July 30, 2014

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Residents rally against heroin addiction

Nancy Krasienko, of Lorain, stands outside of Lorain City Hall supporting Tera, a victim of a heroin overdose, and her own daughter, who is still out there. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Nancy Krasienko, of Lorain, stands outside of Lorain City Hall supporting Tera, a victim of a heroin overdose, and her own daughter, who is still out there. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

LORAIN — Standing outside Lorain City Hall with posters and signs, nearly 100 county residents came together in an effort to raise awareness about heroin addiction.

“Say No to Dope” and “Hope not Dope” were some of the phrases motorists saw as they drove by, honking horns and cheering.

Other phrases tore at the hearts of parents.

Posters reading “RIP Tera” were carried by the loved ones left behind after Tera Guest died Jan. 29, 2014. Her two children wore yellow shirts, with her photograph depicted on the front. The simple word, “Mommy,” was written next to the photo.

Tera Guest’s mother, Laura Pinero of Sheffield Township, knows the effects of a drug disease first-hand — she is raising her grandchildren as her own because her daughter died from using heroin.

“She was living at the Faith House, she was getting over her addiction and she passed away en route to the hospital,” Pinero said Friday. “I will never forget the day Dr. (Stephen) Evans told me my baby died. It took control of my daughter one more time. My daughter got high.”

Guest’s death affected Evans, the Lorain County coroner, deeply. He now speaks publicly against using illegal drugs.

“We are losing a lot of young people. This is an epidemic for the United States, and we need the public to help us and we need to stop this,” Evans said. “For every one person who dies, another 100 are abusing.”

But Friday wasn’t focused only on those who have lost a battle to addiction, but provided hope to those who are living with the daily struggle to use.

Recovering addict Jessica Justice, 28, of Avon, found the courage to speak.

“I have been fighting my battle for six years and I struggle every day to not use. I choose to live,” Justice said.

Vermilion resident and mom Chelsie Hensley, 26, said heroin addiction does not discriminate.

“I am a four time overdose survivor,” Hensley said. “One time I overdosed with my daughter in the car. I am in recovery. Tera saved my life once. I wish I could have been there for her.”

Lorain resident Nancy Krasienko’s plea spoke volumes.

“Heroin has almost taken my baby’s life. We have to stop this epidemic. I don’t let my grandbabies play outside because there is a heroin house on my street. There are more overdoses on heroin in Lorain County than in Cuyahoga County,” Krasienko said.

Krasienko is pleading for her daughter to seek treatment, but on Friday night, her daughter wasn’t at the rally.

“My God, save our babies! I am gonna raise my grandbabies,” she said with tears streaming down her face.

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MLinebrinkCT.

  • SpaceTech

    Yes, rallies and perhaps even a vigil or two yeah that will solve things!
    How about a few classes on self respect and self control?

    • SniperFire

      The loser parents need to teach the ‘babies’ and ‘grandbabies’ said self respect and self control and not depend on moral people to do it for them.

      • brenda

        Oh my! How dare you! Just who do you think you are! I was raised in a very loving and caring home with both of my parents and you call them losers! I am a recovering addict with 9yrs clean/sober. My parents loved me and took damn good care of me and my siblings, and you call them losers! Neither of them drank or did drugs! You know what you’re the loser to have even bothered to have written anything like that, while you’re probably sitting there with a beer in your hand! Take a good look in the mirror before you fix your mouth to say anything like that! Take a good look at your surroundings. Do you know where or what your love ones are and what they’re doing with who??

        • SniperFire

          You have no cred with me, stoner. LOL

    • WTFnext

      I agree. Rallies and vigils are nothing more than a support group. The only difference is that most support groups meet privately and not on a public street corner. Useless waste of time. No rally is going to stop an addict who wants to get high.

      • jz

        Not a waste of time.

        • Phil Blank

          Explain?

          • jz

            The rallies.

      • SpaceTech

        Agreed, if people want to use illegal drugs then they get busted and go dry out in jail. So when they come out clean just what exactly is the excuse for going back to the heroin or other drugs? Its called bad decisions, weak constitution and total lack of personal control.

  • HankKwah

    The bulk of the responsibility and oversight should fall on the families, since it seems alcohol abuse AND drug abuse are genetic predispositions. So, if it runs in the family, who would know better?

    • SpaceTech

      Sorry, I know there must be some kind of so called science behind the idea of genetic predisposition, but I call BS!
      Genetics has NOTHING to do with making a poor decision to pour loads of alcohol down your throat or to inject poison into your body–its all about personal choices.

      • HankKwah

        Call it what you want. But when you look and see that alcoholism runs in a lot of families, you can go tell them that it’s BS. I’m sure that will help them feel better about themselves and will stop their addictions on the spot.

        • SpaceTech

          Monkey see monkey do, kids see parents drink, smoke, do drugs, disrespecting, beating wife and SOME kids grow up and do the same thing drinking, smoking, doing drugs, disrespecting and beating wives and girlfriends–its not genetic predisposition its genetic stupidity.

          • http://www.google.com/image/pugs Monique

            The probability of addiction is generally is a combination of genetics and environment. Just like temperament is. People are mapped by the genetics in our cells and they are somewhat like a map of what we will become. The good part of environment being able to impact genetics is that good behaviors and choices and environments can train someones brain to react responsibly, which may not be an innate response at first. It’s hard to remember that we are just chemical reactions and electrical transmissions, but it’s good in the sense that people that do bad things or have “bad” genetics in this area, aren’t necessarily destined to be that way. That’s why rehab, rallies and awarenss are good. It gives addicts and their families opportunities to put themselves in a better environment and make postive change be the new goal, rather than getting high or feeling trapped.

        • luvmytoaster

          Well it had to start somewhere…..

  • Sis Delish

    To better understand the subject, I submit:

    Lou Reed, Live:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpGxx870SaI

    • Otter

      Or, I would submit, Ozzie Osborne’s book. I Am Ozzie…..

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Hold the presses, heroin is harmful?

    Why the heck didn’t anyone tell these poor lost souls before they headed down that disastrous path?

  • Angela

    It’s such a shame to see all the hare and judging of addicts and their parents. I understand some of the population is just ignorant, so we’ll overlook your comments. The truth is the addicts dont choose to be that way. There are many reasons why they tried heroin, it usually begins with narcotic pill addiction, prescribed by doctors. Its so addictive that when the prescription runs out they start buying from wherever they can get it. When they lose everything and cant afford any more the option is heroin cheaper and available everywhere. Some just decide to try it once but once isnt enough. This chemical is so highly addictive they are so violently sick without it and need it just to be able to function. It’s so sad and unless you see a loved one suffer you wont understand. Do not blame the parents, I am a parent of an addict and I done everything I could to teach and guide in the right direction. My daughter never used, was against drugs, she graduated early from high school, was married and had a child. Somewhere she decided to try it…now our family has faced the destruction of what heroin can do. I’d advise you who are so ignorant of this epidemic to learn more about heroin addiction before you so harshly judge others. And try opening your hearts and offering support, otherwise keep your mouths shut.

    • Stacy Jones

      Well said Angela

    • HankKwah

      So your one case is indicative of all of them?

    • SpaceTech

      Well Gee, How about the option of NOT feeding the addiction instead of the option of going for heroin because its cheaper?
      When a patient is violently sick from the use or disuse of medication–said patient should then go back to hospital/doctor to be safely treated for what is feeling and looking like a dependency–this is what hospitals and doctors are for and if the doctors/hospital wants to prescribe more pills it is up to the patient to say NO I need alternative treatment NOT more pills.
      But Noooooo the patient accepts more pills, even wants more pills and the when patient can’t get more pills instead of seeking treatment–patient seeks out oxy and heroin dealers.
      So sorry if my ignorance make me look stupid to you, but my ignorance will never make look like a heroin addict!

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      The claim that “it usually begins with narcotic pill addiction, prescribed by doctors” is total BULLSH!T.

      • jz

        Agreed with the usually part, but, some did start with pain pills. Mostly in the 30 and younger crowd.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          Legally or illegally?

          • jz

            Illegally.

    • SniperFire

      ‘ The truth is the addicts dont choose to be that way. ‘

      LOL. ANYTHING to deny personal responsibility.

      • brenda

        That’s like saying when I grow up I want to drink, smoke crack, and shoot heroin!! Yyaayyyy!! Come on get a grip!

    • Simon Jester

      Yeah, because making the decision to use the stuff has absolutely nothing to do with addiction..

      It’s definitely Someone Else’s Fault.

  • elvis

    once again, its the “Prohibition” of these substances that cause the majority of problems, addiction in and of itself will become a problem without manmade consequences, and no addiction will not become rampant as a minority of the population is prone to it

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      So let me get this straight…the heroin problem is caused by it being illegal and thus “harder” to get than let’s say Motrin?

      I really hope you don’t believe that.

      ALL addictions are a result of NUMEROUS bad and many times illegal DECISIONS.

      It’s that simple…

      • elvis

        its NOT harder to get, it available 24/7 with a few phone calls, go to any AA meeting …. its much more complex than that the world is grey not black/white good/bad its illegality causes more problems than the drug itself does..of course i believe it,
        I don’t care to convince anyone I urge those who “absolutely know” to research drug prohibition history causes and effects.. I am personnaly a recovered addict of 15 yrs sobriety and have first hand experiance in chemical dependency and working with addiction

        • SpaceTech

          Congratulations on your sobriety, please work on your English and writing skills because I can’t understand what point you are trying to make.

          • elvis

            the point is that drug abuse has always been with us, 40 years of a drug war has done nothing to decrease demand or availability. Drug abuse is a health issue

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            Drug abuse is a DECISION issue…A BAD DECISION issue….

            Not a health issue.

            You have been clean for 15 years BECAUSE OF A CHOICE YOU MADE and choices you continue to make. You could simply choose right now to make that simple call you say is all it takes but you don’t.

            You were a drunkard or addict because of choices YOU made not the health system. Stop blaming others for a nightmare you yourself dreamed up.

          • elvis

            i do not wish to argue the point, i wish people would read for themselves and gather information

          • brenda

            Anyone that has not walked in the shoes of an addict or alcoholic will never understand the point that you are trying to make. I am also in recovery, 9yrs, and I thought that I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself, but I learned different. Congratulations on your 15yrs and please keep trying to help those that you can. God bless.

          • jz

            Why so hard to at least acknowledge and understand the counterpoint? Smoking is also both a bad choice and health issue. But, some people still do it. Human nature. Not comparing smokes to heroin. However, your way of looking at it does not help at all. The Drug War not only failed but does more harm than good. Just like the so called war on poverty. did more harm than good. Ok. So now let’s see if we can adopt policies with a harm reduction model which benefits everybody realizing there is no perfect world.

          • Brian_Reinhardt

            You do realize that in this one comment you have bolstered my position don’t you?

            Have you seen the direction the entire world is taking against smoking?

            Yes, you’re not comparing the two but the recent prohibitions against smoking is a regulatory reaction to its ill effects on smokers and non-smokers alike is the exact same thing that happened to opiates in the 20′s.

            It was regulated, then prohibited.

            You and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding drug use. You want to legalize it for some crazy reason and I have no tolerance for the total destruction it does to families. I’m not talking about the criminal element of it neither where a druggie steals to fund their habit…I’m talking about the addictive properties they(opiates) have that make the “occasional” user a rarity.

            Why do you think the legalization of heroin will make it better for the human body?

          • jz

            If you research LEAP and the Drug Policy Alliance sites, among others, there are too many reasons to go into here. I know is sounds crazy but say for the human body, under a regulated system the addicts could receive in a medical setting, controlled doses based on where they are at and at the same time, do a U turn and use the medical setting to ween off and stay clean. Not have to live a criminal lifestyle to support a black market etc. We all want a better society and I really don’t disagree with your points at all. For every user of pain pills a thousand don,t ever go to heroin. They took them for pain and were were done after the script runs out after surgery or an accident etc. I also agree that people make bad decisions but that does not mean that after awhile a smoker of 3 packs a day now does not have a medical problem based on a bad decision years ago? If one has no tolerance like you say for the reasons stated then what is so wrong with tackling the problem from a different angle? If our goals are the same then how has the get tough on drugs for 50 years now helped get us there? I don,t see what is “crazy” about LEAP’S or the DPA”s stance compared to the craziness of the past 50 years since the so called Drug War began? At first glance just the costs alone would have to be far less than continuing to support the prison industry, overcrowded courts, inneffective programs based on a false premise that ‘forced” treatment handed down by the courts has much efficacy. Research LEAP Brian, if for no reason just to see why some others have lost tolerance for a drug war that has done more harm than the drugs themselves.

          • golfingirl

            There will always be a “Black Market” for drugs.

            Can I use the term “Black” when referring to something illegal.

            Don’t want to be perceived as a racist by certain members on this board.

          • jz

            When it became prohibited was the beginning of the federal government infringing on states rights and now see where we are at? Another argument but this one based on idealogy and the role of government and how sacred is our constitution? Impossible to discuss many matters without including a chapter on that topic.

          • brenda

            You’re wrong!

          • Reagan

            you sir are 100% correct.

          • SniperFire

            Bull.

            Illegality and the social scorn of breaking law is a deterrent to many who would otherwise try heroin and be some of those ‘once and hooked’ victims.

            Any other argument is typical of silly libertarianism theory which always fails in actual practice, and is thus not actually practiced anywhere on earth.

      • jz

        You are both correct. Some believe that the prohibition causes more damage to all of us on top of the damage already caused by addicts abusing. Of course the problem is not caused by it being illegal. But if people would research various sites such as The Drug Policy Alliance and LEAP among others Mr. Reinhardt, you may see what Elvis is talking about. Remember, Ron Paul who ran for President is a doctor and Libertarian. Read up if you care before making any off hand comments.

  • makingadifference

    It is a shame that there are so many UNEDUCATED people commenting on
    here every time there is news about the heroin epidemic that is killing a
    whole generation of kids. Guess what – it is people like YOU who are
    ignorant and think they “know it all”! Apparently people like YOU with
    your negative comments have not experienced the life you don’t ask for
    when your loved one becomes addicted. I am not an addict or an
    alcoholic, my child came from a good family and my child fell into the
    life of addiction and regrets it everyday. Yes, they made a choice when
    they chose to get high in the beginning never knowing they would become
    addicted. My child started on pills that the pharmaceutical companies
    failed to tell the public that they could cause addiction. How many
    times have you smoked pot and said, I will be ok? How many times have
    you had a drink (or two) and said, I will be ok? Heroin is not like
    that – use it once and your addicted. Go to this link and get yourself
    educated first BEFORE commenting since you have so much time on your
    hands to assume how stupid people are. Look in the mirror! You know
    what they say about people who make assumptions! It makes you look
    really stupid and you make me sick! I don’t wish this on my worst enemy
    but I bet if this happened to your loved one directly affecting your
    entire family, I can promise you would look at this epidemic
    differently! http://www.robbysvoice.com

    • SniperFire

      ‘ Yes, they made a choice ‘

      Yes. It was, and continues to be, their choice.
      NOBODY forces a person to shoot poison into their veins with a sharp needle. It is their choice. Any argument to the contrary is blatant stupidity.

    • Brian_Reinhardt

      You have no idea who I am or what I’ve seen and been through and for you to assume, based on online comments, I have no experience with your type of situation is indicative of your type of co-dependent personality. Those of us who resist the “disease” moniker for addicts and who would rather see personal accountability for those who purchase and use drugs illegally are “ignorant”, uneducated and not versed in the ways of the addict in your eyes.

      Well guess what sunshine…many of us do have experience in or who have family members who are addicts/abusers or dealers and we despise them and their destructive behaviors just the same. It’s a “choice” we make…remember those?

      Yes Virginia, there are family members who are avoided, shunned and despised for their illegal behavior for the sake of the REST of the family.

      Just like the behavior or any other criminal.

      • brenda

        WOW! Not knowing that by shunning them makes their self worth damaged even more! They fill as though no one loves or cares about them so they just continue to do what, after awhile is comfortable to them. God forbid your child, wife, or anyone that you yourself loves very deeply falls prey to addiction. Any addiction.

        • Brian_Reinhardt

          So now we’re supposed to coddle junkies because they have a low self esteem problem?

          In case you’re behind in your Psychology classes, let me clue you in to something.

          You cannot change a person who does not want to change(remember that word “choice”?) no matter what you do to prop up their self esteem or ego. They have to make the choice that enough is enough.

          And there another one of you goes again with the assumption that someone like “me” hasn’t or isn’t going through what you’ve dealt with or are dealing with.

          I’ve witnessed firsthand the destruction addiction causes to a family. I choose to not participate in or be a cause of that destruction.

          I’ve chosen that the cycle STOPS with me….

  • stop ur whining part deux

    Heroin is nothing more than population control. If you shoot that junk into your arm you are a fool. The pitfalls of heroin are well documented. It is exceedingly addictive, chemically re-wires your noddle, is exceedingly easy to over dose on and ruins lives. All of this is documented and taught to children at least in school and hopefully at home.

    If you are dumb enough to shoot up on this stuff you deserve what you get and all too often that is death.