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Community rallies to stop heroin epidemic in St. Charles

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(KTVI) - They lost their loved one to heroin in January of 2013. Nicky Vigna was 20. Her family started a very visible effort to stop anyone else from losing a life.

They walk twice a week in their St. Peters neighborhood with fluorescent colored shirts stamped with the words, 'STOP HEROIN.'

The walk came to Lindenwood University Thursday. One of Nicky`s childhood friends extended the invitation.

'It was just weighing on my heart with a lot of people I know who are losing friends and family,' said Casey Christensen.

Nicky`s sister spoke to the group about her sister`s overdose.

'People think the person using heroin is just like a junkie under the bridge, they`re just somebody that you would never ever see,' said Brittney Vigna. 'In reality, it`s people that you know. '

The walks have been a source of inspiration for former addict Kyle Baxter to stay clean.

'It`s something that I have hope for every single week,' Baxter said.

He said heroin is available just about anywhere.

'If you want to use, you`re going to find it,' said Baxter.

Danielle Rancilio agrees. She lost her brother Tony to heroin.

'It`s in everyone`s neighborhood and it`s just so dangerous,' said Rancilio.

The mother of Nicky Vigna wants parents to know just how cheap and accessible heroin is.

'The average cost of heroin is $5 a button,' said Gee Vigna. 'That`s what they can buy heroin with, and one button of heroin can kill them.'

Experts say heroin can also kill the ability of users to say know. They say a user can get hooked after just one use.

More info: www.stopheroin.org

4 comments

  • Joe

    By all means let’s stop these horrible occurrences. But you needn’t lie, ever, in order to get a message across. Yes, a bean/button costs between $5 & $10 on average. Yes, a ‘hot shot’ can kill and its nearly impossible to know how strong that dope is. But people DO NOT & CANNOT get physically addicted “after just one use”. It’s biochemically impossible for that to occur. Psychologically addicted after a single use? Sure, that is very possible. However, there you are dealing with a psychological issue not a drug addiction issue. if they are looking for a psychological escape so badly that they embrace opiates after the first time, something was going to get them at some point… be it scratch tickets, alcohol, cheese burgers ect. Address the issues that lead to needing that escape in the first pace and you will find that the addiction issues will decrease dramatically. When you drop in a lie or two for emotive effect you are only encouraging your audience to dismiss everything you’ve put forward as your ‘case’ the instant they determine you’ve lied to them… including the real, actual facts. At which point you, the snake oil salesman, become just as complicit in the millions of addicted and dead.

    All that being said, the best thing people can do is to learn about the nature of opioids, how they interact within the body and that the brain in no way distinguishes between a Tylenol w codeine and a needle loaded with dope. If you have someone who is addicted to any form of pain pill you have full blown junkie on your hands. Just like those seen in Trainspotting… just take their pills away and try to keep them from finding a way to not be sick any longer! The vast majority will, if available, turn to heroin. It takes the sick away… why? Because it is the very same chemical once the body processes it.

    If you haven’t learned that lying to children about drugs (ie; marijuana) only forces them to dismiss you as entirely uniformed and ignorant it only stands to reason that you will never learn and need to begin to embrace the fact that you are going to have lines around the block at dope houses and dead bodies piled up at the morgue… with only your unwillingness to deal with the problem appropriately to blame.

  • sundragon79@gmail.com

    Thanks for walking and causing a distraction for drivers by waving your arms and what not to get attention. You caused traffic to come to a dead stop on Bryan Road by a seemingly never ending parade of people, and I got rear ended.

    • Joe

      I know right! Last week there were these two little girls who had set up a lemonade stand right in their from yard to raise money for one of their 2nd grade friends who had brain cancer or some such nonsense… the next thing I know one of those little heathens spilled lemonade right on my car!! My lawyer says if we get the right judge I could end up with their bikes, club house, barbies AND 100% of the profits from their illegal refreshment stand. Also, I’ve got a friend who works for the health department and he is going to fine them for operating without a license and really teach those little brats a serious lesson. One way or another they will learn to be more considerate of others!

      You should have taken K then, idiot! Hope you feel better having come on here and boo-hoo’d about your rear bumper cover.

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