‘You lose a child and it’s always going to be traumatic’: Mother on impact of opioid addiction

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130 people die from opioid overdose every day in the United States. That includes prescription drugs. 

Safe Streets Wichita, in partnership with Dandurand Drugstore, are adding a third drop-box where people can drop off unused or expired medication. 

It’s an effort one Derby woman says is a great step towards fighting addiction in the community, after experiencing the damage it causes first hand.

“She was my best friend. She was a joy,” said Rhonda Kemp of her daughter Lacy.

Today, Rhonda only has her daughter’s memory and pictures left to hold onto.

“You lose a child, and it’s always going to be traumatic everyday,” she said.

In 2014, Lacy passed away from a prescription drug overdose at the age of 30.

“It’s a call that I kind of expected in a ways, because every time she wouldn’t answer her phone, I would think the worst,” said Rhonda.

Lacy used prescription drugs for the first time after surgery when she was 16. 

But, it wasn’t until her 20’s when Rhonda says it started impacting her life.

“She would use and then cut back and medicate for a few days, and then try not to use at all,” she said. “And, it was always back and forth.”

Lacy was clean for a few months before her death, going to counseling, and writing journal entries about her journey. 

One of those entries was read at her funeral.

“She said one day ‘this would kill me’ and looking right next to the podium was her casket,” said Peter Ninemire, owner and director of the Caring Center of Wichita. 

Lacy’s story is not unique.

Behavior and addiction specialist Peter Ninemire worked with Lacy. 

He says it’s a disease that can no longer be overlooked.

“What’s perceived as a senseless young death and really it’s a disease,” said Ninemire.

“Don’t shy away from getting help and get support,” said Rhonda. “Get someone to talk to and don’t be shamed. And, don’t isolate from the true facts of it.”

Ninemire says prescription drug misuse often starts in a parent’s cabinet. 

The newest medical drop-box is one way to prevent that from happening. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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