Shari Heiser, Spruce Grove, AB
We lost my brother Clayton age 44 to a crack addiction that he started at age 29. It started with occasional use of cocaine while working in the bar industry. He went on to the typical life. He worked with special needs children and adults in group homes. Had many friends. Bought his first home. Paid for my sister's wedding and hosted it at his home. Things were great. He fell in love and was introduced to crack. It took over his life. He lost his job, home, friends and isolated himself into the addict circles. From there he became desperate. Committed several felonies to support his addiction. After completing his sentence Clayton moved to SK to join my family and to carry on with life. Clayton stayed clean for eight years. In those eight years he swam upstream trying to stay employed and busy. He was very generous and would spoil everyone in his life. Mostly because his "brain was trying to kill him" in his words. AKA addiction would creep into his brain when he had money in his pocket. Our economy took a nose dive and depression set in. He had met someone who was unattainable, yet was close to him. This person also is an addict. I believe this person to be the link to my brothers last moments.
On the morning of October 21, 2015 Clayton left my Mother's house in a light jacket, shorts and sandals, cigarettes, phone and truck. Saying I'll be right back. What we didn't know, is it was his friends birthday. He never returned. We filed a police report. It was not taken seriously for a month. Due to his past. We were told this is common for addicts. Even though he was a productive member of society and we told them this was not common and we actually were waiting on cancer test results for our sister that day. Someone he was actively caring for. I had to fight tooth and nail to get a media release a month later. Media won't touch you unless the police release one. We searched everywhere for those eight months. On June 2, 2016 my Clayton was found deceased in his truck. Six blocks from my Mothers house. His autopsy result said he died of a cardiac embolism to the right ventricular artery. He was found to have paraphernalia in his possession. Sadly, this is only a small part of our journey. We are awaiting his toxicology report. We believe there is far more to this. Families all suffer with addiction. It's a crisis that needs more than what is offered.
Brother Clayton died on June 2, 2016, age 44, after many years of substance use.