Uniontown family breaks the barriers of heroin addiction

Uniontown family breaks the barriers of heroin addiction

UNIONTOWN, OH (WOIO) - Travis Bornstein says he has one regret about watching his 23-year-old son Tyler fight against his heroin addiction.

"I didn't talk about it outside our home, I didn't share it with any of our friends, because I was embarrassed," said Bornstein.

After an arm injury, Tyler became addicted to opiates, then heroin. It was a struggle that affected his family for six years until September 2014 when Tyler died from an overdose.

"The person he was with, instead of calling 911, took him to a vacant lot and dumped him," said Bornstein.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, more than 2,000 people died from an unintentional drug overdose in 2014.

Now almost two years after Tyler's death, the Bornsteins have created a non-profit called Breaking Barriers: Hope is Alive.

They say they want to help addicts get treatment in the vulnerable window after they detox.

"They can get these people in detox for three to five days but the problem is if they can't get them into an inpatient rehab for 20 days or so, they have no where to send them. So these people end up back in the street or back in the same problem," aid Bornstein.

It's the same trap their own son fell into, when he died while he was on a three-week waiting list to get into a recovery center.

On August 21, the non-profit will hold its first fundraiser, a golf event, in memory of the sport Tyler loved. They hope to one day raise enough money to build a recovery center in his honor.

"Right now, it looks like it's going to be an interim facility that would house people between detox and getting into rehab," said Bornstein's wife, Shelly.

Now, the father who once hesitated to speak out about heroin says nothing will stop him and and his wife from educating others.

"Now we have no choice (but) to talk about it and we're going to fight like hell for these families," said Bornstein.

Follow Cleveland 19 News:  

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.