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Families struggle with heroin abuse

Updated: Friday, May 30 2014, 02:51 PM EDT

Rochester, N.Y. -- Lori said she never thought it would happen to her. Theresa DeLone said she never thought her son would stick a needle in his arm.

Both mothers are now making a once private battle with heroin addiction public, to plead for help for their sons.

Lori's son is in treatment after a near-fatal overdose. But she said it took months to get him into a program. She said there isn't enough help available for addicts,
But there is a lot of support to help them find heroin to feed their habit.

She said even with insurance, she couldn't get her son into a detox program and was forced to wean him off the drug at home, which families describe as hell.

Lori said families don't have the medical background to help their children kick a heroin addiction.

Her son has relapsed many times and she thought she lost him a few weeks ago.

Lori said she believes heroin addiction is not just an epidemic. She believes it needs to be treated like a disease. She said we need to get rid of the stigma and come up with better ways to treat people who are hooked on heroin.

She and Theresa both spoke at a recent forum held by state lawmakers on heroin abuse. They shared their person stories and opened up about something they once only shared with family and close friends.

Their reason for going public, is to fight to save, not just their sons from this powerful drug, but other teens and young adults.

State lawmakers have promised to put together all of the testimony and work to help families and provide better treatment for addicts.

But Lori and Theresa wonder if it will come soon enough to save lives.

They say this addiction has almost killed their sons and ripped their families apart. The only time they slept is when their sons were in jail or treatment. Because they knew there was no heroin there, and that they were safe.

Lori is hoping to start a support network for mother's to share not only personal stories and get support, but also valuable resources and advice about how to navigate
Through the system and get help for your heroin-addicted child.

One thing Lori said she learned is to just show up at a detox center with her son. That way, she said they can't turn you away.

Both mothers said their son's addiction was so powerful, they stole from their families, to get money for their next fix.

Lori said you never think your own child would steal from you but she said that shows just how hooked they are. She said like many addicts, her son pawned her jewelry and stole money.

She had to go to pawn shops to try and buy back some heirlooms. Some shops wouldn't sell them to her. She said she knew her son hit rock-bottom when he sold his own guitar. She said that meant more to him than anything in the world.

Both moms said as much as they don't like putting their faces and names out there, they are doing this, to save their children and to save the lives of other young people.

Families struggle with heroin abuse


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