Woman wants to raise awareness to drug-related deaths

Local News

ERIE, Pa. — One local woman who knows what Michelle Howland’s family is going through during this hard time wants to lend a hand in the grieving process.

Sue Johnson lost her son to a drug overdose about two years ago.

Johnson says her understanding is Howland battled addiction for awhile and now wants to help the family as well as the stigma around addiction.

Johnson lost her 22-year-old son, Ryan, to a heroin overdose two years ago.

After hearing the news about Howland’s body being discovered in a shed in Millcreek and possibly being a drug-related death, she wants to help.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook says so far in 2017, there have been 37 drug-related deaths.

Making this year on pace to surpass the 95 drug deaths in 2016.

Johnson says she thinks people know about the addiction epidemic, but now it’s an issue of what can be done about.

Johnson says there needs to be more resources and places for people in this area who are battling addiction and for the families of those to go.

She says the limited detox centers Erie does have are great, but there’s just not enough – especially with the number of overdoses and drug-related calls that come in.

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