As many parents know, substance abuse has been on the rise across the country—and, it’s not just alcohol. Recently, across the U.S., the opioid crisis has been rising as young teens obtain access to pills and painkillers, becoming addicted. This kind of drug use can be a gateway to much stronger, more powerful drugs. And, as many know, drugs are being laced with strong substances today—like fentanyl—causing even more deaths. One mother decided to speak out and share her powerful story and message after losing her 19-year-old son, Giancarlo, to an overdose.
Amanda Poole Krueger, Giancarlo’s mother, spoke with Frank Somerville, a journalist and evening news anchor for KTVU in Oakland, California. Somerville shared the story of Krueger and her son, along with some photos on Facebook. The message is all too real for parents of children who suffer substance abuse problems.
This is Giancarlo.
He was 19 years old.
He died last Sunday in his apartment from a heroin overdose.
Giancarlo’s mother Amanda Poole Krueger wanted me to share his story.
She doesn’t want to sugarcoat what happened.
She wants people to know the ugly truth of drug addiction.
The ugly truth about heroin.
The ugly truth that it can happen to anyone.
Heroin doesn’t care if you’re young or old.
If you’re rich or poor.
If you’re black or white.
Heroin doesn’t care.
Kids are DYING and people are too afraid to be honest even in obituaries because of the social stigma.
How can I go on Craigslist right now and search for black roofing tar and find heroin for sale?
And clear sealant?
That means meth.
How do I know this and the police don’t?
Why isn’t this a weekly segment on the news?
My son had been clean for 10 months and working for the County of Marin.
He had his own apartment.
We found out he was using on July 24 2017.
We sent him to a rehab that cost $45,000 for 45 days.
Then we sent him to intensive out patient rehab for another 3 months and then a sober living house in Mill Valley for a year.
He relapsed and died alone in his bed.
He was the most gentle soul.
He had a 6 year-old brother Clyde.
He promised to wake up on Christmas Eve so they could look for Santa together.
He was my best friend.
The last thing he’s said to me was:
“I’m ok mom I love you too.”
That was at 10:20 on Saturday Night.
He always answered my calls.
But on Sunday morning he didn’t.
And I just knew.
The only way I can explain this pain is that every cell in my body that created my son is on fire yearning to hold him again.
It’s a physical pain I feel only a mother would know.
It’s in my bone marrow.
Just a deep yearning to touch him and hold him.
My husband took Giancarlo’s brother Clyde out for a drive to tell him what happened.
He told Clyde:
“I know you see a lot of family coming over and you probably don’t know why.”
“No I don’t dad”
“Giancarlo had an invisible disease that made him sad and he took medicine that the doctor did not give him and it made him very sick and he died and went to heaven.”
I wasn’t there but my husband said that my son gave a gut wrenching scream that didn’t sound like it could come from a six year old.
He then brought him home through the back door and he laid in bed with me and covered his face with a blanket and fell asleep.
Giancarlo will be buried on January 7th.
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
I’m learning now that it also takes a village to bury a child.
I don’t know what the solution is but we have to open the conversation in a big way.
Please use my son’s story.
Please help me warn parents that this is out there.
Even in Napa.
Please help me help other families.
Please, please, please.
It’s all I can do now
Krueger also spoke out on Facebook over the death of her son.
I’ve gotten so many text messages and phone calls today I can’t respond right now. so It is with a heavy heavy heart…
It’s hard for any parent to lose their child, but it’s even harder when you feel as though you’ve tried everything in your power to help them lead a better life.
Many on Facebook reached out with condolences and support.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Amanda during this horrible time—and, with all parents who struggle with children who struggle with addiction. It truly does take a village.