RIP Danielle

Brandon:       Boss, Danielle overdosed and died today.
Roz:                 NO NO NO NO

Today, a sweet girl named Danielle passed away as a direct result of this disease.  She was a patient of ASI and she was doing great.  She went back to school and she had a beautiful baby boy.  Her mother, her grandfather and her grandmother were all employees of ASI since it opened in 1999.  A great family.  Her mother was loved by all of the patients and staff.  She lost her daughter today …………….and I cannot help but think that if ASI were still open, she would still be alive.   If I could take responsibility for ASI being shut down, I would.  But I can’t.  There was no reason for the State to go to such drastic measures.  I offered to step aside.  They could have allowed new ownership if they were so against me running the program.  I offered to step aside and I had arranged for new management to come in.  The fact that the State did not allow us to do that tells me that they really didn’t care about the patients well being at all. I would have done anything for the ASI patients and my staff to be left alone.  They did nothing wrong.  There was no reason to put 600 addicts on the street and put 60 people out of work.   As of today, July 31, 2016 there have been at least 16 deaths of past ASI patients.  These deaths are tragedies and they are a direct result of the closing down of ASI.  The HEROIN EPIDEMIC is happening across the country.  It is real.  Addiction does not discriminate.  Addiction does not care if you are Black, White, Chinese, Rich, Poor, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, what your sexual preference is or where you are from.  It lands wherever it wants and it invades whatever family it chooses to invade…….with no notice and no warning and no invitation.  ADDICTION IS REAL……and it is NOT a CHOICE.  In all of these years I have never heard anyone ever say “When I grow up I want to be a drug addict”.

Families suffer as much as the addict suffers……if not more.  I remember my mother constantly worrying.  My brother would always say, “What is wrong with you?  We didn’t raise you  like this…….”  I always felt “less than”.  I never felt as though I was good enough. I missed my father.  I was jealous of my brothers having families of their own.  I felt cheated.  I don’t know where those feelings came from but I had them.  When I finally picked up drugs those feelings were gone and I got a false sense of relief.  I could not describe it because I did not know what was happening to me.  I just thought I liked to get high !  Little did I know that I was on a path of self destruction……the end of the road for me was at age 29.  I was living in a shooting gallery in the Hill District trying to support my habit and my husband’s habit.  I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I lied every day.  I stole.  I was sick.  I turned into somebody else.  I was not permitted around my family.  I went to find my brother who was officiating a Pitt football game.  I asked the security guard to get my brother for me.   The security guard went to my brother in the locker room and said, “Hey Gene, there is a ‘bag lady’ outside saying she is your sister Roz.”   My brother came outside……….we hadn’t seen each other in a few years.  He said, with tears in his eyes, “Hi Sister, how are you?   I have been praying that God would take you because I know that Mom won’t be able to stand you being in jail and something is going to happen.”   I cried.  He made me go to his car and see my seven nieces and nephews who I hadn’t seen in years.   Three days later I called him and asked him to put me in rehab.  I went to Gateway on December 13, 1983.   I have been clean through the grace of God ever since.

God, please help the families who are suffering from the disease of addiction and who have lost their loved ones to this insidious illness.  The ends are always the same………jails, institutions and death.

2 thoughts on “RIP Danielle

  1. Their May have been people who weren’t ready to be clean and sober yet going to asi. And since when do the few bad out weigh the good? It really sucks that the clinic shut down it did leave people stuck who couldn’t transfer or go to another clinic because it’s to far. I was one of those not ready addicts at one point that attended asi. But what people seem to even over look is the fact that yea maybe people still get high but not as much and they do work on things while attending asi. And for some things click eventually.Asi helped me in so many ways did I get clean right away no took me 10 years for things to click. But I am clean now since April 2015. For people who have no one or ran out of places to turn to asi was always there to listen, give u a shoulder to lean on, yell,tell you how wrong u are but most of all help in any way they could no matter how many times they had to see your face over and over.asi is not all bad every business or doctor has its ups n down people who go to the pain doctors do the same things.maybe look at the pros and cons. If your not a addict or experienced the staff and the care they had for the patients I wouldn’t expect you to understand.but God bless anyways…..


  2. I believe it’s a mind set! And whether or not you have the will power! Roz had helped my sister many of times but my sister never helped her self! From Roz place in Pittsburgh to up here in Uniontown! I lost my sister 15 years ago to this drug, shes alive but she is not her self! My brother for about the last 3 years now! They are both sitting in prison at this time and it’s sad but I enjoy them calling me to talk to me from jail because for once I don’t have to worry about them being on the strees and getting high! I pray for all the addicts to find the strength within them selves to get better don’t donut for ya family kids none of that do it for your self ultimately!


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