Parents Of Daughter Killed By Heroin: ‘The Silence Of Addiction Needs To Stop’

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY  -- A family who recently lost their daughter to addiction has a powerful message to the community: the silence of addiction needs to stop.

That message was included in the obituary for Miranda Lee Ferguson, 25,  of Scranton.

“I'm trying to stay strong to send this message,” said Ann-Marie Riggi-Hopkins.

Parents Ann-Marie Riggi-Hopkins and Lee Ferguson are carrying a range of emotions: grief, shock, anger, guilt, and regret after their daughter's sudden death last week.

“The worst pain I ever felt in my life, (I) can't even explain when I heard those words that my daughter had passed,” said Ann-Marie.

“I love my daughter so much,” said Lee. “I really thought she was well, I was so proud of her but that's what happens. This drug takes such control.”

Miranda Lee Ferguson died from a dose of heroin, her parents say.

And that's why there's another emotion in this room: the determination that her death won't be in vain.

They say the silence of addiction must end.

“The people that are dying from this, old, young, middle aged, it's horrific, it's like a plague and it's out there more than anyone could ever imagine,” said Lee.

Her parents included that message in Miranda`s obituary, saying “this demon is still out on the streets waiting to kill the next person”

It's gone viral on social media.

“Overwhelmed, yes, surprised,” said Ann-Marie. “I cannot stop this message and this is how real this disease is, I am here with her daughter at a funeral home, paying my last respects to my daughter.”

Miranda's parents want people to know that their daughter was a good person who graduated from Scranton High School and worked as a department manager at Hobby Lobby.

Now the grieving parents are left to raise their granddaughter Baylee, the young daughter Miranda leaves behind.

“The first person I had to educate is my 5-year-old granddaughter that her mom took a bad drug that stopped her heart and now she's an angel looking over us,” said Ann-Marie.

Her parents say memorial contributions can be made to the Baylee Ferguson Scholarship Fund.


  • ddd

    nope their should be no narcans to save anyone let them weed them selfs out sooner or later it would take the king pin out.. its a choice these people are making not a Disease it is a choice they make so tired of hearing its a disease its a choice these kind of low lifes make on a daily basis. people that have cancer is disease they didnt wake up saying Wow i would really like a good case of cancer . These dope heads wake up saying wow id like to high again today thats a choice and not a disease

    • Wow you people are scum!!

      Not the people addicted to opiates. The self righteous hypocrite bigots who have no respect or even compassion for this girl’s child and family. There might not be a GOD out there but I still believe in Karma and it’ll catch up with you internet tough guys… To the family I’m very sorry for your loss.

      • no karma

        There is no ‘Karma’. You question the existence of God but are firmly convinced of a Buddhist belief? If there was ‘Karma’ and we all got what we deserved we would all be in agonizing pain or be dead. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, those that accept Him are forgiven of their sins. You have compassion for a family that suffered a loss due to poor choices but wish ill towards those that think differently than you? (poor choices again?) Who made you judge, jury, and executioner? Everyone needs forgiveness, not condemnation – that’s for God to decide.

    • Yeah they wake up saying that do they?

      “These dope heads wake up saying wow id like to high again today thats a choice and not a disease”

      Wow how stupid are you? They wake up sick.In pain with Cold Sweats. Sometimes convulsing. Hot Flashes/Cramps all rolled into one. All they can think about is getting high because after they will feel normal again. Of course its a bad choice when someone starts using Heroin. Or some people turn to it from getting addicted to Legal prescribed opiates. Its at this point it becomes a disease and people need help! Addiction “Rewire’s” your brain. Proven Fact. Of course an addict is still responsible for their decisions but it is a disease and you are so far off with what you are saying because you have no idea what you are talking about. All you people and the way you’re reacting is why the family put what they did in the obituary….

      • Markus

        I am glad someone leaving a comment is actually educated on the disease of addiction.If only everyone would educate themselves before leaving unhelpful, mean spirited and insensitive comments.

    • Brown sugar

      You’re right. All heroin addicts have those brown raccoon rings around their eyes. I hope the day she died she didn’t pull paramedics away from a justified call.

    • Dab on those Haters!!!

      If you actually watched they had a pic of her and her daughter in a car which was obviously recent because the daughter is the same age. And she looked pretty hot in the pic actually…I’m sure alot better than You…. Link your facebook lets see what your fatass looks like…Oh whats that? You don’t use facebook? LOL you’re a tool.

      • El Ma

        DAB ON THOSE HATERS!!! you could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness. “Hot?” This woman isn’t “hot,” you necro-nutbag. The woman is gone. Passe. Finis. She has ceased to exist. She overdosed and died.

        You have to be under 28 years of age because you equate maintaining a FaceTube profile as something worthwhile. This is the problem with our society, today: everyone is trying to live vicariously through social media. They get their “news” from FaceTube, their morals, their ethics, and a monitored platform for their personal agendas.

        Get some help for yourself because your mommy’s not going to live forever, and what are you going to do when you no longer have her basement to live in with your MLP plushies and MtDew? Sales associate at McD’s won’t pay your bills, chief.

  • MMMM

    Once again another selfish Junkie! Thinking only of themselves! She certainly didn’t think about her daughter, nor her parents. No sympathy from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • common sense stuff

    Enough is enough, we should all embrace Rodrigo Duterte policy of executing all drug dealers.

  • Givemeabreak

    I love the holier than thou comments here. Most people can’t give up their large soda, coffee, or favorite food because it’s too hard but you all think it’s easy to stop doing something that is designed to be addictive. Yes all these people were told it was bad and did it anyway but how many people are told something is bad but do it anyway? Everyone does. The difference is this crap is so addictive that sometimes all it takes is one time and there is no return.
    Those without sin should throw the first stone.

    • Lloyd Schmuatelli

      Pumping your veins full of heroin is a little bit different than my morning Dunkin’ Donuts.

    • E

      Ha! Givemeabreak why don’t you give ME a break. You try to generalize all behavior to defend what is most likely a junkie in your family tree. You’re comparing the satisfaction of a person’s favorite food with heroin addiction!? Exactly how fuc*king stupid are you? That’s all you’ve got? Really? Oh and your pathetic “cast the first stone” comment speaks volumes. So are you yourself a former alcoholic/drug addict that found religion?

      • Givemeabreak

        Did I hit a nerve? Haha. Actually I am an atheist. I know there is something in the water here but come on.

        Most of America is overweight. Two out of every three Americans are overweight and that seems OK to everyone because food is legal. So that tells me 2 out of every 3 of these commenters on here are a drain on the system and a hypocrite. Doing things that they know are bad but do them anyway. Just like a junkie. Food addicts. That’s why I said cast the first stone. Not because I am religious but because I know most of you on here are playing the high and mighty role.

      • Its a disease

        E, get a clue! you aren’t a “former” alcoholic or drug addict!! The proper term is “recovering”. Just thought I would help you out so you can continue to discuss something you know nothing about loser!

      • Cajun Comic

        We’re all dying from the minute we’re born. It’s just a matter of how we’re going to use the time that we have on this earth. I have opted out of heroin use because it’s been proven to take decades (not minutes) of of lives.

      • E

        Givemeabreak no you didn’t hit a nerve, but I clearly did you colossal moron ha ha! If you really are an athiest then you are also a hippocrite ha ha! And since I don’t live in your pathetic white trash slum I don’t drink your water ha ha ha! Is that all you pathetic trash have is stupid responses. Duh it’s in the water, duh I struck a nerve ha ha! I really enjoy when white trash like you thinks they are clever because they respond with a stupid response. Ha ha! So are you trailer trash or project trash givemeabreak? Ha ha ha! Duh I hit a nerve duh ha ha you must be a stupid polock ha ha! Coal miner trash for sure. Now I see why your white trash ancestors were dumped in a coal mine to suffer and die, because you are stupid trash ha ha! Did I hit a nerve ha ha!

      • E

        @its a disease. Ha ha ha! Yes “former” is a proper and acceptable term ha ha! Just because FORMER junkies like yourself don’t feel comfortable using a certain term doesn’t mean it’s not correct. Ha ha ha! “I just thought I would help you out” because you are clearly a useless piece of FORMER junkie trash and you make that obvious. Ha ha ha! Duh loser. Loser is a term only used by people who are themselves losers and do so to try and feel better about themselves ha ha! Enjoy that needle, you deserve it bwah ha ha!

  • be responsible

    Imagine making a responsible choice for once.
    Especially if you have a child. Did no one step in to help this woman? Did her parents not see she was an addict? I can’t imagine not knowing. and turning the other check and enabling her.
    I would go to hell and back to save the life of the ones I love.

    This happens everyday. Just don’t do drugs, simply as that.

    I choose to get up and go to work everyday. Not get high or use drugs.

    • John Riggi

      Just because you have no idea of what your talking about, you don’t have to show people with your stupid remarks. Shut up!!!!!

    • John Riggi

      The most responsible thing you could have done is read the article and understand what a courageous thing this mother did and felt her pain and use the info to educate. I cannot believe how you can question the mother on the day she buried her daughter. I have questions for you. Do you feel better about yourself posting these horrible things ? Were you a mean girl in high school? Just shut up. Nobody wants to hear you’re opinions.

      • be responsible

        The most responsible thing the mother could have done would have been to fight like a gladiator to get her daughter back. Like most drug addicts, there are people that enable them to continue their destructive ways. ‘Getting the word out’ is reactive, not proactive. We all know that driving 70 MPH with bald tires in the rain is a bad idea and might get us killed – yet some people still do it. Someone needs to be there to be the ‘bad guy’ and take the keys away.

  • Anywhere but There

    We cannot rely on the Government to solve this epidemic. We must have initiative by parents to educate themselves without the scare tactics. No crap it’s scary, but an addicts death is worse. Maybe a total reorganization of police/authorities to handle different types of incidents: i.e. traffic patrol, criminal, civil, drugs etc. This is where the Trump needs to stand up and make it happen! Screw all these union cops, let’s make the pay worth the job without the 20 year wait then more qualified people can apply. If someone needs Narcan twice they should have to sign up for a program instead of multiple “brought back from the dead” incidents. With the new reorganization all states should have the same access to records, type of drug, and WHERE it came from! Is another country trying to poison us with this dangerous and cheap drugs ? – my opinion, YES.

    • Logic fail

      Trump doesn’t have a nickel in this. We do – as parents, siblings, and friends. If you received a package from Syria and it was labeled ‘Poisin Gas’ would you just leave it sitting on the kitchen table for anyone to open? Or would you take action to educate your loved ones and help them if they were exposed to it. There are addicts, and those that enable them to continue. It starts with us.

      • Anywhere but There

        Trump has more than a nickel in it, he can stop the bureaucracy from abusing old laws. The rehabs, etc. are full of criminals “forced” to go there, the judges agree to plea bargain in lieu of jail – what would you pick? An officer trained in drug enforcement would greatly reduce the number of relapses by eliminating the ones that do not want to be clean! All entities involved, judges, lawyers, rehabs, sober houses profit from these individuals that the county pays for. YES county if you have welfare insurance. A reorganized system could eliminate the lazy, offer competitive pay, and have people who actually care involved.This is from my rehab experience(I asked for help), with 25% of court offenders going in and out of rehabs more than 5 times a year. It’s better than jail, stay 28 days, eat, sleep, talk about using again when no workers are around, and get ready for the next round…repeat. F****d up as a football bat. Most of the workers are addicts with maybe one year sober and are using the system for their own sobriety knowing there is a 90% relapse rate.Parents and family have vital roles in prevention but not in the rehabilitation stage. Once an addict, it is totally up to the individual with some guidance and support from other recovering addicts, unfortunately the disease for some hits harder and a trap door always open at their rock bottom.

  • El Ma

    All of this absurd rhetoric about doctors and prescribed medications being responsible for addictions comes down to this: in our current society, we live in a delusion of instant gratification. People expect to be pain-free and are incapable or ignorant of personal pain management. Most of the time, a painful condition will only ever be managed, not cured.

    As far as heroin addiction goes, I find it outrageous to associate prescriptions with street drug abuse. It’s CHEAPER to get most prescriptions than to purchase illegal drugs, for gawdsakes.

  • Tom

    So many ‘holier than thou’ people here.
    Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from an addiction and have no family members that have either. To say that all addicts are making a choice is ignorant to the highest degree. Yes, in some cases, people have consciously chosen the path that lead to addiction, but in many cases, this simply isn’t true. The opioid epidemic this country faces starts in a doctors office. Pain meds are over prescribed and are highly, highly addictive and dependency prone. When the prescription runs out, people seek alternate means. Eventually the addiction becomes too expensive and the end result is cheap heroin as the drug of choice. Don’t be so quick to judge, there are probably people around you struggling and you don’t even realize it.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Starts in a doctors office? Are you retarded? Like you said, you’ve never been addicted or know anyone who was. That undermines any opinion you have.

      Drug use progresses. Some addicts have never set foot in a doctors office for drugs.

    • El Ma

      TOM, opioids are a tremendous help in specific cases, and not everyone who has them prescribed becomes addicted. What has happened is that the “War On Drugs” has made an INDUSTRY out of misery. Times were when an addict was responsible for their own situation. Now, it’s a turn-in-your-neighbor deal that has SWAT teams, kevlar vests, raids, the hopeless D.A.R.E. program, and so many, many other means to spend YOUR money, and mine.

      Nobody CHOOSES to be an addict! Stop misinterpreting this simple fact: an addict (someone who has become addicted to something) DOES absolutely make a choice to either indulge that addiction, or not. Whether it’s heroin, gambling, porn, hoarding, shoes, or lawn mowers, once that person has crossed from “problem user” into full-blown addict, they are 100% cognizant of their lies, their manipulations, and their urges. The addict is making a choice, not someone making a choice to BE an addict. Jeeezuz…… can that even be so deeply misinterpreted???

    • ☹️

      Tom, addocta are making a choice. You choose to try the drug, you like it you choose to keep doing it. It doesn’t matter what the addiction is . Look at smoking, tobacco is addictive so when someone lights one up it’s because they choose to . The urge is so strong you have to decide if you want to or not. Heroin is way worse. The high from it it so intense that they want it more and more. I k ow this because I have a niece and a nephew ( they are brother and sister) that are addicted. He was in jail for a year and guess what the first thing he did when he got out was. He got his fix cuz he chose to. So it is a choice. Period.

    • clueless

      Hopefully you never suffer an injury (if you work) and are forced by a “pill happy” to start taking pain meds?

      • El Ma

        CLUELESS, I spend my life in a vortex of excruciating pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Some days, the pain subsides enough so that I can take a pleasant walk on the mountain, or indulge in my favorite activities. I have been prescribed all sorts of pain medication and, guess what? I have used one or two different prescriptions on very rare occasions, and I do not pop a frigging pill every 4 hours. I don’t even take one per month. Instead, I use essential oils, tea, and natural foods (TUMERIC) to cope with the pain and inflammation.

        Now, when I suffered multiple fractures in an accident, I was DENIED pain medication under the mistaken concern that I would become instantly addicted.

        So……… we put you in charge of how I’m going to approach my own well-being?

      • yes you are - clueless that is

        I was prescribed potentially addictive medication after surgery for pain management. It helped initially but after a while I despised feeling the way I did and put up with the pain instead of the drug. That said, I personally know of three people impacted by heroin. One had enough of it and got himself clean. Another keeps backsliding but is trying to quit. The other needed to be rivived by paramedics because his heart stopped. All of them are young, in their twenties. None of them have ever been prescribed opiates, they all got involved in it from making poor decisions. It comes down to choice, stop blaming others. We’re all responsible for our own actions.

      • laura

        people who become addicts that way are very much in the minority – so you can better understand it’s a very low percent

      • El Ma

        The, you look into your life, your habits, your beliefs, and your history and OWN the addiction to either deal with it, or not.

      • Craving

        The same thing that any self-respecting person would – say ‘ENOUGH’ and seek help. The only person that is preventing you from doing something is the person between your ears. Not many things worthwhile are easy.

  • Who really cares??

    These parents want attention and pity. pure and simple…. U knew ur daughter was a user.. She is not a hero. Don’t act like she was. Left her 5 yr old motherless. And by the way, where is the baby daddy. She made her own life choices. No one held a gun to her head. Her choice. And more than likely her parents will seek public assistance ( which the tax payers will pay for ) for the child whose mother did not love her enough to stop.
    I am sick of the sob stories. Grow up and be responsible.

    I never did drugs, went to college ( self paid ) work in a professional career. It may be an addiction as they are saying, but it was a choice.

    I chose to go to school, obtain a career. It is a choice. This girl made the wrong one.

    • Paula Lalli-Bartleson

      I care. Were you there to see the pain and tears of her parents? Were you there to see her 5 year old break out crying perhaps not really knowing what is going on? Were you there to listen to each and every word the Reverend said and prayed for her? Well I was. And knowing the parents of Miranda for 30+ years I really doubt they want or need YOUR sympathy or pity. And good for you for having such a wonderful life. Some of us including myself at age 64 just aren’t that lucky. Your opinion makes me sick.

      • Damn the pusher man

        And where were all these kind – caring people at while she was struggling with this addiction? Behind every junkie is at least one or more people that enable them to continue their destructive path. They may not give them $20 and say ‘go get your fix’ but their behavior prevents positive change.

      • El Ma

        DAMN THE PUSHER MAN, the only person that can facilitate “help” for an addict is the addict. People who love and care for an addict have a tough row to hoe because their trust is shattered, their perceptions are destroyed, and they are betrayed 8 ways from Sunday BY the addict whom they love and care for.

        Most parents do everything within their power to “help” an addict child, adult or otherwise. They mortgage their homes to pay for rehab, bail, outpatient treatments, etc., and the addicts do what addicts do: feed their addictions until such time as they decide that there’s a better way to live and take matters into their own hands.

        NOBODY can stop an addict from indulging in their drug of choice. So…….piss off.

      • damn the pusher man

        So El Ma, taking your advice we should just let everyone around us do whatever they want, whenever they want, and contribute towards their bad behavior? I know an alcoholic. Should I buy him a bottle of Jack Daniels tonight because after all, it comes down to the person, not the people around them, right? You sit there and endlessly post your views on everything like some pious pompous ass on high. You might be able to conjugate wordy and witty replies but I’ve got news for you – you might be smart – but you lack common sense. So – you piss off and GFY.

      • El Ma

        DAMN THE PUSHER MAN, you are a true buffoon. I did not type that it is wise to allow anyone to do whatever they wish. I typed that an addict is the only person that can facilitate their own recovery, you pompous ass. Obviously, you have no understanding of addiction, recovery, or what families that do everything in their power suffer when their loved one chooses to keep using. You, sir/madam/thing, are a buffoon.

      • El Ma

        DAMN THE PUSHER MAN, final note to your buffoonery, here. I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, offer “advice.” It is a FACT, fool-that-you-are, that the addict is solely responsible for managing their addiction. Now……I would suggest that YOU GFY, but I get the gist that you don’t need to be prodded to do that.

  • Frank Rizzo

    The CHOICE of doing drugs is what needs to stop. You wouldn’t get addicted if you made a better CHOICE before doing drugs the first time.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Some how I don’t feel sorry for these people or anybody who dies because of drugs……..
    They first started with weed probably the gate way drug then moved into harder stuff…..face it people we all as kids growing up faced peer pressure to do this or that….you come to that Y in the road , you go right you lead a good life, you go left well look what happened to this chick… have a choice people if some one says hey try this…Remember Nancy Reagans saying from in the 80’s ? JUST SAY NO…it works.

    • Claude Hopper

      “They first started with weed probably the gate way drug…”
      No. The first experience with drugs for most is alcohol.

      • Logic fail

        So why aren’t more people addicted to heroin? Could it be they made a choice to not use it in the first place?

      • Craving

        I know what you mean. If I sit down for a steak dinner and have a beer with it, I have to fight off the craving of injecting myself with a drug that could kill me every time. The struggle is real. Not.

      • magicmikexxsm

        GIVEMEABREAK no it’s not a drug per say, show me state and fed laws that call alcohol a drug..but you can’t because its not classified as a drug…….

      • El Ma

        MAGICMIKEXXSM, alcohol is a “controlled substance,” just as is tobacco, opioids, and muscle relaxers. In the world of addictions and 12-Step support groups, alcohol is absolutely considered a “drug” because it alters the alcoholic’s behaviors, choices, and decisions.

  • Choppy (@choppinfirewood)

    Just say no, Such simple answers, if only everyone listened to them, except addiction isn’t a simple thing. People don’t usually wake up and say I want to do heroin today. Maybe it’s because they are going through withdrawals from the pain pills they were prescribed that said “take as needed” and they were too painful. Maybe its because they are hiding the pain of being molested when they were young and heroin did the trick to take them away from it. Maybe they have schizophrenia and it is one way to silence the voices. Maybe they hate their life so much, ,it’s an escape to that. The one problem is, it doesn’t take long for the brain changes to be made. You are addicting as fast as lightening. Then it’s a vicious circle from there. Kids aren’t known for making the best decisions all the time. So much judgement. You have no idea how the addicted person got to where they are or how hard it is to stop. i hope God can heal some of your cold hearts.

  • El Ma

    I have the deepest compassion and empathy for the surviving family members.

    Addiction is a choice. And, nobody wakes up one morning and says, “Hey. I think I’ll try heroin, today.” This step comes over a period of time, and often with emotional/mental/behavioral illnesses like BiPolar Disorder, etc.

    There isn’t silence regarding addiction. We all know about it from preschool, on. The D.A.R.E. program is a hopeless failure in that information is provided to children when their minds aren’t capable of processing it. They hear words that have definitions, but absolutely no meaning in their lives. So……”education” and silence isn’t the problem.

    The problem is our national approach to mental illness, and a host of other socio-political issues that cannot be waved away with a magic wand. Most addicts carry a genetic predisposition for addictions, and environmental factors play a huge role in how those predispositions are manifested. Family dysfunction, divorce, abuse, molestation, neglect, perfectionism, narcissism, and a whole HOST of other factors play into this. So, there cannot be a one-and-done “cure” for addiction. Addiction can never, ever, ever be “cured,” only managed.

    I don’t have the answer. I don’t even have a suggestion. I hope that the family members can let go of the guilt and anger, in due time. Please, if they read these messages, GET COUNSELING for yourselves and pay absolutely no attention to negative messages. Miranda made choices that even overrode any thoughts about her child, and you are not responsible for that. Get yourselves some counseling, get involved in your own healing, and make your own closure to this unnecessary loss. God bless you all.

    • burtfan16

      I stopped reading your comment after the second paragraph. Addiction is not a choice. Nobody wakes up one morning and says hey, I want to be addict.

      • El Ma

        BURTFAN16, it is absolutely a choice to use, or not to use. If you stopped reading, then you saw ONLY what you wanted to, and not the entire message. Begone, foul dwimmerlake.

      • NONBURTFAN16

        Burtfan are you making excuses for peoples addictions or just your own? As a recovering alcoholic I make a choice every day whether I am going to drink or not. And the sentence was that nobody wakes up and says they will try heroin today. You an addict too, buddy? There is help and only you can make that help work.

    • Nikki girl

      Elma, anyone can abuse drugs, even those from good families with a strong sense of values. It comes mainly from 2 areas – peer pressure or over prescribed pain meds. I have no answer for peer pressure, except to always be involved with your children and know their friends very well. Over prescribing is being dealt with slowly and hopefully these new measures will slow down the addiction caused by prescribed drugs

      • El Ma

        NIKKI GIRL, I have spent about 40 years being involved with various 12-Step groups as the child of an alcoholic, and then as an adult with my own issues. I didn’t inherit my issues from either of my parents as I was adopted, at birth. I know more about addiction than I care to, and peer pressure can be a factor, particularly in these days of technological living, but there are typically “issues” within the family dynamic. What is a “good family?” What is a “normal family?” Who out there in the entire world can actually claim to have had the perfect life, the perfect opportunities, the perfect support, and the perfect results as an adult? I have known many people who have claimed that their childhoods were “very normal,” and these people suddenly realize that their mother or father was a workaholoic, or a gambler, or a serial cheater, or verbally abusive.

        I wish I were blissfully unaware of these matters, I really do. Addiction is ugly, it’s mean, and it’s cruel.

    • magicmikexxsm

      EL MA my wife is Bi-Polar among other things, and she’s never ever used illegal drugs………..the only thing this opioid crisis is doing is making it harder for people to get their legal prescriptions which help them cope.

      • El Ma

        MAGICMIKEXXSM, I didn’t type that ALL people who are BiPolar are addicts, or vice versa. I typed that BiPolar Disorder can factor into addictions, and it absolutely does – ask any mental health provider and they’ll tell you that many other issues come along with this challenging disorder. My mother was diagnosed BiPolar very late in life, she was sober for 35 years prior to her passing, and was a raging alcoholic before she became sober. She never abused heroin, opioids, or any other drugs except alcohol. Even after she became sober, she still suffered with the manic and depressive cycling that nobody could explain until her last 2 years of life – this explained everything with regard to her behaviors, including her self-medication via alcohol.

        My son is BiPolar and does not have a drug addiction, but he has other behavioral and emotional issues that he’s addressing through long-term help from counseling therapy.

        If I know that I have a problem with tobacco, I have to make the decision to either stop, or to continue smoking. In my situation, I made the decision to stop. Nobody made me start smoking and nobody made me stop. I made that choice, alone. I have made the choice to NOT smoke since 2014, and I face that choice, every day. The physical withdrawal took 7 days to complete – unpleasant, as all get out. I still deal with the psychological aspects, and this is what we’re not talking about. The daily triggers, old behaviors, and the emotional/behavioral aspects of addiction.

        No, it’s not an easy or simple choice to stop doing something that I know is unhealthy for me. Absolutely. But, it is, in every way, a choice. People suffered addictions LONG before Big Pharma and our current deplorable health care system. That’s how AA was formed – by 2 men who realized that it’s a DAILY challenge to NOT drink. They wrote the Big Book, and they started the support group that has grown world-wide. The first step is the most difficult to manage any addiction: calling it what it is, and recognizing that I am absolutely an addict.

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      How about we start with nobody getting any pain meds, since we never know who might get addicted to them. It’s not a choice, stuff happens — and yes some folks are predisposed to it via genetics, or chemical imbalances, mental illness etc. There’s a reason it’s an epidemic, and it’s NOT because everyone is choosing to be addicts.

      First step, get off the darn pharmaceuticals and legalize marijuana….oh wait, that would hit the pharma companies in the pocket, can’t have that…..

      • NONBURTFAN16

        You are a fool if you think people choose to be addicts. That is not what is being said here. What is being said is that addicts choose to remain addicts you moron. You people try to twist words and facts to excuse your own dumb choices and blame it on adhd or god knows what else

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    I’m starting to see a connection with vanity, duck lip selfies & heroin addiction.

    Maybe we should march against the duck lips.

    Duck lip awareness month.

    Aka: I don’t care.

    It’s not sad anymore. There are so many ways to cure this addiction that there aren’t any more excuses for it.

    • J

      Condolences to the Family. They look pleased to get a moment of TV time. Maybe even relieved not to have to deal with their daughter’s addiction anymore. Don’t feel guilty; she IS in a better place. Darwin’s law always wins. So you thought you could retire soon? No – now you get to raise your Grand-daughter. Enjoy that. Recovery would be difficult at best and would be a lifetime of abstinence from all mood altering chemicals, including alcohol. I also wonder about the fugly ducklip selfie trend.

      • El Ma

        J, that relief is some of the core of the “guilt.” And, the torture that addicts put their families, friends, and loved ones through is simply disgraceful. I remember being in high school and having all of those pamphlets passed out with the photos of junkies in them, and the message was, “You don’t want to end up like this.”

        Today, there are balloons, raffles, rallies, and other means of memorializing and canonizing these people as heroes who fought a good fight and lost the battle. Addicts create the worst lives for themselves and everyone who even remotely cares for them, without exception. They lie, cheat, steal, use, and abuse anyone and everyone to get whatever it is that they want. So….making an addicts death the needless and stupid thing that it is might be one step in the right direction. And, caring for the surviving family members as the NON-addicts is an imperative – they didn’t shove the needles into their loved ones’ arms, and most family members do everything that they can and it’s just a losing proposition.

      • Hilda

        addicts are the most selfish people out there. just look at their social media pages. they all have a grandiose sense of entitlement. what a waste

    • clueless

      LLOYD, Many of your comments lead me to believe you know the family?? BUT YOU DON”T!! Find a job, get some work done, and try to lead a positive, happy life!!

    • clueless

      Does it matter WHY she started using??? Another young life taken way to early and you ask WHY she started using?? Get a clue

      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        These people didn’t lose their daughter to heroin. They lost their daughter A LONG time ago…

        Who’s clueless?

      • got a clue

        Yes it does. If you pull a weed out by the roots and all, it will never come back. It absolutely, positively matters. A lot.

      • No Sympathy

        Nice deflection and no actual answer. Tell me who made the decision to start using? Was she held down and forced to use heroin? No, it was a choice.
        Addiction is not a disease, it’s a choice.

      • El Ma

        NO SYMPATHY, addictions are absolutely defined as mental illnesses, and the reason that this was determined was because all addicts have some sort of misfiring going on in their brains. However, this does not mean that they are absolved of any personal responsibility for CHOOSING to indulge. Once it’s out there in the open as an addiction, it’s then a series of choices. The addiction will either be managed, or it won’t, but it’s a challenge to manage an addiction and an addict has to really find themselves in dire straits before they accept the fact that they are, indeed, an addict.

      • edith rose

        Her mother says she thought she was well! Not sure but it looks like the addict and her 5 yr old were living with Mom, so how could she think she was well??

      • El Ma

        EDITH ROSE, this is one of the facets of addiction within a family. It’s denial – pretending, overlooking, or outright lying to one’s self that the person that they love is not well. “Cognitive Dissonance” is when we try to fit another person’s actions and behaviors into our own set of values and ethics, and it actually causes physical pain (nausea, migraines, etc.) to acknowledge that someone that we care about and love doesn’t care, back. So, we make up stories, tell ourselves that it’s not as bad as it seems, or that there isn’t a problem, at all. Takes YEARS off of our lives, and more years to recover, heal, and move on with our lives. :-/

  • Common Sense

    YES. End the silence. These kids get their heroin from Doctors and Big Pharma. This poison is coming from the “Obama Care” free dope for everyone campaign. Oxicoton, fentynol, pecocet… all of that garbage comes from your Family Doctor.
    Start locking up Doctors and Pharmacists that are DUMPING this Death on your children.
    The Gas Industry has been a great help with bringing their Meth-Heads around here, too.

    • SMDH

      Your post screams anything but common sense—it’s more like dopey musings from an idiot. Yeah—right–her docor prescribed fentanyl laced heroin to her to hook her so that she would eventually die and stop coming to his/her office and filling up his patient schedule. And the gas industry has brought meth heads? Meth has been a problem in NEPA for decades; long before cubic foot one of natural gas was pumped out of the ground. And Obama Care free dope for everyone? Seriously? True his policies towards drug dealers and his propensity to pardon them was unwise, but the last I checked, there wasn’t a line at CVS or Walgreens for Obama Care junkies stacked up for their free fixes. I think you need to rethink your name—you’ve said nothing above that had an ounce of common sense anywhere. Common dunce, yes. Common sense, no.

    • El Ma

      COMMON SENSE, stop it. Just, stop it. People have been prone to addictions ever since mankind stood upright and began scrawling images of mammoths on the walls of caves.

      What has happened at this point is that the “War On Drugs” has become a National Industry, rather than a means to address the issues surrounding addiction and illegal drug trade. That’s all. We simply need to start taking back our lives, one step at a time. Parents need to stop trying to be their children’s BFFs, and start PARENTING. That might require one parent to remain at home to raise that child – to make sure that they are fed, clean, healthy, and occupied instead of leaving kids to raise themselves via video games, the internet, and FaceTube. That means that parents have to give some of these intrusive government agencies the finger, and actually set boundaries and enforce those boundaries. That means that parents don’t get married, reproduce, then decide that they’ve made a mistake. That means that parents make the very wise and challenging decision to get rid of their kids’ cell phones, internet, and technological devices and actually ENGAGE in teaching and leading their children. That means that teenage girls begin using birth control or saying, “NO,” and grow up before they decide to bring another human soul into the world when they’re not prepared to do so, and that the boys and men who are propagating these illegitimate offspring are held accountable to provide for their progeny for the next 21 years.

      And, for crying out loud, demand from our lawmakers that the “War On Drugs” be finally declared a loss and begin focusing on other issues that can be resolved.

      We’ve become a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah where everyone’s FEELINGS are placed above the greater good for society. Parents don’t know how to BE parents after 2 generations of broken homes, narcissism, and overblown self-importance.

  • pot smoker

    Not Silence , A failure of education . I was told heroin was poison – in 1970’s in elementary school – I listened . Funny how it’s offered free to pretty young girls , and they don’t think to lose the scum offering to get them hooked and use them . These addicts will steal from anyone or do anything for a fix – Some life . Lose those who use and make something of yourself .

    • El Ma

      POT SMOKER, yes. “Back in the day,” it was a different approach, but we didn’t have the “War On Drugs” to fuel the economy and keep people in all sorts of businesses to keep that war active. There’s a whole lot of money in drug use and addiction – a WHOLE lot of money. Rehab? Forget it – it’s expensive and generally useless.

    • Hilda

      christalmighty we know everything that there is to about addiction and the drug trade. what silence? end the war on drugs make it all legal and let survival of the fittest start filling in the shallow end of the gene pool at last

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