Moving forward in the midst of tragedy

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Kelly Mangold laying with her son, Kyle, in his hospital bed before his death.

October 19, 2016, is a day that Kelly Mangold will not soon forget. That is the day she lost her son, Kyle Thayer, to heroin.

Through the tragedy of losing her son, Mangold has done what she can to try to help others.

Mangold found out about legislation called Casey’s Law. Casey’s Law is the broader name for The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention and became law in Kentucky in 2004. In 2012, Casey’s Law was adopted in Ohio.

Casey’s Law provides means of intervention with someone who is unable to recognize his or her needs for treatment due to their addiction. Casey’s Law allows parents, relatives and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the person, over the age of 18, who is abusing alcohol and/or drugs.

“I was disgusted when I found this out,” said Mangold. “As a parent, where was this information?”

Mangold said she feels helpful legislation in place, but wants to give the laws some teeth.

“We have started the Justice for Kyle Foundation and KT’s Project where we do speaking engagements and advocate for new laws that can help with this epidemic,” said Mangold. Her daughter, Morgan, Kyle’s little sister, also speaks at events.

Just one of the projects that Mangold is working on is a revamp of the 911 Good Samaritan Law. The law states that a person who calls 911 to save a friend who is overdosing won’t be arrested or punished for minor drug offenses. The Ohio Senate added two provisions that may discourage people from calling for help: immunity is only good for two times and not available for people on parole and medical professionals can share with law enforcement the name and address of the person who overdosed for further investigation and follow up.

“A human life is worth more than any drugs on scene,” said Mangold.

Mangold is working on an amendment to that legislation and has called it One Call for Kyle; if someone could have made a call for Kyle, his life may have been saved.

“We need to take what we have and critique it and make it work for what we need to benefit parents and families,” said Mangold. “If I would have known about these laws and groups, my son would still be alive.”

Mangold has been working with Port Clinton Mayor Hugh Wheeler on an addiction awareness campaign involving advertising and billboards.

A mockup of the substance abuse awareness campaign that Mangold is working on with the City of Port Clinton.

“As Mayor of Port Clinton I have been working on getting awareness out about the heroin problem in our city,” said Mayor Wheeler. “I am putting some billboards together to alert the dealers that we won’t stand for this and we will be cracking down more and more to deter them from coming to Port Clinton or by arresting them and holding them accountable for their actions.”

The billboards will also let the public know the effects of drugs on users and their loved ones. There will be a family featured that has been directly affected by heroin and there will also be billboards featuring the Good Samaritan Law and Casey’s Law.

“Kelly is a great person and wants to help the community,” said Mayor Wheeler. “She and Morgan have a very strong will to help and get the message out about the laws that can help parents get help for their kids. Morgan has a strong message and it is heartbreaking to hear it. I think Morgan will open a lot of eyes when her message is heard.”

To move forward with the continued campaign of substance abuse awareness, here are some facts about addictions and consumption.

There are three primary ways to consume heroin:

Intravenously
Direct injection into a vein using a needle

Smoking
Inhalation orally through a pipe

Snorting
Inhalation directly through the nose, possibly using a straw

Paraphernalia would include: Burnt spoons, tiny baggies, aluminum foil, tan or white powdery residue, dark sticky residue, small glass pipes, syringes, rubber tubing.

Following heroin consumption, the user experiences a rush that is usually accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth and a heavy feeling of extremities. Given the challenge of precisely calibrating the dosage of such a powerful narcotic, this initial rush can frequently be followed by nausea, vomiting and severe itching.

Short-term physical side effects of heroin use include:
•    Depressed respiration, shallow breathing
•    Clouded mental functioning
•    Decreased pain from either physical conditions or emotional challenges
•    Uncontrollable feelings of itching that result in compulsive scratching or picking at the skin

Heroin abuse and dependence produce serious medical side effects, which may directly or indirectly result in death:
•    Heart problems including infection of heart lining and valves
•    Infectious diseases spread by sharing needles such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C
•    Chronic pneumonia or other pulmonary diseases
•    Blood clots or tissue death resulting from collapsed veins or impurities
•    Bacterial infections
•    Liver disease
•    Arthritis and other rheumatologic problems
•    Seizures

Because heroin addicts don’t know what the strength of the heroin purchased on the street may be or what it is mixed with, there is always a risk of overdose and death.

To hear more about what Kelly Mangold is doing in her awareness campaign, follow her on Facebook at Justice for Kyle.

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2 comments

  • Russell Squire
    Russell Squire Sat, Feb 25, 2017 1:05pm Comment Link

    This l looks promising definitely needs changing.
    But it's a far better way of dealing with the issue than making persons of all age and injury or illness suffer because others are not getting proper treatment for addiction.
    So now people who need pain relief are left to suffer in pain so
    the consequences of drug addicts (addicts) someone who abuses Substances for pleasure or to escape from life's problems There should be treatment for addiction and mental Health.
    No One young or old Without judgement of how they look unless there is proof of overuse or diversion.
    not treating people in pain because of others abuse of them!
    Doing so should be a crime if it's not illegal its Dam Sure Immoral
    My hope and belief is that those who have made this issue so misleading I've seen ppl disown friends and family for taking mild pain meds they have been scared so bad by the combination of separate issues

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  • Jonelle cole
    Jonelle cole Thu, Feb 16, 2017 7:32pm Comment Link

    My heart aches for you. Ive lost numerous ppl to this addiction, but never had to watch them fade away. I myself is a addict whether im in active use , abstinence, or chronic relapsing . I often think of my parents having to watch the same thing with me. Although i would not be very happy for them to take over my right with courts in the long run i would know they did it to save my life. I am truly sorry for your loss and will always keeo this in my thoughts and prayers. True strength to post this and many more lives you will save in the name of your son. Although i wish for you it didn't have to happen to you. In my prayers.
    Jonelle cole

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