COLD SPRING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds turned out for a memorial service for the latest victim in what has become a grim routine for many middle-class communities.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, heroin continues to claim lives in the New York suburbs.
Bagpipes played to an overflow crowd of mourners in Cold Spring, Putnam County.
Hugs were exchanged and tears flowed for a casualty in what everyone agrees is a Hudson Valley epidemic; cheap, easily available heroin.
“It’s the second wake I’ve been to for a young person who died of a heroin overdose,” Pamela Claire said.
Logan Flood first began struggling with the beast when he was 16. He was in-and-out of rehab, and was enrolled at Westchester Community College when he relapsed for a final time last week at the age of 22.
“He was clean for over a year and he was very excited with his sobriety and he found God, but we’ve lost four young people to heroin overdoses in the last year,” Pam Hustis said.
“It’s too much. This one is too much,” Molly Straus added.
Mourners said it’s not just about the loss of a promising, young life. It’s about the numbing repetition of the routine of grief. Another heroin death among too many.
“It’s touching us personally you know? These are real human beings. These are not just drug dealers’ customers. These are kids. He was 22 years old,” Eddie Denise said.
It seems everyone there on Wednesday, knew multiple overdose victims.
“Next door neighbor, and now Logan, and two ‘almosts’ with good friends of mine,” Pat Farrell said.
The use of Narcan by first responders is cutting the number of overdose fatalities, but people are still dying at an alarming rate.
“It’s so much more common than anyone can believe. Logan pointed out all of his peers from high school. He said, ‘mom every kid in this room I went to high school with is a heroin user,'” Logan’s mother Kathleen Pemble said.
That was six weeks before his death, There was a time, not too long ago, when residents of the small town thought hard drugs were someone else’s problem.