Heroin is one of the most destructive substances in the world and has been the cause of the opioid crisis in Massachusetts.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 15,446 people in the United States died from a heroin overdose in 2016, out of a total of 64,070. In Massachusetts specifically, according to Mass.gov, 1,874 people have died from overdosing on opioids. Heroin can kill people and it can also destroy families due to its addictive properties. Many people don’t understand the pain associated with losing a loved one to a heroin overdose, but Caleb Wilde, a Funeral Home Director, wrote the following, “An open letter to Heroin from a Funeral Director,” outlining the terrifying pain associated with heroin related deaths.
“My prayers to those that are suffering, FU.. Heroin. FU.. IT.
That’s what I want to say when I get a phone call from a crying son, daughter, husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend telling me their loved one has died from an overdose. But I don’t say that. I don’t say it because it’s impolite and I’m supposed to be the even minded professional to your grief clouded bereavement.
But, “I’m sorry for your loss” and “my deepest condolences” just don’t work when a 19-year-old daughter was found in the basement of her friend’s house after two stints in rehab and five months clean. This was supposed to be the beginning of her life, not the horrible end.
Or, what do I say to the sixteen-year-old son who wants me to call him as soon as I get his mom to the funeral home because “that will be the first time in my life that I’ll know exactly where she’s at”.
Or, what do I say to the 30-year-old wife with three kids and no income, little support and now she has no husband.
F… it. FU.. HEROIN. That’s what I want to say.
How about the parents who tell me, “I’m glad it’s over. I haven’t slept in years, but last night I actually slept because I knew he wasn’t out hurting himself or someone else.”
Or the parents who tell me with blank expressions that they had absolutely no idea their daughter was using. That she was excelling in college, holding a steady relationship with her boyfriend, working part-time and now she’s on our morgue table.
What do I say to the young husband who tells me, “We don’t have any money for a funeral, she blew our savings and her life on this relapse.”
How do I respond when that very same young husband follows it up with, “how do I explain this to my kids?”
And then there are the times when the body has been left somewhere, abandoned by so called friends, and it’s starting to decompose. “Can I just see my dad one more time?” the young man asks. “Yes, you can,” I say, “but this doesn’t look like the man you expect to see.” The son replies, “That’s fine. I haven’t seen him in five years, so I don’t have any expectations.”
FU.. HEROIN. I’m getting tired of these stories. I’m tired of unstitching and embalming autopsied bodies that are discolored and broken down by addiction. I’m tired of hearing the empty cries of “My, baby, my baby! How did this happen?” How did we get here?” when the mother sees her son in a casket. I’m tired of children asking, “what happened to mommy?” and “when will she wake up?” at funerals.
I’m getting tired of these stories. I know addiction is a disease. I understand that shame is never the path to healing. There’s no shame here towards the addict. The enemy is very clear. We can all agree that this particular disease, this particular addiction is worthy of our most harsh, most striking, most caustic curse words we can find.
For all the fatherless and motherless children I’ve served …
For all the widows and widowers I’ve walked with through the valley …
For all the bereaved parents now childless …
For all the individual lives you’ve stolen, all the futures you’ve killed, and all the love you’ve grieved …
I raise my middle finger to you, heroin.”
By Caleb Wilde, Funeral Home Director (www.calebwilde.com).
It’s not just the people who die from Heroin that devastate families. According to an article by Katharine Seelye, written on January 21, 2018 in the New York Times, a family in New Hampshire had a son who was struggling with a Heroin addiction. The son, Patrick, had been addicted to Heroin for twenty (20) years, and he believes he has overdosed around thirty (30) times. He even overdosed four (4) times in one day and had to be brought back to consciousness each time. After getting out of the hospital from these four (4) overdoses, he immediately started using again. When Patrick was eventually sent to prison, he finally got clean. While he has been clean since then, his story sheds light on the fact that “…most drug users don’t die. Far more, like Patrick, are snared for years in a consuming, grinding, unending cycle of addiction.” (www.nytimes.com).
If you or someone you know has a Heroin addiction, we suggest taking the following steps. This begins by entering into a rehab facility. The one I highly suggest is the “Spectrum House” in Worcester. (The “Spectrum House” can be found in Worcester at 585 Lincoln Street, and can be reached at (800) 464-9555 for intake services, and (508) 854-3320 for their direct line. They can also be found at 105 Merrick Street, and can be contacted at (800) 464-9555 for their intake line, and (508) 797-6100 for their direct line. Their final Worcester location is at 25 Pleasant Street, and their phone number for their intake line is (508) 799-6221.
Yeah, a rehab to combat this awful thing called death! Then place your children in the custody of a grandparent, parent, family member, friend or neighbor while you get “clean”. Do NOT wait for DCF to take your children into DCF custody and then perhaps into foster care. NO, NO, NO, act NOW!!! If not for you then your innocent children.
I have represented too many who waited too long to address their issues due to their addiction and DCF has their children in foster care.
Rehab. It will NOT be easy. It will take time. It will take your personal best to overcome and conquer this monster called Heroin. Good luck!
Kevin Seaver is a trusted lawyer since 1991. Recognized expert in successfully specializing in fighting the Department of Children and Families. More commonly referred to as DCF. Attorney Seaver fights DCF throughout the entire Commonwealth of MA whether in or out of court.
Need Help with DCF & Heroin Addiction? Call Attorney Seaver or Request Online A Free Consultation
“Current Opioid Statistics.” Mass.gov, May 2018, www.mass.gov/lists/current-opioid-statistics.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Overdose Death Rates.” NIDA, 15 Sept. 2017, www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates.
Seelye, Katharine Q. “1 Son, 4 Overdoses, 6 Hours.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/21/us/opioid-addiction-treatment-families.html.