BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One woman’s son went to rehab seven times in five years before he overdosed and died. Now she’s working to save the lives of others.
“I remember just hearing screaming and at first I couldn’t focus on who it was,” Gina DeMaria said. “And then I heard it was me.”
DeMaria told WJZ’s Denise Koch that her son, Anthony, was a good kid and a state champion motocross rider. But when he broke his femur in an accident, doctors prescribed Oxycoton and Percocet for the pain. He then became addicted.
Needing to feed his addiction, he later told his mother that opioid pills were too expensive.
“Someone had introduced him then to a $10 baggy and it did the exact same thing,” DeMaria said.
His last rehab five years ago was going well.
“I believe he met up with some people and they had heroin and he used that one last time,” DeMaria said. “It takes everything from you and then it takes your life.”
[Reporter: I would imagine that the hardest thing is wondering what your son might have become.]
“I miss him. I miss him terribly,” DeMaria said.
DeMaria has turned her heartbreak into action, working up to 90 hours a week to save the lives of addicts. She hands out Narcan and test strips for deadly Fentanyl.
“Right now, it is so out of control that we’ve got to try to keep them alive. It’s that basic,” DeMaria said. “If we keep them alive there’s a hope for recovery. If they’re dead, there’s no hope for recovery.”