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Heartbreaking obituary becomes family’s warning against heroin

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CINCINNATI, Ohio- A Cincinnati family is dealing with heroin in a way they could never  have imagined.

Their son, 26-year old Alex Hesse, overdosed on heroin last week.

Penny Hesse told WLWT News her son was smart,  had  big dreams and was a  natural athlete.

Sadly, all that changed by a force his parents describe as evil.  “It was a demon.  It was heroin and it took over his life,” said his mother.

The family,  who is now  preparing Alex’s funeral,  is not keeping quiet about the way he died.

Alex’s father, Rick told WLWT,  “It doesn’t take more than one time with heroin. One time you take it and you’re hooked.”

Alex’s family took an unusual approach of mentioning his addiction as part of the 26-year-old’s  obituary in their local newspaper.

The obituary read in part, “Drugs took ahold of his life, changed him and destroyed his future.’

Reporter Brian Hamrick has their story in the video above.

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  • IP: 174.34.753

    Yup, you better believe he had no ‘demons’ before this big bad heroin came along, holding him at gunpoint until he got hooked. Whatever let’s those parents sleep at night… Since heroin has been around forever, (and legal the vast majority of that time), yet the world still stands; maybe, just maybe it has to do with the system of how this child was raised.

  • Kenneth Briggs

    so when did the bright boy started to use heroin ? and what is this good feeling that they claim . oh well he wanted thatgood feeling that he got so he did not try to really get off of it . you can get off but it is hard .

  • Susan

    you did this story but recently my childs father died from a heroin overdose at 26 and his mother too left a message in his obituary in the everett herald a local paper in Washington.

    Joel Heinzen, 26, of Gold Bar/Sultan, passed away abruptly on Friday, August 8, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. of a heroin overdose. He struggled with heroin for the last two years. He was looking forward to returning to school for precision auto mechanics; but he made a big mistake on Friday and his sweet, tender-loving heart could not take it. We will always remember Joel’s happy, go-lucky, laid back, fun-loving laughter. Joel leaves behind too many heartbroken family members to list – except for the biggest love of his life, Kailie, his daughter. A good-bye service will be held Sun., August 24th at 2 p.m. at Mill Creek Country Club. As Joel’s mother, my message to anyone on heroin: “STOP, you are not invincible either. Help his death to save your life.”
    Published in The Herald (Everett) from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17, 2014
    – See more at:

    • dave

      I am sorry for you loss there are too many young white people addicted to heroin in the Puget Sound area they need to be confined for a few months and then have guaranteed access to drug treatment once released.

  • patty

    I heard the first time you do heroin u get this unexplainable high and then they keep trying to find that same first high but they dont reach it so they keep trying and therefor its easy to be hooked. I pray for these people..

  • Shawn

    Yeah it’s terrible but since we have to be nice to drug addict now days they don’t learn send them to rehab so they can get more connections to get more dope once they our out then give them free schooling just stupid put them all in prison labor camps and yes I know all about it two dead uncles from heroin and a useless mother all my life sorry to say at least the child will never have to meet the loser junkie father much better than growing up with loser parents