Truth Thursday - Heroin Takes All

I'm honored to get to share a guest post with you from a beautiful soul that I worked with years ago. The story she shares is important. Read her words carefully. They might just come in handy one day.

Watching the news at night scares me. I fear for my own sugarpies as they grow up in this world we all live within now. Both Hamilton County and Hancock County have been in the news of late in regards to heroin issues in the community and growing cases of overdoses. Too close to home. I hate it. It doesn't have to be this way. It takes a village peeps. Be watchful. Hold your sweet ones close. Make time for them. Be present in their lives. Know who they are hanging with. Be a caring parent. Love them until it hurts.

It can happen to anyone...anyone. The picture of an addict may not be what you picture in your head at all. It may be your very own child, their friends or someone else close in your life. Love them. Help them. Reach out to them. 

Surrounded by love is a good place to be.

Okay enough from me... here's Toni with Marisa's story


My name is Toni McGraw. I am here to tell you about my daughter Marisa.

Picture a gorgeous 100 pound girl. Long blonde hair, blue eyes. Even more beauty on the inside than out. This beautiful girl started using drugs at the young age 14. She started by taking prescription painkillers. She got those pills out of our cabinets at home. She went on to marijuana, drinking, meth and I’m not sure what else. Eventually, it was Heroin took her life. She was only 20 years old.

At first, I just thought she was rebelling, experimenting, acting out. I thought, “She’ll grow out it”. Then it got worse. Drugs consumed her. Drugs controlled her. Drugs took her future. Drugs took her from me, her brother, her family and friends.

Marisa was not a bad person and she was not weak at all. She was the opposite. She was caring, smart, strong, and independent. She would light up a room when she walked in. She was the first to lend an ear with NO judgment at all. She would encourage, motivate, inspire, push people to be their best and follow their dreams.

But Marisa started hanging around with the wrong kids, doing the wrong things. I don’t think she would have ever guessed that she would become addicted to drugs. Life is not easy. She would use drugs to ease her mental pain. Marisa would feel alone and sad. At times she felt she had nowhere to go. No one to turn to. If you knew her, she was very likable and had a lot of people that loved and supported her, no matter what. She has a huge family, lots of friends and she was VERY loved. It was easy to love her. If you feel you have no one – I am sure that is not the case.

People do care. People will and want to help.

Marisa wanted to stop using drugs and drinking. She wanted to live a normal life. She had big plans. I had no doubt she would overcome her addiction and reach out to talk to and help others. Unfortunately, that day never came, but I owe it to her to carry her message.

I’m not an addict. I can’t tell you what it’s like to struggle with an addiction. But I have loved an addict. I have went through that roller coaster ride of ups / downs, counseling, rehab, meetings, jail with an addict. And I have buried an addict. I can tell you about that pain, the loss, and the emptiness I feel every day. There is a hole in my heart that will never be filled. I don’t want that to be any of you. I don’t want that to be any of your loved ones.

Talk. If you are a teenager, talk to your friends. Make good decisions. Surround yourself with good people.

Reach Out. If you are or know someone using drugs or drinking alcohol – ask for help, guidance from friends and adults. If you are an addict, reach out for help, for someone to talk to.

Support Each Other. We need more compassion and less judgment.

Here are my daughters favorite phrases.… 

Take it one day at a time. 

There is hope. 

Never Give Up 


You are worth it all! 




  1. My daughter was on heroin I detoxed her!! Her friend that was living with her and doing it as well overdosed Tuesday! She was nineteen years old!

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss Sheryl. Thanks for sharing. Such an important topic that communities need to discuss.

  3. I am very sorry for your loss. We have to find a way to overcome this hideous drug!

  4. My heart goes out to you and your family and all who suffer......
    Thank God for his comforter (holy spirit)
    Love and {{{hugs}}}

  5. I know that hole you have in your heart. I loses my child's mother to herion. I know I have to stay strong and carry on but its so hard I couldn't imagine my daughter not having a mom.

  6. I know that hole you have in your heart. I loses my child's mother to herion. I know I have to stay strong and carry on but its so hard I couldn't imagine my daughter not having a mom.


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