A news report on the opioid crisis has reunited the parents of two different addicts with their missing children.
When Julie Chandler and Paul DiGiacomo saw CNN reporter Gary Tuchman interviewing a man and woman addicted to opioids, they found out that their daughter Meghan was still alive.
30-year-old Meghan DiGiacomo was reunited with her parents after the latter saw their daughter on a CNN news report. Meghan's father, Paul DiGiacomo, vowed to live beside his daughter on the street until she agreed to enter a drug treatment program.
“I’m never giving up on Meghan. She won’t die. She can’t,” Julie Chandler said in a statement.
DiGiacomo had fancied getting sober and starting a family with her boyfriend, also a heroin addict. They had both overdosed, but she's the only one who had survived.
On the other hand, 31-year-old Billy Donovan was living on the streets of Boston, battling heroin addiction.
“I know I’m going to die from it,” Donovan told Gary Tuchman.
Donovan stated that he started with prescription drugs as a teen and then got addicted to heroin, a more affordable alternative to opioids like oxycontin.
Donovan's friends found him after seeing the report and informed his mother, Kristina Barboza, where he was.
“If my son were to die, I just don’t know how I would go on,” Barboza said in a follow-up story.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that opioid addiction takes a $78.5 billion toll on the U.S. economy each year because of the cost of “healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.”
The predicament is getting dire, with synthetic opioids like fentanyl, 100 times more potent than heroin, hitting the market. Police in Arkansas recently notified the public that they could overdose just by touching the handle of a shopping cart that had fentanyl residue on it.