRASP, they are on facebook as a group, or you can go to the internet so see their work. Everyone has someone, on drugs, and this group can help you cope. Most of us have lost a child, but not all- you can see the world we have to live in now- and perhaps you can avoid that if your son could read these posts, and see the pain- if he were to go away- it might just be the thing he needs. I'm sorry you got such a scare, but thank God he's ok. You can email me at loretta.dilustro@att.net any time.

Nov 09, 2012
too close for comfort
by: Anonymous

Loretta, I cried as I read your story. Two days ago I found my son unconscious and not breathing. I am a nurse and I immediately started CPR and called 911. He survived. He had been using Oxy last winter but after I found the needles he had used he stopped. This time a "friend" offered him patches. Apparently they take the gel off the patch and mix ot with alcohol so they can inject it. He says that he thinks it hit him hard because he was clean. He's 27 so I can't force him to get treatment and I'm scared that next time I won't find him in time. I don't think tough love works. I think this is as much a psychiatric problem as an addiction problem. He is a kind, gentle, and loving man and like many of these yoing people, I think he self-medicates to dull the pain of life. I'm about to contact his family doc to get him to talk with him. I'll keep you posted.

Nov 03, 2012
It is so cruel
by: Anonymous

Loretta, I am so sorry for your loss. My wonderful son died on 14th September 2012, aged 28. We have just had the toxicology results and there were so many drugs in his system, we are in shock. We don't know exactly how he died until the inquest but clearly drugs were a major part of his life and ultimately his death. My gorgeous, intelligent and talented son won't light up the room any more. I know he is finally at peace, but that is small compensation for the huge loss. Life will never be the same and it is almost impossible to carry on - he is constantly in my thoughts. So much I want to say to him, just one more kiss, one more hug - not to be. Thank you for sharing your story Drugs are indeed evil and the criminals who peddle the stuff are the ones who should be taken, not our beautiful children, the victims. Take care.

Oct 09, 2012
So many lost ones
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your article. I also lost my son. On September 13, 2012, he died of a heroin overdose. He was 22 years old. I saw in the comments another mom is also waiting for the death certificate. Pending toxicology report results.

This is unendurable at times. My broken heart keeps beating, but sometimes I think I might not be able to even breathe.

I still love him so much. I realize that this is a pain that will never go away. I comprehend that the grief will change, but it seems impossible to me right now.


Oct 09, 2012
Life's Short
by: Anonymous

Hello my name is Kristen. And that story about John made me cry. I am so sorry. But I was actually suicidle once back in 2008. I overdosed on all types of meds. But because I have Epilepsy and I take medication for that, overdosing didn't do anything to me except I almost damaged my liver. And I had to go to 3 mental hospitals and 2 rehabs. I scared my family to death. And made them cry. I'm now taking Luvox for my depresstion.

Sep 30, 2012
My beautiful son, JC
by: Anonymous

My son, John, died September 3, 2012. He was addicted to heroin. He died after being clean for almost 90 days. He met up with people that he could not say NO to. These people prey upon people who they know are vulnerable. In the end my son put the needle in his arm.....but he had help and these people need to know how many live they are ruining.

Sep 30, 2012
JESSE, AGE 27
by: Anonymous

My son Jesse, died Aug 7,2012, from a drug overdose, we still do not have a death certificate. I miss him so much. The last few years were truly a mix of hell and sober days. We almost feel relieved, because we never knew what would happen next, and for that I do feel guilt. I hope someday I will feel better ,but most days I am obscessed with remembering his face, his voice, anything to hold onto the better days with. Thanks for listening.

Nov 29, 2011
Heroin- The Monster
by: Loretta

To Ernie,
I just read your post about Mel and her sister and my jaw dropped. Please know how very sorry I am to hear of this tragic loss. Your grandbaby is so lucky to have you.
Take a moment, and go to FaceBook- at the site called GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing). You can see their site on grasp.com. If you are not on FaceBook, that's ok, you can still see the posts from all of us who have lost our kids, to drugs.
It is amazing how many of us are out there. There is a Memorial Flag of their names and dates of their birth and passing. I put my son's name there.
Also, there's so much information out there, and there's meetings and rally's...I'm not quite ready for that yet, and maybe you aren't either.
You can write me anytime.
Find me on FaceBook- my name is Loretta DiLustro
God help you, and us all...
Affectionately,
Loretta

Nov 02, 2011
My heart breaks for us
by: Ernie

I am so sorry for your grief and pain. I know all too well the agony of helplessly watching the monster take my child. Mel overdosed and died 9/20/2009 at 31, and Jenn did the same 7/16/2011 at 28. Both of our girls, our only babies, taken by the monster heroin. Like your son, our girls were mot monsters. They were sweet and kind, loving, compassionate...but not strong enough to survive. Mel left behind our favourite and only grandson. Now he's lost his mom and his aunt and fill-in mom. It can only be by God's grace that we can still breath today. But's there's little joy in this new life, except for Eli. Just as we're trying, you try to hang on until the dawn comes again, as we're told it surely will. Just not so brightly...

May 18, 2011
Reply
by: Loretta

I hope that you are doing ok I just want to check on you. Have you heard of GRASP- you can get to it on Facebook- it's all parents like us. I like it there too. Why not take a look?
Thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm having a hard time myself.

May 04, 2011
drugs are the devil
by: Sandi

I have been searching the internet to help me sort through my grief. I stumbled across your story. I recently lost my son, who was 22 years old. He committed suicide 2 weeks ago on April 15. He was born on Valentine's day 1989 and died on tax day. In the last two years he went from being an active college student to a drug addict who was bi-polar. I am devastated and not sure how to go on without my baby (he was my youngest) I am hoping to find some comfort....desperate.
I am so sorry for your loss.....I always told my son.....drugs are the devil. I am trying to find comfort that is he at peace....but frankly it is little comfort for me right now.

Apr 19, 2011
Thank you
by: Loretta Di Lustro

Thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry that we are here, but I'm glad that we're here for one another.
I'd love to hear about your child. You can private message me, if you prefer.
loretta.dilustro@lifecareassurance.com

Apr 16, 2011
So sorry...
by: Anonymous

Often times in grief others do not know what to say. We feel abandoned, guilty every emotion under the sun. Since I am going through grief I thought surely I would have the right words to quiet the awfulness that you feel.

I don't. Words escape me regardless of how long my fingers rest on the key board. I know that drugs have taken many young people and very well could have my son.

He was/is?(does it ever go away?) addicted to meth another monsterous drug that consumes your life. It could be me writing this letter. There were many times that I feared for his life and was relieved when he was in jail thinking that perhaps he could clean up, somehow get sober enough to realize how the drug took over and ruined his life.

I am sure that there is nothing that we can or sould have done to prevent it. No mater how much we love our children we cannot control their actions. Please do realize that he knows the error of his ways and so wants you to find a place in your heart for love, and not allow grief to drag you down into the pits of hell. Grief is a rollercoaster that we all want off of. Come here talk to us, we will always be here to listen...
HH

Apr 15, 2011
Dear Loretta
by: Anonymous

I too lost my son and my story is so identical to yours. Alan went to heaven 10-10-2010 My oldest boy. This addiction is an epidemic. My son was 6 months sober and had no tolerance. I so feel your pain and you are in my prayers

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