‘I’m afraid I’m going to be next’

Barb
Barb Sweet
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Family who has already lost daughter in turmoil over son’s addictions

— Ryan Cleary

As if grieving over Chrissy Pearce’s death wasn’t enough anguish, a St. John’s family  has been pleading for help for her drug-addicted brother.

The Weekend Telegram told the story of Chrissy Pearce’s

April 21 death at age 33, the day after she checked herself out of the Recovery Centre detox facility in Pleasantville, St. John’s. Her boyfriend Dean Cantwell said she had been begging to get in the facility for a week, but apparently there were no women’s beds available.

She died on her parents’ property while they were out of the country on holiday. Her brother, Chad Pearce, was present when she died.

No other options

The fight to get Chrissy Pearce help for her severe alcoholism was dramatic. There was no long-term program or option offered to go out of the province for intensive treatment, according to Cantwell.

The family found itself in the same situation trying to get help for her brother, including a plea to get him back on the methadone drug therapy program, fearing he’ll also die as a result of his addiction.

“I’m afraid I am going to be next,” the 28-year-old said, speaking in a low voice at his parent’s dining room table late last week.

Sunday, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl NDP MP Ryan Cleary called for a review of Chrissy Pearce’s death and what happened at the Recovery Centre, as well as the effectiveness of that facility and whether it has enough resources.

Eastern Health would not say last week whether or not it is reviewing the death. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has been investigating the death, as it does routinely with certain sudden deaths. The family is awaiting toxicology reports.

Cleary, whose office tried to get help for both Chrissy Pearce and now her brother, noted there are 144 people on the methadone program — which equates to a wait of up to two years.

That’s much too long a wait for people with addictions, Cleary said, adding that program should also be reviewed.

And he extended his call for a review to the goals and resources of all addiction services.

Chad Pearce wouldn’t talk about his sister’s death and what happened.

“I didn’t want to quit the drugs at all. I basically told everybody ‘F--- off, I am not quitting drugs now. But as the week went on I seen how much everybody was hurting,” Pearce said.

He said he was prescribed Percocet after knee surgery when he had a snowboarding accident at age 17. When the Percocets didn’t work, he said he started selling them to trade for more powerful painkillers, eventually injecting himself with opiates such as OxyContin and other drugs.

Now Pearce has a carpentry trade he can’t work at and five kids he no longer has a relationship with.

“When all the judging is done, At the end of the day, there are still a lot of good people out there now addicted and sick. When they started, they didn’t start out saying ‘I can’t wait to get addicted so my life can get completely f---ed up,’ “ said his father, Bill Pearce.

Late last week, Pearce was trying to detox himself cold turkey off  drugs.

“You live in hell. You don’t know when he is going to get up and go through the door and do something illegal to get the money or borrow the money and we are going to be right back at Square 1,” Bill Pearce said.

The family doesn’t trust the Recovery Centre.

“My daughter walked out of there and died the next day. Why would I put him in detox?” asked Bill Pearce.

“If you go in detox you should have to sign a piece of paper when you are going in and if you climb the walls when you are in there, you should not be allowed out until you are detoxed. If that takes seven days or seven weeks, that’s the way it should be.”

With the prosperity of the province’s economy and the warnings that would bring drug and crime problems, Cleary wonders if the province is prepared for it.

“Chad needs help. Chrissy didn’t get the help,” Cleary said.

The MP’s office appealed to the provincial government for help for the siblings, and still there’s no progress, he said

“It’s obvious the problems are not being addressed,” he said.

“They are addicts. But they are people.”

There are two general practitioners who work with Eastern Health’s Opiod Treatment Centre in St. John’s part time. There are also a couple of private practice physicians who offer methadone services out of their offices. Eastern Health is trying to recruit more doctors to offer the treatment.

Pearce claims his doctor didn’t give  him enough methadone before going on vacation last year, and he fell back into drugs and was not allowed back on the program, despite what he insists was more than two years of recovery.

Bill Pearce said his son almost died during Christmas. Bill Pearce approached the doctor to readmit his son to the methadone program. The doctor told him to come back in the New Year and ask again. After Chrissy Pearce died, the answer was still no, Bill Pearce said. The only chance he was offered was to get another doctor to consider Pearce, which would be months out due to the doctor’s schedule.

Pearce also has a court date May 10.

“This is not about slinging mud,” Bill Pearce said.

“This is about where do we go from here. The crime that is associated with getting your fix, being able to buy methadone off the street, all the Oxys still floating around. There are situations where I have actually funded the habit. Parents shouldn’t be having to do that.”

But he said he was told by one physician’s staff other parents are doing the same thing, and has only given his son small amounts of money to keep him from getting in trouble.

Bill Pearce also said he has a niece in British Columbia who has been on and off methadone  and there are no waits.

Access to services should be equal across the country, he said.

“I pay my taxes here and there’s been no help,” Bill Pearce said.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall told The Telegram wait times vary in B.C., depending on a geographic area’s access to services, but there are places where there are no waits.

He also said the old wisdom among addictions experts was that when addicts falter while on metahdone, it’s a strike out. But now slips are more apt to be acknowledged as a sign of stresses in the addict’s life, or they need a change in dosage.

Friday, the family got good news that Chad Pearce has a clean bill of health, no diseases or organ damage from his addiction.

“To me that was a gift,” his father said.

But the situation remains desperate in the wake of Chrissy Pearce’s death.

“All it’s going to take is for him to sit down some night and start feeling all shitty about what happened that day and it starts to haunt him. The next thing you know he’s looking for something to numb the pain. The next thing you know he’s planted and he got his wish,” Bill Pearce said.

“If I could go in (the cemetery) now and pick her up and stand her up and say ‘Go enjoy life’ and I’ll get in that f---ing grave, I would do it. I wouldn’t even think twice. I would just go do it for two reasons No. 1, she was so young. No. 2,  I’d have f---ing peace. People got to start helping here. This can’t go on.”

bsweet@thetelegram.com

Twitter: bsweettweets

Organizations: Recovery Centre, Square 1, Opiod Treatment Centre

Geographic location: Pleasantville, Eastern Health, British Columbia

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  • Dean Cantwell - Chrissy's Boyfriend
    May 01, 2013 - 19:17

    As I sit and read all these comment now for over a year I can react a number of ways, either with hatred, anger, frustration to a point where it overcomes me or just understand where people come from and try to understand the greater....BIGGER picture. I choose to understand and see where people are coming from with their rants and comments. In spite of some of the uneducated comments on here where people just say whats on their minds with no understanding of how great a problem this is I feel compelled to try to provide everyone with a clearer picture of what this is really about. I do understand life is about choices and the reactions that our choices have on our lives, but sometimes when a person recognizes that he/she has a certain medical condition where they need help then "their choice" STARTS with going to a doctor and getting medically checked....such as CHRISSY did. Chrissy had a form of depression that was hereditary and had to be treated by medication because her brain was unable to produce the proper amount of Serotonin to make her function properly everyday (perscribed 0.5 mg of Celexa twice a day (total 1 mg). A lot of people have this condition (your doctor can have it)....some worse than others. She found the dose was too small because it wasn't helping her state at all but she had to be on the perscribed dose for 3 or 4 months before the doctor could change it to a higher more suitable one. She found wine relaxed her so she started drinking wine at night to NUMB herself and help her sleep....it worked.Chrissy like most people had struggles in life where she separated from her husband and left to go out on her own and work and provide a stable life for her children but it was no means easy when you walk away from everthing and have nothing, but she DID it !! Was it a choice...yes but a good choice for her at the time. She struggled with being a sole provider for 2 children working a minimum wage job so that she didnt have to burden a broken welfare system. She was a very proud woman and only wanted the best....and her kids were her world. On top of having depression she now had anxiety because she was working to live and living to work with no extra income to put the kids in extraciricular activities for the summer while she worked, felt guilty for splitting the family and now struggling financially. Along with the depression she now had anxiety and was unable to concentrate for periods of time, felt sad, her mind was going 100 miles an hour and she couldnt rest at nights AT ALL and drank wine to numb again!! She went to her doctor who upped her perscription to 1 mg of celexa twice a day (total of 2 mgs) (here we go this is where it starts) in the hopes to settle her mind more. Mix in ongoing court battles with family court regarding custody of the children and child support,which if you haven't gone through is such a long and dragged out circus where nothing gets accomplished especially during summer months when staff take holidays. (more anxiety) unfortunately with no RESULTS!! Chrissy finds that alcohol is the key to assisting her as an aid to remedy her as a sleep aid and now can not sleep or relax without it. This goes on for a few years where she is back and forth from her doctor getting her meds adjusted according to her condition, her doctor starts to see that Chrissy is resembling conditions of someone who is in her office alot and is most likely someone she should keeop an eye on because of her up again down again moods. Chrissy was looking for help, the family doctoor as many of you may not know can only perscribe certain drugs for certain conditions ...after that she has to forward her to see a Psychologist for a more indepth check-up. Apparently to a PSYCHOLOGIST in NL means you would have a better chance of a siting BIG FOOT or a LEPRECHAUN !! She was put on a list and waited 1 1/2 yrs and found out when she finally did get an appointment (that she so desperately wanted and needed) that the appointment was for a Psychiatriast (once again let down) and anxiety through the roof!!! You would not and could not understand what I saw in her and what I experienced with her on the way home when she found out of the mix up...her high hopes of finally getting someone to get inside her head and help her find out why it is she was feeling the way she was and maybe have some hope of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel basically ended up with a door slammed shut on her and more disappointment (more anxiety) more alcohol to numb. A wasted 1 1/2 yrs, what could I say to her to comfort her what could I do to make her feel better? I was dumbfounded , I was never a person of few words but found myself quiet, alone, stranded, HELPLESS, at a system that was supposed to be a stepping stone to gradual help. Mix in a few nights where she took too many piils because of the stress of life and the inadequacy of the Health system she ended up wanting to go to the Waterford hospital. She went to the Waterford and when they found out she was under the influence of taking to many drugs they shipped her off to the hospital for further observation for 3 4 maybe 5 hours where she would get sent back to the Waterford after nearly overdosing ....then they would SEND HER HOME because she didnt fit the profile of someone needing help!! ?? (this hapened on a few occasions) At one point before she died I had to drag her there by her request because she was so fragile and unpredictible and wanted to protect herself form harming herself at 0100 am in the morning, only to be called back to come and pick her up at 0700 am. Add the delima and sadness of the stepson she helped raise from an early age "Doug Flynn" who was murdered in a fatal stabbing on top of all this. Now she was PERSCRIBED 4MGS of celexa (read up on this drug and its affects, it will shock you) to cope with his death. She went to detox, from there to Corner Brook for help at the REHAB center....where she did very well and "SHOULD HAVE WENT TO A LONG TERM REHAB FACILITY AFTERWARDS" but was told there are none to go to !! Chrissy came home instead to a pink fluffly cloud until LIFE kicked in again and there was no stopping her anxiety once again. This time would be the end for her. After all her waits , and all her requests for help, for everytime she was turned away from the Waterford and everytime sent home from the hospital from near missed of overdose...she made a last plea to me to get her help. I went and got her into the S.T.A.R.K program which takes months if not a year to get into because of a secretary that I pleaded with who had enough compassion to fit Chrissy into the program out of turn (thank you again) Chrissy had a bounce in her step that morning when I took her to the floor where she had to go. She came out with a stern look on her face as if something was wrong. She told me that she had a consultation for 2 hours with a froup of people and one of the first things they told her was that there are only 8 sessions allowed and today was one leaving 7 left. I tried to console her and say that probably more doors would open after she finished but she knew different. The second day when I droped her off, she went to talk to her appointed counsellor only to find that she was not available and that she had to repeat everything from the previous day to a person who didnt know her story,,,,now she only has 6 appointments left. SHE NEVER WENT BACK !!! I stood by her in worst of times, times when she hated herself and even hated me for getting in the way of stopping her from drinking. She was like a freight train, no hope and full of despair she had nowhere else to turn , she felt abondoned and left to die. Her last weeks with me were brutual, she fought to drink and once came home with the police in the middle of the day drunk and a mess. The police officer said she had been calling detox to get in and they had no room, she said she was going to hurt herslef if they didnt help. when detox heard this they dispatched police to where she said she was and picked her up and took her home to me. The policeman asked "is there anything I can do" and for a second I thought and then replied " there's nothing at all that you can do only pull off a miracle" and he left my driveway with her at the door walking to the couch in despair and crying for help. 3 days later Chrissy DIED............. If anyone doesnt understand or realize after this then I dont know what else I can say. Its not a CHOICE Chrissy had not to drink or not take too many pills.....she wanted help and asked for it...that was her choice. If you wrote something harsh about this article, I suggest you rethink it over. This can happen to anyone, anyone that has been in the hospital and has been given Perkisets or any other type of hard opiate to recover from an injury. The mental health policys and facilities are burdened with beauracratic red tape and only restrain the hands of the people that want to help....its not the people working there!! Look around these days people..... Have we ever seen 5 pending murder trials in the history of NL at ONE TIME? Have we ever woken up 7 to 10 years ago to hear of armed robberies of gas stations and Pharmacy's or tanning salons (as brasin as in the middle of the day)? Read the news and watch the TV, there's an epidemic happening in front of us right now!! NL does not have a contingency plan to help or fix it. Its affecting everyone and the government has to WAKE UP before this mess gets worse or we end up like some cities where the violence gets stronger and the weapons get more dangerous! We need facilities to get people in and to help them, we can not rely on other provinces to have room to MAYBE fit someone in!! Chrissy's death could have been prevented, lets not let another person die of system neglect !! I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Thank you Dean (Chrissy's boyfriend)

  • cbrook
    May 14, 2012 - 12:56

    Addiction is not a choice, but a disease identified in the DSM. I feel nothing but empathy for this family for losing a child; regardless of how it happened. We do need more resources for addiction and mental health services, but we need to look beyond that, to pain management, to the drug trade, to the determinants of health. I hope that anyone that reads this, who is struggling with addiction is able to get help when they need it. You are worth more than you could ever know. Keep fighting, stay strong, use your community resources and take care of yourselves.

  • Chris
    May 11, 2012 - 08:02

    I feel bad for the families of the addicts. Not for the addicts themselves though, they did it to themselves.

  • Mother
    May 10, 2012 - 15:27

    As an ex addicted, I was in detox for 3 mths and had to fight every singal day to stay there, after 7 days they are like ok you are better time to go. Well luckily my addiction cons saw how bad I was on drugs and she kept me there til they found a program in NB, I had to leave my family here and go to NB tro fight my addiction with no family around and believe me its hard expecially when everyone elses parent can come visit but yours can't. I have been fighting the gov for a long time to get a rehab here and have been told there isn;t a big enough problem here in NL to have one mean while they were flying people to NB for a year and even flying us home for a 4 day visit, now they even stopped sending them to other provinces because of the cost, But what about the COST OF LIFE everyone has a right to get help. When i got set away it was hard I never wanted the help but gratefully The rehab j=knew how bad I needed it and kept me there and for that I owe them my Life. I have been clean 11 years now and would not have been able to say that if I had to stay here. Sure even when I came home I felt like i was going to relaspe and I went to the recovery center ad they told me I had to be on the drugs to come in all i needed was someone to talk to me so i came home and Phoned NB and they talked to me for 2 hrs not once saying we don't have time. NEWFOUNDLAND (GOV) WAKE UP LOOK AROUND YOU THE PEOPLE YOU ASK TO VOTE FOR YOU ARE THE SAME PEOPLE ASKING YOU FOR HELP AND YOU WON'T GIVE IT. RIP CHRISSY I WISH I HAD TO GET YOU TO COME AWAY WITH ME TO REHAB WHEN I WENT PORTAGE IS THE MOST CARING, LOVING AND HELPFUL REHAB EVER I can still call and talk to them. :)

  • Menamana Brother
    May 10, 2012 - 15:19

    Sounds to me like there is an outcry for someone who voluntarily took drugs, drank booze and can't shake it. Asking the gov't to help now is amazing. Sure it is tragic that she died, but she checked herself out? In other words she gave up, now her brother is in trouble, there are tons of people in this province now out of work with Harper's cutbacks, but did they all have their day on the front page looking for a handout? The taxpayer is paying enough now, you got on the bottle on your own, nobody poured alcohol down your gullet. Stop begging.

  • Helene Murrin
    May 10, 2012 - 09:12

    Well it's very disturbing how people look at the value of a life by the quality of it and how quick they are to blame, but the reality of it is that it can happen to anyone and to those of you who don't have any compassion for this family, hope it doesn't happen to your love ones. My heart goes out to this family who is having to deal with the death of a precious daughter and the sickness of their son, yes it is a sickness, look around, addiction is everywhere, don't kid yourself by thinking that it's not happening around you. Government and others who can help shouldn't close their minds on a problem that's not only everywhere but is also not going to go away. I lost my 23 years old son 4 years ago, along with 3 other people in my area who all died a couple weeks apart, even if my son didn't od we all though he did until the toxicology rapport came back. You see he did made bad choices in his life, he had problem but we discover that he had a heart defect that made him a walking time bomb. He could have been saved maybe if only someone would have got his heart checked instead of assuming it was drugs. So the end is the same, death, pain and guilt about not having done enough to save him. Do what you have to do to save your son, he needs all the help you can get and if you can get him out of here, he may get help quicker. My heart is with this family, good luck in conquering this battle.

  • brittany
    May 08, 2012 - 01:26

    We are all human and we all have flaws!! i am an addict and im trying to recover it anit easy its not something i planned if i had known how sick u become when u dont have ur "fix"i would have never taking anything to become addicted to but were do these drugs come from to began with there seems to be alot of doctors prescribing perks and oxys to cancer patients or sick people so were are all the doctors to help you get off them perks and oxys that you become sick from .there was no 2 year waiting list to precribe the shit but now there is a 2 year waiting list to unprescribe just bullshit.oh yeah and ur taxpaying dollors put the shit on the streets and now u acaully wanna debate a life over a road some people just make me sick.

  • EVERYONE'SWORTHSOMETHING
    May 07, 2012 - 20:59

    I have read all of these comments...don't you worry ....This will not be my only comment.....I will be back! But before posting what I have to say..... I have to get it written down SO the FRIGGEN DUMB-ASSES WITH THEIR MINDS FILLED WITH SO MUCH NEGATIVITY.... CAN UNDERSTAND IT! GRRRRRRRRRR.

  • Mother
    May 07, 2012 - 19:25

    as a mother i know, i been there Mr Pearce, my daughter was kicked off methadone after a full year, stress with a break up etc, she relapsed, what does Dr do after a bad urine test, thats right, boots her off, went from 80mg a day to 0mg, took me 14 months to get her back on track and many thousands a dollars and no rest for 14 months, one dr denied her after a 9 month wait cause she was honest n said she was kicked off, he said sry miss i dont accept new patients that has been kicked off the program, imagine that, oh i have many a stories to tell, something has to be done, but dunderdale's govt dont give a frick

  • lori
    May 07, 2012 - 17:28

    OMG why are you people being like this,she didnt want the help and if she did then she would of stayed at detox,you can only help out someone so much,and as for her brother chad being a father of 5 kids that he has no relationship with,he is a big boy he knows right from wrong so if this is what he wants to be doing then let him hes not going to listen either and he is another one crying for help for attention sorry but this is the way i feel :-)

  • lana cantwell steeples
    May 07, 2012 - 16:15

    i would really like it if people would be more respectful of other peoples feelings. these are real people and while you sit behind your computer anonumously, there are real humans out there dealing with the heartbreaking loss of their child,mother, girlfriend. where do you get off trying to make them feel worse and adding salt to their open wounds. do you have an ounce of humanity? trust me you will pay your taxes regardless and you will STILL have no idea where they go. but the fact that you would rather not be used to get help for someone so they can return to the life they had before drugs and alcohol got the better of them. they dont want to be that way trust me. there are people out there with mental ilness that do not even know it, all they know is that when they take that drink or that pill they somehow "normal" it is a feeling that they want to last. so they keep doing it and it gets ahold of them ! noone wants to be an addict or alcoholic. so how do you think 'choose"it? dont be ignorant. and dont go out of your way to be insensitive . if you knew the pain my brother feels every minute of every day you would never spew your ugly thoughts. most of us have inner thoughts that we think but dont say cause we are too embarrassed for thinking them but obviously you were born without that filter. i feel sorry for your family and friends because i assume you would feel the same towards them if they had an issue that needed more help than they are able to give themselves. to the family of chrissy i appaligise for my fellow humans who obviously lacked a good upbringing and good manners!!!!

  • Chris
    May 07, 2012 - 14:39

    I find some of the comments regarding treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes unclear. If you smoke and get lung cancer, that wasn't a choice??? If you eat unhealthy or too much, and get heart disease, that wasn't a choice?? If you do not exercise and watch your calorie intake and then get diabetes, that wasn't a choice?? If I drive my car too fast and end up with severe injuries, that may require months of treatment, that wasn't a choice?? Yes, some of these illnesses are genetic and some are about choices but thank God we can provide healthcare to all of them. All of the above still cost taxpayers in hopsital dollars and etc. but we still fund it! So those with the limited vision of right to healthcare treatment go back into the narrow hole you crawled out of and wake up and smell the coffee. I do not blame the facilities personnel but the government does need to put in place stronger guidleines and protocol to address these issues when dealing with the addicted and mentally ill. In the end, yes we all make choices but does that mean as a society we do not treat, protect and provide? My brother and his wife loved Chrissy and do love Chad, they have tried their best to help them both, so some of the comments about how they were raised etc not what this is about. It is about soliciting better access and protection of our loved ones. Bless all of our children & loved ones and I pray that some of the people that are so cut and clear about tax dollars, etc... never has a family member that is mentally ill or exposed to addiction as this may be your path. Your are only a "choice" away.

  • Christa
    May 07, 2012 - 14:26

    Hi Shawna (Chrissy's cousin) I posted this in the FB group, but I will post it here as well. I heard the care for addiction is very good there. And BC is VERY ahead of us here in NL. Sad eh? And the number of people addicted is VERY high in BC compared to NL; seeing as it's a bigger Province etc.. Even In Ontario the wait list is over a year long even in a major city such as Toronto. Here in NL besides the methadone clinic where the ''2 year'' wait list is ; there's only two doctors (Dr Risby and Dr White) in all of NL that are licensed to prescribe methadone. And they are swamped with patients. They have too many cases to keep up and safely distribute and monitor their patients. It just isn't right, man. I know idiots who get methadone AND still pop Oxys and percs. Disgusting!!. And even though methadone can help addicts get off oxy, it can too be very addictive (as much as oxy etc..) and hard to kick. And it's very dangerous if the patient isn't monitored closely. And with only two doctors and the shit bag clinic..it's pretty risky business. I don't know why the Province can't come up with the funds to get MORE doctors and/or another clinic with more beds. SICKENING. Unfortunately, there are more addicts/people in need in help than there is doctors around to help (us)

  • Nicole
    May 07, 2012 - 12:23

    I am appalled at people worrying over it being our taxpaying dollars! Get off your high horse because you never know when it could be one of your own who needs the help.

  • shawna roach
    May 07, 2012 - 11:28

    since when are roads more important than a human life?really tho, give ur head a shake -shawna(chrissy's couisin)

    • shawna roach
      May 07, 2012 - 12:59

      I am Shawna Roach, Bill's niece in british columbia....and Chrissy's first cousin.I'm heartbroken.I've never been turned away from the methadone office here in nanaimo.Never.There may be short delays, a day or a week maybe.......but ive never heard of a waiting list?what's the "wait" for????!!!! And now we have to worry still, what will get her brother first?Help or death?I'm sickened by the the lack of support for you there:(i'm so sorry Bill.xoxo

  • CFA
    May 07, 2012 - 11:13

    Well said, Phil. I agree 100%.

  • Jerome
    May 07, 2012 - 11:08

    I am sorry for those who have gone over the border line into addiction. HOWEVER, there are consequences to every personal decision and choice we make in our lives. So why is everyone else being blamed for a self-inflected disease, such as drugs, alcoholism, gambling, smoking, etc.? Why should taxpayers have to pay billions for their recovery? They may NEED help, but they also have to SERIOUSLY WANT complete recovery. Chrissy left Rehab of her own free will. If Chrissy was in such drastic condition, why would her parents go off on a trip at this particular time? Such huge amounts of money can be much better used for more hospital equipment, such as MRIs, etc No, I am not being hard-hearted, just realistic.

    • Bill Pearce
      May 07, 2012 - 12:55

      Jerome, My daughter sought help throughout her addition and she was trying for 3-4 nights to get into detox before a bed was open.She wanted complete recovery but could not get the support to accomplish this.These are human beings that made bad choices in the beginning but they certainly didnt sit down one day and say i think i will become an addict.As for us vacationing at the time .I dropped Chrissy off at work the Monday before she died and we chatted for a full hour before she went into her new job.She looked beautiful and was in good spirits . Chrissy was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when i left her that morning.We left that monday evening to vacation for a week and did not expect this to happen while gone.I truly hope that you never find yourself in this situation and if you do.You can rest assured that i will support your efforts to get help for your children.

  • Seamus Connors
    May 07, 2012 - 10:43

    Alot of you people here should be very ashamed of yourself and obviously don't understand how addiction works. Especially with comments like the money would be better spent on fixing the roads, and this is there own choice and they can get off of it if they want. You people don't have a clue. First of all, the reason it is called an addiction is because you can't just stop when you want. More then half of the people out there with drug addictions suffer from mental illness or were prescribed the drug they are addicted to by a doctor! The rest of everyone left over started doing this when they were teenagers? If a teenager can't be held responsible for a crime they committed when they were teens then why are we letting their lives be wasted over an equally stupid decision to use drugs. That sort of thing is part of being a teenager and growing up. I think what really needs to be done, is a narcotic tax should be brought in on the pharmaceutical companies that sell these dangerous drugs and who don't care about the damage that is done to the innocent as long as they fill their pockets. Take some of the profit out of selling these things and put it into the recovery system

  • Christa
    May 07, 2012 - 10:42

    Listen up. To the people coming here being VERY tacky and un-supportive and judgmental should just not come here at all. Chrissy's family and close friends AND daughters reads these comments, and it is very sickening and insensitive of you to spew such garbage to a family in mourning over a beautiful 33 year girl. Seriously. Leave your mean remarks to yourself. ADDICTS ARE SICK, addiction is a disease. If you cannot understand that; comment on another Telegram article they you DO understand. Ciao.

  • Elle
    May 07, 2012 - 10:39

    While I do feel sorry for the family I firmly believe that people have choices to make. There are people that say NO to drugs every day - that is their choice. There is nobody forced into taking drugs. Everyone knows the consequences of getting hooked on drugs. I sympathize with the parents and hopefully the son will get help. But I think everyone should take responsibility for the choices they make.

  • Ardith
    May 07, 2012 - 09:28

    I have never been addicated to drugs or alcohol - thank God. But we are all human, we ALL make mistakes and this could have happened to any one of us. Where's the compassion?

  • paddy
    May 07, 2012 - 09:24

    You cant help someone if they dont want it ??after all she did check herself out of the clinic ,,I think our tax payer dollars should be spent on health care not the dope heads ..

  • newfie lady
    May 07, 2012 - 09:16

    Wow, all of you with the negative comments should be ashamed... if this were your sibling, child, aunt/uncle, etc you would be telling a different story now wouldn't you? You all need to be educated on addictions! I would rather my 'hard earned tax dollars' go towards an individuals rehab than for them to sit at home on social assistance, continue doing the drugs & drinking, and then have my tax dollars also pay for their funeral. Get off your high horses & get educated.

    • Frances
      May 07, 2012 - 14:52

      Jennifer, I must say that you should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Education that occurs in a classroom is negligible, especially when you don't seem to have any knowledge about human decency and respect for the lives and families of others. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about and you have come off looking absolutely ridiculous, callous and ignorant. Alcoholism and drug addiction have been recognized by the World Health Organization as chronic diseases. Those who are addicted do not make the choices you speak of, nor do they understand the consequences of their actions. There are many "educated" people out there like yourself who are addicted; I know lawyers, doctors and teachers who belong to recovery programs who lost everything before they realized they had a problem. They are the lucky ones. Because you can't seem to comprehend that addiction is a disease, think of it as an allergy. The first time a person with an addiction drinks or tries drugs, like many of us do when we are young, it affects them and becomes physiologically, mentally and emotionally controlling. I have an absolutely wonderful person in my life who has an addiction - he is not stupid, is "very educated" like yourself as a matter of fact and is the most compassionate person I know. I can guarantee you that if you found yourself in a similar position, and don't be foolish enough to ever think that it will never happen to you or a loved one, he would put your wellbeing first and the condition of our roads would be the very last thing on his mind. My dear, grow up.

  • Mark
    May 07, 2012 - 09:13

    WOW! I am astounded by the lack of compassion in some of the comments so far on this story. I thought Newfoundlanders were smarter than to deal with a modern healthcare, pharmaceutical reliance, and economic disparity induced issues such as this with more that a response from the early 1900's. If this article was dealing with "your" family then you'd feel different. I guess it's just "your" money you are worried about. The same money that make's this province a "have province" has helped to import these problems and now the provincial government and a few commentators on this article seem to think that the issues are not theirs. They are! Good for you for not "choosing" to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Good for you for also not having diabetes, cancer, a heart condition, or god forbid, a mental health issue. Of course by your logic, you shouldn't have to pay for treatment of these issues that people in our society suffer from either. Touching any nerves now Erin? Jennifer? I am a healthy, happy contributor to society and I definitely want the Province to use their resources to deal with this issue. NOW! It's well beyond the scope abilities for a person with an addiction problem, or the family of this person to deal with the issues on their own. That's why it is government's job to deal with it, and the Dunderdale Government and Minister Sullivan are certainly not dealing with it appropriately. We are losing the very people that would normally be solid contributors to society to addictions. Not by their choice. The person in this article began his addiction after he was given pain killers for a snowboard injury and now commentators on this article say that it's his choice to be addicted? Come on! My feeling is that the detox centre discussed here obviously needs more resources. The methadone program obviously needs more doctors even if just on a temporary basis in order to get these people prescribed Methadone. Methadone is a safer alternative to using street drugs illegally, it's not perfect, but it worked in his situation. This is not an issue that you can just watch and hope it goes away Minister Sullivan! This affects my life, my city, and my province. Addictions exist in my community and most others in the province. The policies and resources of addictions Services in this province has got to change NOW for the better! Otherwise the situation will only get worse. If you think that this is about your money now then you better educate yourself about what it will cost you if your child becomes an addict. Is your child's life worth dealing with this issue now?

    • Jennifer
      May 07, 2012 - 10:56

      Mark, No, you are not touching a nerve!! Cancer, Diabetes, heart conditions are not something that you choose. Using drugs is! I do not feel one bit bad for this man. I think that in his situation, he should have to pay for his own recovery. I get a kick out of people like this who want to "pass the buck" to be someone else responsibility! I am very educated, and I have a very good career. I learned how to say no to drugs. If you want to cut deeper, maybe this guy had a bad home life, and he will go on to blame his parents, or caregivers. Grow up! You made your bed, now it's time to lie in it. And I am sure that Chrissy's daughters will grow up to know that there mommy was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and that came before her kids. Bravo for condoning drugs and alcohol!!

  • Starr
    May 07, 2012 - 09:09

    Its a sad state of affairs. Sure these people need help and should get it but when they throw it back in the face of those who tried to help them, and in the face of taxpayers who paid for the time in rehab, by signing out - why is all this whining about not getting help? They BEGGED to get her in, and SHE signed out. Now her brother is "afraid" he'll be next - then stop it and there will be nothing to be afraid of. Go to detox and stay there until you are well.

  • Katie
    May 07, 2012 - 09:04

    I do agree that there should be more help for people with addictions in this province. Everything stated in this story and the one over the weekend is true. I have a loved one who is going through the same exact things. What people dont realize is that there is a REASON why people use drugs. There should be more resources with mental health and things like that to help get to the root of the problem. The waterford should not turn people away just because they are drug addicts. What are they saying? Because these people use drugs to numb the pain, their mental health issue is not as important to deal with as someone who doesnt use drugs? I could seriously go on forever because I have been through all of this a hundred times with my loved one. The only thing I dont agree with in this story is the blaming of the Recovery Center. Patients are allowed to leave whenever they want on their own free will - the staff cannot stop them. I do know, however, that the staff don't just let them go on and be done with it. They do try and get them to stay. But, like someone said, they cannot chain these people to the beds. The staff at the Recovery Center are very supportive and caring to say the least. They should not be to blame. More resources would definitely not go astray!

  • SR
    May 07, 2012 - 08:29

    A lot of people have pain from surgery, but that doesn't mean you have to go on Oxy. This looks like a troubled family but of course it is not their fault, never is. It's sad to see the lady die so young but I doubt if it could be prevented. Next will be a story on her brother. He's 28 and will not give up the drugs. That's his choice. Some day he will be found on the street or will rob a store and get jail. He doesn't care. He has 5 kids that he doesn't know. Methadone is just another drug that is easier to get once he's on the program. I have no problem helping others that need help but this family is causing their own trouble, and now Cleary wants govt to spend thousands to investigate why they got around the system??? Cleary, we can't save them all, unless they want to be saved.

  • Jim
    May 07, 2012 - 08:26

    I am shocked at how cold hearted both Erin and Jennifer are. I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot they would feel differently. These are fellow newfoundlanders that did not ask for this, and in regards to money being spent on roads, look around, they are not spending it on that either! I would like to see someone in the position to help this family to stand up and do it before they have to attend another funeral. Stop dragging your heels. This yound man needs our help. Show some compassion. Chad I hope you get the help you deserve. I am neither and addict or someone that even knows the pain this family is feeling ,just want to let them know not all of us PROUD newfoundlanders are not like Erin and Jennifer

  • phil
    May 07, 2012 - 08:14

    whatever happened to being responsible for your own actions? Theses are adults. Not children. The papers around here have become an arena for people to complain about how society is not helping them out of their self-created problems.

  • wayne
    May 07, 2012 - 07:53

    It's only going to get worse as more and more money comes into the economy. It's a t least a year or a year or two to get help at the provincial treatment centre......so that's a year or more or stealing or prostitution or working for a drug pusher or a loan shark to get the drugs. The addict CAN NOT STOP .....it's not up to them....its a disease. We spend MILLIONS and MILLIONs on dealing with the crime and the damage and the suffereing...we could spend a tiny fraction on treatment and stop all of that. I don't even smoke but I know people who have lost their homes, jobs and their lives because they could not get help for addictions to alcohol, or drugs or gambling. I know one young man who committed a crime that he KNEW would get him a federal prison sentence just so he could get help for his oxy addiction while in prison.

    • TR
      May 07, 2012 - 08:41

      Wayne the addict can stop, if he/she really wants to. I smoked 40 years and gave up. It's not comparable to drugs but it was a habit that was part of my life and hurting me. If the addict really wants to give it up, he can. It is not easy but can be done. Look around, people have done it. They may have to hit bottom but it can be done. Sadly they expect the rest of us to pay for their treatment.

  • Jennifer
    May 07, 2012 - 06:59

    Why is it everyone else's fault when people like this are stupid enough to get themselves into the trouble?? Send him to rehab, and within 6 months he would be addicted again.....I don't want to waste my hard earned tax money on this. If you want your son to go to rehab, pay for it yourself, and don't depend on tax payers money. It could be used for better things like fixing the roads!

    • Appaled
      May 07, 2012 - 08:27

      I cannot beleive that you would compare the importance of a persons life to the task of getting a road fixed.. Regardless of what path a person has chosed in this life, they deserve help. Who cares who is paying for it? I would rather see my hard earned tax dollars helping another individual than to see them wasted on something so trivial as a road. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you eat? All of these habits usually end up with a person seeking health services. If you are an idiot and do not know how to drive and get in an accident, do you call that a waste of taxpayers money to send an ambulance and police out to help you? Methadone might not work for everyone, but at least they are willing to try. If you look ahead to the end result without information it is always going to be a fail. But, one more person on methadone is one less person getting drugs off the street that are cut with only God knows what and it is a win. I hope this man gets the help HE DESERVES!!!

    • Carol Ann
      May 07, 2012 - 08:38

      Fixing roads vs fixing people. Interesting.

    • Freddy
      May 07, 2012 - 10:29

      Fixing the roads is better then saving a life?People who think fixing the roads has priority over saving lives clearly are not educated enough to even comment on issues as such as this one. Addicts this far gone cant help themselves, especally when you just loose your sister. That stress and guilt stricken life is harmful enough after being present at a death, now this family and their son have to deal with a mirror image of what just happend to their daughter and sister. Addiction IS a disease and NEEDS treatment.Smokers.... your addicted, how hard is it to stop? Think about that craving, now multiply that by 150 and tell me how will power can compete with that "need".Nicotien, a very addictive drug, causes many diseases and health issues, yet its leagalized and people contuine to smoke. And when they develope canser or other smoking related heath problems they get treatment.They used drugs then they got treatment. My bottom line is that people are people,so if you could pull an addict from the path of an on comming car or fill the pot hole in front of your driveway with asphalt, what would you do? These addicts need to be willingly removed from society and put in facilities that protect them from them selves.If this means confined for an extended peroid of time then it means that every second they are confined, is their second chance.

  • jaydee
    May 07, 2012 - 06:56

    So sad. This family needs help before they have to bury a second child. come on government........help these people. Get off your rear ends and stop burying your heads in the sand. The problems aren't going to go away. You need to put money into the drug rehab programs.

    • Elizabeth
      May 07, 2012 - 08:56

      I totally agree with the comment from Jaydee..the goverement is always pumping money into Arts programs, extra money for Social Services programs etc and here we are with a young woman dead?? Because there are no beds????Because she was given numerous prescriptions and no real follow up???? Makes me sick to think how the goverment is run.. RIP condolonces to the families affected.,

  • Erin
    May 07, 2012 - 06:39

    But she was getting help she signed herself out of detox so what do you want medical professionals to do chain her to the bed to get help? It was HER decisssion to leave. And we all have hard choices in life but we choose not to get into drugs and alcohol. I'm sorry but she and her brother made their choices now we have to pay for their mistakes? That doesn't seem right.

    • Lori
      May 11, 2012 - 20:36

      Some people are bloody idiots or just plain stupid!!! this young women was a human being and a mother who had a addiction she couldnt get control of and tryed several times but for you guys to get on and say your hard tax dollars are being WASTED on these people makes me sick to my stomach! YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC AND NEED TO GROW UP OUT OF IT AND MAYBE ONE DAY U WILL SEE WHAT AN ADDICTION IS ALL ABOUT!! IDIOTS