By: Nina Golgowski
Original Source: www.nydailynews.com
An Ohio mother who lost her husband to a heroin overdose has shared a stirring photo of herself and her children beside his open casket in an effort to warn others about the dangers of drug addiction.
“The cold hard truth is heroin kills. You may think it will never happen to you but guess what that’s what Mike thought too,” Eva Holland of Cincinnati posted with her family’s final photo, showing 26-year-old Mike Settles lying lifeless beside them.
“I’m sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable it may even piss a few people off but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction,” she wrote with its upload Thursday.
The young father of two’s addiction began with painkillers, his widow wrote.
He entered rehab late last year and came out “a brand new man” just in time for Christmas, she recalled.
IN May, Settles posted two photos of himself side-by-side with two hashtags reading “transformation” and “healthy” along with a small smiley face.
Two days later he shared a photo of him with his wife, reading: “This evening we decided to be a family again. Wish us luck!!!”
Tragically, it was something as small as a toothache that his wife said led to him to turn to pain pills again. That slip re-sparked his deadly battle with addiction.
“We were together 11 years. I was there before it all started. I knew what he wanted out of this life, all his hopes and dreams. He never would’ve imagined his life would turn out this way,” Holland wrote.
“He said he could handle it, that he could stop on his own and didn’t need to get help again. Well he was wrong, last Wednesday he took his last breath.
“I just needed to share his story in case it can help anyone else.”
As of Monday her photo has been shared on Facebook more than 247,000 times, which includes her personally sharing it on two heroin support group pages, she wrote.
“I’ve had people tell me that his story stopped them from using and others who say it’s motivating them to continue their recovery, even if it a just for the day, this is saving lives,” she posted.
Her efforts were particularly powerful when she said she was greeted by a total stranger who ran up to her crying, asking for a hug.
“She said ‘I am a heroin addicted and was going to try and overdose last night but then I (saw) your post and you saved my life. I can never thank you enough!’ So we stood there hugging each other crying,” she recalled.
Among those sharing Holland’s story are several anti-heroin groups, including Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, Baltimore group “Heroin is Killing My Town,” the Washington state-based group “Heroin and our community,” and Northern Kentucky & Cincinnati group, “Heroin Kills You.”
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