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Heroin epidemic: Groups offer scholarships to recovering addicts

6:43 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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The death of "Glee" star, Cory Monteith, is shining a light on the deadly addiction of heroin. A coroner ruled his death was caused by mixing heroin and alcohol.

The problems of heroin are all too familiar here in Northeast Ohio.

"Robby was just one fantastic kid who was so full of life, so full of the devil," says Bob Bryant, Operating Vice President of "Robby's Voice".

Bryant says his grandson's sense of humor is what made Robby unforgettable.

"But unfortunately, he also had the addictive personality, which ultimately cost him his life."

Robby became addicted to pain killers after he got his wisdom teeth out and that quickly lead to a heroin addiction.

"He did go through a 90 day rehab process with a lot of family support. He was sober for 90 days," says Bryant, "We don't know what triggered his reuse."

Well over 50% of heroin users relapse. Robby was one of them. After his death, his family found a written plan in his room on how to help other young addicts to kick the habit. That's when they created Robby's Voice, a non profit dedicated to the awareness and education of substance abuse.

"Break the silence of addiction. Because so many people are afraid to talk about it, and embarrassed to talk about it," says Bob Bryant.

The organization has reached as far as England and Afghanistan, to people who are also touched by addiction with similar stories. Stories like the one out of Hollywood, where Cory Monteith admittedly battled with addiction, sought out rehab, and unfortunately relapsed.

This high profile death comes at a time when Robby's Voice decided to help addicts in Northeast Ohio bridge that gap between addiction and sobriety.

It is now teamed up with the MAP program: A recovery support center. The two will now offer two scholarships a month to one male and one female recovering addict for 12 months of clinical management. A professional monitors therapy attendance, meeting attendance, behavior and family activity.

Bob Bryant hopes it's another chance at life for someone like his grandson.

"You hope it gets through to them, but there's no guarantees."

To get more information and an application for the scholarship, click on this link to the Robby's Voice website.

WKYC-TV

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