Caroline Kacena is still reeling from the death of her only son, John Kacena, who died recently following a battle with heroin addiction. Yet, all she can think about is preventing a similar tragedy from happening to another mother, another son, another family.
Twenty year old John Kacena battled with heroin addiction for approximately a year before his recent untimely death. Helping other families deal with the pain of heroin addiction seems to be an anecdote that is helping Kacena deal with the pain of losing her only son.
Kacena, herself, is voluntarily opening the door of her closet of “shame” and “loneliness” to help other families who might have other concerns. Throughout much of her son’s harrowing heroin addiction, she suffered silently, never reaching out for fear that her family would be judged or that perhaps out of fear that there were no other families suffering similarly.
Kacena says her former reasoning regarding addiction was archaic and misplaced, as it was cloaked in morality and judgment.
In fact, she now compares heroin addiction to cancer……….. In many ways it is a true and accurate observation. An addict is an individual with an ailment, who is sick and suffering, a victim of his symptoms, more or less. Therefore, why should he or his loved ones be ashamed?! They have done nothing wrong.
Kacena’s son died of an overdose in their Naperville home on July 23. Kacena and paramedics tried to administer CPR but were unable to resuscitate the 20 year old youth.
In December 2011 Kacena and the rest of her family and even John’s friends learned of his drug problems when he was suddenly arrested and later charged for possessing a controlled substance.
Kacena laments that following her son’s arrest he attempted to clean himself up and made an attempt at quitting heroin, as he attended local twelve step meetings [Narcotics Anonymous].
Together, mother and son, tried to understand the disease that ultimately took John’s life. In the end, it was too late for John. But, Kacena’s wants readers to know to it is not too late for their children who are struggling with addiction, as it is a disease that must be understood and battled, not lost in fear, shame and loneliness.
If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, please contact us.
Original article www.dailyherald.com