News 12 Special Report: 'Hooked on Heroin'

The use of heroin has risen over the past few years in the Hudson Valley. In part one of News 12's special report "Hooked on

News 12's Tara Rosenblum spoke to Port Jervis parents who lost children to heroin.

News 12's Tara Rosenblum spoke to Port Jervis parents who lost children to heroin. (3/11/14)

PORT JERVIS - The use of heroin has risen over the past few years in the Hudson Valley. In part one of News 12's special report "Hooked on Heroin," Tara Rosenblum speaks with parents who have lost children to the drug.

After Renee Hustins lost her son Benjamin to an overdose three months ago when he was 23, she met other parents who have lost children to heroin. The parents now all rely on each other for support.

The parents Rosenblum spoke to all say they never would have expected their children to become addicted to heroin. Some of them also shared their regret for not intervening sooner.

Jackie Vidal, whose son Rickie died of an overdose five years ago at age 18, says she only learned her son was doing drugs when he started stealing things around the house. Vidal says her son stole all of their TVs, along with jewelry that belonged to her and her four daughters.

"My own son did that, you never expect it," says Vidal. "This drug is evil."

Many of their children were initially addicted to prescription drugs, with one father saying his son's own psychiatrist was his dealer. They turned to heroin after prescription drugs became too expensive, as heroin typically costs $10 a deck.

Peter Lazier lost his son, Ryan, last October. Ryan Lazier became the sixth heroin-related casualty in two years in Port Jervis. Lazier says he sent his son to rehab 20 times, but he wasn't able to overcome his addiction. Lazier and the other parents say they're all speaking out to educate others.

"I want every parent in this county to know how widespread this is," says Kim Ricciardi, whose son James died at age 27 of a heroin overdose in 2012. "These are our children, they were brought up in good families, and they are using heroin."

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: Ossining chase leads to crash, manhunt for 1 VIDEO: Ossining chase leads to crash, manhunt for suspect
Police say the chase ended when the suspect 2 Manhunt underway in Ossining after high speed chase
VIDEO: 4 charged with selling heroin in Newburgh 3 VIDEO: 4 charged with selling heroin in Newburgh
Kristina's Korner tracks the 4 Trending: 'Mick Jagger Baby' and 'Celebrity Apprentice'
They say Ken Smith, who was sick all 5 Mount Vernon police search for missing NYC corrections officer

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

A recovering addict from New Rochelle says a News 12 Special Report: 'Hooked on Heroin' Part 2

In the second part of News 12's special report "Hooked on Heroin," a recovering heroin

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE