TV Anchor Shares Heartbreaking Story of Daughter’s Opioid Overdose

“This could happen to anybody,” she says. And I believe she’s right. Part of Kennecke’s mission is to let parents know that addiction does not discriminate. The most intelligent, academically gifted, athletically gifted person can fall victim to this disease, especially with drugs like heroin that become addictive so quickly.

Kennecke elaborates more in this second video about Emily’s life and death:

To help others, Kennecke has now started a foundation called “Emily’s Hope,”  a fund set up through the Avera McKennan Foundation to help offset the cost of addiction treatment when the local new treatment center opens next fall.

She also is crusading to end the stigma and make treatment more accessible to those who so desperately need it. The reality is over 70,000 people died of opioid overdose in 201, but little assistance is provided to help people afford life-saving treatment. “If something else like Ebola, was killing 72,000 people a year,” she said in an NBC News interview, “what would this country be doing?”

I know that drug addiction has a stigma because so many people judge addicts for “choosing” to do drugs. The truth is that some do choose it. Others get started on perfectly legal prescription painkilers and then find that by the time their pain better, they are addicted to the drugs. To me, it doesn’t matter how someone gets started. We ALL make mistakes. Some have bigger consequences than others, but God forbid I make a mistake that could be fatal and someone decides my life is not worth saving.

Friends, pray for those in the throes of addiction. Pray that their loved ones will get to them in time, as Kennecke was unable to do with Emily. PRAY, and act. Advocate for recovery in your community. Show those struggling with addiction that you value their lives. Reach out, end the stigma, and make a difference, as Kennecke is doing in Emily’s memory.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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