The opioid epidemic, characterized chiefly by heroin and fentanyl abuse, is at an all-time high in our country.
Unfortunately, nowhere is it more devastating or prevalent than in my home town of Dayton, Ohio. My county, Montgomery County, is #1 in the U.S for deaths by opioid overdose. This is the main reason national news agencies visit our city these days, and it is heartbreaking. The heroin epidemic has overwhelmed our coroner’s office, our hospital NICUs and our foster care system. I have seen first-hand the effect this epidemic is having on families, on little children, in my community.
So when I read an article entitled “Mom’s Dead. Not Sure If Anyone Told You,” I was actually surprised that it had not been written by someone here in Ohio, but by Rebekah Christofi for the New Bedford Guide, in Massachusetts.
But like I said, the epidemic is NATION-wide, not just in Ohio.
In the chilling article, Christofi describes how she learned of her mother’s death by heroin overdose.
“Mom’s dead. Not sure if anyone told you.”
This is the message I woke up to from my brother at 6AM on a work day. For a second, I thought he was joking. For about five seconds, I felt relief. Then, I had to sit down because I felt emotions that I don’t have any names for.”
Christofi then goes on to describe her chaotic childhood as the daughter of addicts, saying, “Growing up in a house where every adult was high and strangers lived in every room makes me oddly comfortable in chaos. Violence, hunger, fear and uncertainty were also guests in that “hotel,” as our neighbor used to call it, but I was never permitted to own that reality. Everything had to be a secret.”
She says as an adult she feels an unquenchable thirst for peace. She is attracted to things like yoga, meditation, and church. Yet peace always eludes her.