My Turn: Last year, heroin took my beautiful daughter

For the Monitor
Published: 10/20/2016 3:10:08 AM

My beloved daughter died of a heroin overdose. I have now joined a growing number of other parents, siblings, loved ones and friends who are victims of the opiate epidemic.

We live in a special world of pain, not knowing how to talk about our loss, not knowing if we should mention it to others.

There is such stigma, such shame. Who would want to know? We are silenced by our community’s opinion of drug use and those who use. Addicts must be losers we hear, a drain on society.

My daughter was nothing of the sort. She had a college degree. She worked in Harvard University Health Services in Cambridge. She was smart and beautiful.

Because of severe asthma and lung disease, she was often in the hospital with pneumonia. One time she was in the hospital for three weeks and when she was recovered enough to go home, she was given two pages of medications to take.

Several were opiates.

The insidious character of these drugs is that you unwittingly become addicted. It doesn’t take long. It happens to many people because doctors aren’t cautioned by the drug companies who are trying to sell their product.

When my daughter’s prescriptions ran out, she went to the street. The drug was everywhere, and it was cheap. And deadly.

She died of an overdose last Nov. 15.

To honor her and to give a voice to all those who have lost someone to this terrible epidemic, there will be an event this Nov. 15, the one year anniversary of her death, called SPEAK UP. It will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at South Congregational Church in Newport and will be held in conjunction with Hope For NH.

Come and let your outrage and sadness be heard. Together we can help turn this around. We need you. Please join us.

(The Rev. Alice Roberts lives in Newport.)

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