On Feb. 11, 2011, I lost my only child, my son Andy, to a heroin overdose. He was a straight A student, gifted violinist, an exchange student in France, athletic, and was loved by a large circle of friends and his parents. He was just an all-around good kid and the light of our life. Truly a good kid who got into something bad that he couldn’t get out of.
My life was shattered. My reason for living was suddenly and unexpectedly gone. It took me years to recover, and I will never be the same. I will never see my son find the love of his life, and never have grandchildren. For that I am so sad. But I am equally grateful for the 22 beautiful years I got to spend with him.I am a middle-class career, divorced woman. I live in the city of Raleigh, NC, in a middle-class neighborhood, in a nice home, and have a good job. Since my son’s death I am determined to make sure another parent doesn’t have to go through what I have. I want to educate the masses to the fact that this IS an epidemic and it CAN happen to anyone. Resources are scarce for help unless you have money to pay for rehab and I’m very concerned about the uninsured. I am very active in the addiction and recovery community now. I have done work with Heroes in Recovery, the Governor’s Institute, which was featured in the book “The Passion Conversation,” and am Vice Chair of the Raleigh Substance Abuse Advisory Committee. I also did an interview with the Town of Cary, NC, (suburb of Raleigh) that was posted on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TownofCaryNC/videos/1754335291321180/. I want to help any way I can. I want my son’s legacy to be one of helping save others through me.
Story by Pam Katchuk