Submitted by: Carla, his Sister
My Tribute: Andy was my little brother and he was one of my closest friends. He died 2 weeks ago from a cardiac arrest caused by a combination of a prescribed anxiety medication and heroine use. He had gotten out of a 30 day rehab facility the day before. My family and I were (and are) in complete shock. We had absolutely no idea that he would risk his life by injecting drugs much less heroine.
Andy has struggled with drugs and addiction for many years. It started with marijuana , then marijuana and whiskey, then pain killers. He entered a great long term rehab facility in Phoenix about 6 years ago and he really turned his life around. We were all so proud of him. He eventually moved home in Spring 2014 and began to mend relationships that he had destroyed (including mine and his) during those horrible drug and alcohol years.
He contacted me late June 2015 and told me he was struggling again. I knew he had not been tending to his addiction like he should have been,. He was not attending meetings, he was not communicating with his sponsors and he was starting to date women who drank alcohol. With him reaching out to me, our family rallied around him and found him a detox and rehab facility immediately for what we thought would be a 30 day “regroup ” or “retrain” then he would be back to normal and back to work. In fact we all felt that even after just 2 weeks of rehab he was ready to get back home. He sounded so healthy and so eager to get back normal and start getting his deer camp ready for hunting season. His missed his dog and he missed being at work.
Two days after getting out of rehab he was gone. This man loved his family, his friends, his job, and loved being in the woods. We are all still in shock and we are devastated. This picture I posted was taken as a selfie and posted online telling everyone he was 30 feet up in a climbing stand letting everyone know this was one of his favorite places to be. How can heroine find a person like this much less control his every thought and take his life? This drug is a demon in disguise ……..
God bless us all for having to tread through these terrible thoughts and feelings of guilt, shame, sorrow, grief, anger and loneliness