A year ago this coming June, I lost my beautiful niece to a heroin overdose. Alyssa was just 17 years old. She was beautiful, sassy, and full of dreams. Alyssa’s struggle was complex and heartbreaking. Just as she was learning that she could break free from this addiction, enjoy her life without artificial stimulation, and had begun making better and different decisions; she was offered heroin through a text message. Prior to receiving this text, she was excited about getting her driver’s license, the end of the school year, and looking forward to the summer. The offer of heroin proved to be too much for her, and changed our family forever.
When you lose someone so suddenly, in such a horrific way you begin to ask questions…What if she never received that text offering her heroin? What if after receiving the text, she got help to overcome the temptation? What if someone had heard her and stopped her? The questions go on and on. The sad truth is that these questions do not bring comfort, and will not bring Alyssa back to us. The overwhelming and sad truth that our family lives with is that Alyssa’s life was cut short. Every day we miss seeing her beautiful face. We miss her voice and her laughter. We miss her sassy ways and seeing her fulfill her dreams. We grieve all the things we will never have with her.
So, what do we do now? Do we sit around asking the “What if” questions? No, we find strength in our faith in God to fight this battle for others, for you! We share our story in hopes that another family will be saved from this nightmare. That a child, a sibling, a friend will be stopped before it is too late. We share our heartbreak so others might be spared this incredible loss. We honor Alyssa’s life by trying to help others.
If you know someone who is battling this addiction, take action before it is too late. If you are battling this addiction, get help now before it is too late. Heroin is not your friend. It is not your way of escape. It is not harmless. Heroin destroys. It controls you. It takes your life.
Please learn from Alyssa’s tragic story, get help today to overcome this addiction. You Can Do It!
*Written by: Linda King*