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Grieving mother helps form Southwest Michigan chapter of Families Against Narcotics


BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A grieving mother is hoping to launch the Calhoun County chapter of Southwest Michigan Families Against Narcotics, in hopes of sparing another parent the pain of losing a child.

In 2013 Michigan State Trooper Kristi Angelo lost her 30-year-old son, Nick Grumeretz to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

Now, she's helping launch a group she hopes will provide support and resources for other families dealing with addiction.

"My son Angelo wrote this poem for his brother and read it at his eulogy," she said.

Kristi Angelo says her son Nick was supposed to be his little brother's best man. Instead, he was buried in the suit he bought for the wedding.

Angelo describes the anxious moments when she arrived on scene two years ago as rescue crews tried to save her son's life after an accidental overdose of prescription drugs:

"I said, 'Jay is he breathing,' and he said, 'Kristi we're doing CPR,' 'Jay does he have a pulse,' he says 'Kristi, we're doing CPR. I know what they mean but it wasn't registering," she said.

Angelo says the combination of 10 narco--for pain associated with kidney stones, and klonopin--prescribed for panic attacks, proved to be too much for her son, who was diagnosed as bipolar with borderline personality disorder.

She says he also had a history of substance abuse.

"It was too late for my son, they administered narcon to try and reverse the affect of the opiate, but it had been too long and so we say Nick went to sleep and didn't wake up," she said.

Angelo is not alone in her grief.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that just over half of fatal drug overdoses were caused by prescription drugs.

That's why Angelo's helping to launch a southwest Michigan chapter of Families Against Narcotics, to provide others with the support and resources they need to help their loved ones battle addiction.

"It is a disease. The bad news is there is no cure; the good news is there's recovery," she said.

Angelo also calls it "remission."

She says Tuesday night's inaugural meeting of Families Against Narcotics in Calhoun County will be held at Crossroads Church and Ministries, in Marshall, from 7 to 9 p.m.

It will feature a presentation about addiction and the brain by Dennis Simpson, Director of the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse at Western Michigan University.

For more information on the Calhoun County meeting, and meetings being held in Kalamazoo County, click here.

For more information from the CDC regarding overdoses, click here.