This weekend marks a year since the Reber Family lost their brother and son, Jared. Jared lost his life to a heroine overdose.
“He was funny, he was the comedian,” says mom, Jodi Reber.
Jared is one of nearly 70 thousand drug overdose deaths nationwide in 2018.
Nearly 50 thousand, or 70 percent, of overdoses in 2017 were opioid related.
So how do most people get to heroine?
There are three different types of opioids or pain relief drugs: prescribed opioids, fentanyl and heroine. Prescription opioids are prescribed by a doctor and give for mild to moderate pain relief.
Fentanyl, if made legally, can be used for rapid and stronger pain relief without strong side effects. Heroine is pure morphine extracted from poppy plants. All these drugs use morphine, which is highly addictive. When users don’t find relief in prescribed drugs, they go on to the next strongest thing — heroine.
Reber says Jared had great potential before drugs, “He could have been anything he wanted to be, but because of heroine, because of drugs, he couldn’t even get a decent job.”
The morphine in opioids is addictive, but the Center for Disease Control says prescription opioids are not like an antibiotic. They do not require you to take all of them for it to work. Once you feel well, you should stop.
Professional help is available throughout Utah. Safe detox therapy, psychological therapy and medical assisted treatment are all offered in many counties state-wide.
Reber says she wishes she could have forced Jared into these programs, but she says she knows he’s happier now. He sends her little reminders all the time.
Reber referred to picture of all her kids on the wall. “Jared is crooked every morning, and every morning I talk to Jared and tell him ‘quit moving your picture, I don’t want to have to fix it every day.'”