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Heroin more than just a debate for addicts' families

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Roseanne Christen's son James died of heroin last year. Lisa Hutson/FOX19 Roseanne Christen's son James died of heroin last year. Lisa Hutson/FOX19
(FOX19) -

While politicians debate the best way to tackle the heroin crisis, family members of addicts are fighting it every day.

Roseanne Christen knows the power of heroin's grip. One year ago Sunday, it took her son 23-year-old son James.

"I helped turn him in to get him assistance, to get him help and it never made it to the judge so he died in the jail from heroin, codeine and morphine overdose," says Christen. "I didn't know this was going on in Ohio. I thought it was just him and random kids who had this problem until I got on Facebook and I mean bam! It's just all over."

That is when Christen started her own Facebook page, Heroin Recovery 4 You. She made it her mission to help addicts on the street after hearing the same story over and over.

"Oh I want to get off of it but I can't afford it. If you go to the clinic, you have to have $40 each time. If I've got $40, I'm just going to go do the drug and sleep on the street. I'm just going to panhandle. There is no free places for them to go," says Christen.

Christen has fought for help for addicts through the Ohio Attorney General's Office but believes the real help starts with people like herself. She says she is embarrassed with how far behind Ohio is when it comes to fighting heroin. She doesn't care who is in the AG's office as long as they getting something done.

"I've talked with them so much. I've sent so many emails. I'm just sick and tired of dealing with them and if we can't get the help of the attorney general's office, we have to start speaking for these kids ourselves and start helping them," says Christen.

In memory of her son James, Christen and several others Sunday are hosting the Spring Fling Block Party at 4 p.m. at 2621 Victory Parkway in Walnut Hills. They plan to give away clothes, food and toys for children. If you would like to donate, you can email her at roseannb26@gmail.com.

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