LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- There’s a growing group of Las Vegas families who’ve lost their kids to heroin.
News 3 spoke with three moms who are part the club that no parent should have to join.
“It’s a club we don’t wish upon anyone,” said Laurie Tiso, whose son died in a drug treatment facility meant to save him from Heroin. “But we do take strength -- we do lean on each other. We’ve suffered the same battle. Slightly different circumstances, but it’s definitely the same battle.”
Laurie’s son, Sorin Kolman, was given a lethal, legal mixture of pills and methadone. Laurie has never been the same since she received the phone call about her son, Sorin.
“My phone call was the worst phone call of my life,” Laurie said. “It just throws you to your knees. It was on mother’s day, and my son was in a facility. He was in a facility that was intended to keep him safe from himself. It’s been a year and a half and you just never forget that phone call ever.”
For Cathy Hill, it was the call that never came.
“[I] didn’t hear from him,” Cathy said. “Thought maybe he’s not calling me.”
Her son, Dillon Hill, tried to take his own life while locked up at the county jail on charges linked to heroin. Dillon made it to UMC, but was eventually pulled off life support.
“Our system: Arresting. Putting them back out. Arresting. Putting them out. Misdemeanors -- that’s not recovery,” Cathy said. “That’s not putting a person in a right place.”
Derek Brabham overdosed on heroin at a house party. Derek died alone, and his mom, Frances Brabham, thought he’d made it home that night.
“My husband got up Sunday morning to go to church. I relive this every weekend. He went downstairs and he went out to get the newspaper and on the door was a card from the coroner’s office,” Frances said. “And that’s the hardest thing: to find out your child is not going to home -- didn’t come home and won’t be coming home.”
Heroin took the most precious thing in all three mother’s worlds, and they’re now left clutching photos and the memories heroin can’t take from them.
“To me I just miss [Sorin’s] kindness,” Cathy said. “He was, like, a cool kid. I miss that. I miss his voice.”
All three mothers saw their sons lose control of their lives due to heroin.
“It takes so much away from them,” Cathy said. “And it seems like they’re like stuck. And they don’t want to be in it but it’s just gripping.”
“Heroin had all the power when they were using. It was just destructive,” said Laurie.
Their message to this community is: don’t look away. Heroin is there, and should be part of the family discussion.
“You have to be a voice,” Laurie said. “You have to share your experience. It helps someone. If we can help one person, that would be worth it.”
“And for families not to be ashamed or embarrassed,” Cathy added. “Because it’s like cancer, they need help. It’s like cancer or some disease. That has a potential for healing—there’s hope. There’s hope.”
Frances, Laurie, and Cathy will never hear their son’s voices again, and so now they are the voice for the wrath of heroin -- an epidemic they say is growing. The three have advice to other parents in the valley who are seeing their children be lost to addiction.
“Love them, but love them the right way,” Laurie said. “Do not enable them to lead them down this path because you will love them to death.”
“We were ignorant about drugs—so a lot of it slipped under the rug and before we knew it Derek was entrenched in it,” said Frances. “Definitely don’t be in denial. Do not be in denial because that’s going to hurt your child.”
Anyone who is having problems with substance abuse is encouraged to contact Narcotics Anonymous at 1-888-495-3222 or visit their website at http://www.region51na.org/.You can also call the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit http://www.samhsa.gov. For more information on Heroin, check the National Institute of Drug Abuse website, http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse.