Milwaukee Woman who Lost Dad to Heroin Overdose Speaks Out

CBS 58—The opioid epidemic continues to claim lives in Milwaukee County. The Medical Examiner’s office says its investigating eight probable overdose deaths from over the weekend.

Milwaukee County is on pace to surpass 400 overdose deaths in 2017. In 2016, 344 people died of drug overdoses.

CBS 58 spoke with one young woman whose father was among those who died last year.

“I just had a feeling something was really wrong,” Shaina Urban said. “I knew.”

Just days after Thanksgiving Shaina Urban got a call she was dreading, her father, 53-year-old Randall Urban, died from a heroin overdose.

“He was the strongest person that I knew,” Urban said. “And it took ahold of him completely.”

Urban says years ago, her dad started taking prescription pain medicine for his back, but his tolerance grew in to a full blown addiction.

“He was doctor shopping and buy other people's prescription and once that ran out, he wasn't able to find that, the alternative is heroin,” Urban said.

What happened to Randall Urban is increasingly common. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Office says the county is averaging more than one overdose death a day in 2017.

Speaking at a conference Monday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel called opioid abuse a public health crisis.

“We need to start thinking about addiction as a disease as well so people can ask for help,” Schimel said.

Schimel also says the state is working with the medical community to make sure pain meds aren't falling in to the wrong hands.

“A drug can affect anybody of any walk of life,” Urban said.

Urban encourages families of addicts to keep fighting because people are so much more than their addictions.

“[My dad’s] sense of humor, his drive, he didn't give up very easily,  I'll miss all of that,” Urban said.

Urban says she decided to speak out because she doesn’t want there to be shame associated with addiction and she hopes to help other children and families’ of addicts.

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