One morning last June, Colorado mom Patricia Byrne went online to read her Canton, Mass., hometown newspaper. What she read changed her life: an obituary for a 26-year-old young man who was a childhood playmate of her children. The cause of death: heroin overdose.
Her son, Kurt, is a recovering addict, and Byrne thought about how the Massachusetts family must be suffering. She knew too well about the guilt and embarrassment that parents of addicts endure in silence. After reading the obituary, she decided to vent her anger and frustration and started a blog. “It’s time to Stop the Silence,” she wrote. “It’s time to Speak the Truth. My son is a heroin addict. I want to wear a T-shirt, a hat, a pin, something. I want a suffering family member or addict to see me in the grocery store and be able to walk up and say ‘me too.’ ”