Every day, more than 130 people in the U.S. die from an opioid overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
It’s easy for many parents to assume that their families won’t be affected — that the problem is for someone else, and not them.
But one mom is seeking to warn parents that drug addiction can strike any family at any time. And it’s important to be aware, taking the time to educate your kids with the facts.
After losing her daughter to a heroin overdose in 2017, Susan Frost Lamoureux wrote her heartbreaking story in a Facebook post published by the local police department in Seminole, Oklahoma.
The mom of three shared that her daughter, Alexa, did not fit the “typical” image of a heroin addict. In fact, looking at her photos, most people would never have guessed that Alexa struggled with anything close to drug addiction.
“Is the girl in the photograph the image you picture when you hear the words ‘heroin addict’?” Lamoureux began her story.
“This is my daughter, Alexa. And from the moment she was born to the moment she left this earth, she was adored.”
The mother went on to describe her little girl, calling her “inquisitive, playful and intelligent.”
“She was kind and loving with a smile that lit up a conversation, lit up a room, and warmed a heart. She loved books. Alexa had a devotion for animals,” she wrote. “Especially horses and her two dogs and spent time training them and caring for them. She was deeply sensitive and felt life intensely.”
For all intents and purposes, Alexa Lamoureux should not have been a candidate for heroin addiction. She grew up in a good home, with parents who loved, supported and protected her. She was safe.
At least, that’s what her parents believed until their daughter’s fight with addiction first began.
“In the beginning of her college years, Alexa excelled in her classes and earned her place on the Dean’s List. Sometime later, still in college, she met a ‘friend’; a young man who gave Alexa her first dose of heroin. ‘Just give it a try.’ ‘What harm can it do?'” Lamoureux wrote.
From then on, their lives were forever altered.
“Every single day was a battle.”
For Alexa, the addiction was instant, and for the rest of her short life, the young woman would fight hard to overcome it.
“It was from that first use, our daughter became physically and mentally addicted to this drug,” her mom wrote. “She fought desperately and admiringly to overcome the tremendous grip heroin had on her life.”
“I was with Lexi a couple of times when she withdrew,” Lamoureux said to Salem News, “and she said it’s like your bones are just crushing … and you can’t stop moving and you’re in so much pain — physically, then emotionally — in so much pain.”
Her lungs and liver were donated to save the lives of two other women, after which her family established a nonprofit to educate others about heroin addiction.
“The horrible stigma that many people have of heroin addicts needs to be dispelled. Our daughter was beautiful, intelligent, educated and well spoken. She was given every opportunity a child should have. She worked from the age of 16 and supported herself up until a few months before her death,” Lamoureux wrote. “We are hard working parents who have raised our children with morals and values.”
The heartbroken mother also shared that her daughter experienced “periods of time where she was free from heroin. During these times she begged God to keep her sober,” and spent time in counseling. But the best tactic, without a doubt, is prevention, according to Lamoureux.
With this goal in mind, Alexa’s mom is doing the best she can to protect other mothers from experiencing the grief she has had to live with. “I simply want to prevent other parents from suffering this undescribable pain of losing a child to an overdose,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“It can happen to anyone,” she warned. “It only takes one time to become addicted to heroin.”
More than anything, Lamoureux wants her daughter to be remembered.
“She was somebody. She was our beloved daughter. And we will forever wonder if there was anything we could have done differently.”
The Western Journal reached out to Susan Frost Lamoureux for comment but has not yet received a reply. We will update this article if and when we do.
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