Lives torn by addiction as drug overdose problem outpaces resources

December 2, 2013
by Justin L. Mack
Journal and Courier (Indianapolis, Indiana)

It’s been nearly three years since Daniel Knowles, 28, died of a heroin overdose.

In the wake of her son’s death, Terri Knowles set out to educate others about the dangers of substance abuse. She has delivered her message to hundreds of students at Ivy Tech Community College and at Lafayette-area high schools.

When she talks to students, she shares mementos of his life.

“I still have the little hat he came from the hospital in, so I show it and tell the kids that this is what we brought our son home from the hospital in. And the clothes they cut off of him when he died — I hold them up and say this is what we have left of him.”

In his passing, Daniel Knowles joined thousands of Americans lost annually to drug overdose. The number has been steadily increasing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the country, with 105 people dying that way daily. The overdose death rate doubled from 1999 to 2010.

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