CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- A couple of weeks ago, Chris Adamczyk could tell something was wrong with her son, Daniel, who had been battling addiction for years. Her worst fears came true when Danny was found unconscious in the bathroom, the victim of another deadly overdose.
"I looked at him on the floor, and I knew he wasn't coming back," Chris said. "And it breaks my heart because he was such a good kid. He always wanted to help people. I just wish he had enough power to help himself this time."
Danny was working as an EMT back in 2010 when he was in accident. He was prescribed painkillers, and as is so often the case, that's how he eventually got addicted to heroin.
Through all these years, the family never kicked him out of the house, and they were always by his side. Over the past year, he was showing dramatic improvement.
"I said this family will stand on the sidelines and cheer you on," Chris said. "And he did great."
Danny completed drug court in Clarence earlier this year. But the night of March 29, Chris believes Danny went out and bought heroin, which turned out to be the extremely deadly batch that claimed 7 lives in a 24-hour period. That prompted county leaders to issue a public health warning.
"They know it's bad," said Danny's father, Lonnie Adamczyk. "(Yet) they're still willing to take the risk because the addiction's got such a hold over them."
Chris, a Cheektowaga Town Council member, said she will continue to fight for more treatment facilities plus state and federal funding to fight addiction. She hopes by her family telling their story, it will help others.
"People need to know," Chris said. "It's real out there."
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