A woman has shared a heartbreaking story about the scourge of heroin addiction which claimed the life of her father.
The unnamed woman shared her story with The Addict’s Diary, which in turn posted it to Facebook alongside photos of the woman and her dad.
The woman wrote her dad died four months ago.
“He was addicted to heroin off and on for eight years, but hid it from me until the last few months. He taught me everything I know and was my best friend,” she wrote.
Her dad overdosed three times and was revived before he died.
“He was brought back but lack of oxygen caused him to be ultimately brain dead,” she wrote.
“However, throughout his struggle of addiction he still found a way to wake up at 4.30am and workout everyday before work.
“He taught me perseverance and strength. He may have died from addiction but he put up one hell of a fight.”
She wrote he “did the best he could” and relapsed after three weeks of being sober.
She never thought he could stay clean for a week.
“Addiction is a silent killer and we need more awareness brought to the public’s attention,” she wrote.
“I miss my dad everyday, but since his death it is my personal mission to spread awareness and keep on swimming.
"He would tell me to never give up and that resilience is very important. Addiction will never define him or any person, after all it is a deadly sickness.”
One photo shows the woman and her dad laughing and smiling together. The other shows the dad being intubated.
'A different face to addiction'
The woman’s story left many readers heartbroken.
“Thanks for giving a different face to addiction,” one woman wrote.
“Your dad seemed like a beautiful, kind man. I hope he is resting in peace.”
Another added the woman’s story is an example of how drug addiction “is more common” than most people realise.
“People have this incorrect preconceived notion that all addicts fit this obvious stereotype,” she wrote.
“Addicts are your teachers, your school bus drivers, your managers, your parents, your friends.”
Heroin deaths in Australia
While the woman’s story is devastating she is not alone.
Heroin accounted for 25 per cent of Australia’s 1740 drug-induced deaths in 2018, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
A report by the institute found there were suggestions Australia’s heroin market “is now highly stable” after a reduction of its availability in the early 2000s.
“The number of heroin detections at the Australian border has fluctuated over the past decade, with the long-term trend remaining relatively stable,” the report reads.
“The number of heroin detections at the Australian border has decreased 26 per cent over the last decade, from 250 in 2009–10 to 184 in 2018–19.
“However, the weight of heroin detected has increased 141 per cent over the same period, from 117.5 kilograms in 2009–10 to 283.4 kilograms in 2018–19. There has also been an increase in both the number and weight of national heroin seizures over the past decade.”
The report found the increase in heroin-related deaths in Australia follows international trends.
Deaths in Australia increased from 392 in 2017 to 438 in 2018.
From 2011 to 2018, the number of deaths from heroin almost doubled.
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