Nightly News   |  April 10, 2014

Family's 'Full-Time Job' Is Managing Son’s Heroin Addiction

A family of eight outside Boston is struggling with their second-oldest son’s heroin addiction. Recently, he overdosed, and paramedics revived him with Narcan.

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>>> all this week we've been reporting on the heroin epidemic in this country and at the heart of this, the families battling to help loved ones overcome addictions and overdoses. we've heard from a lot of families including one mother outside boston who reached out to kate snow who joins us in the studio, kate.

>> so many messages start my son, my bother, my daughter, one about a man that overdosed and revived with a drug called narcan . son was almost taken to icu after three doses of narcan . thank god paramedics had it when we found her.

>> reporter: the family has been to hell and back this week. danny is the second oldest of six kids. last week he overdosed on heroin and this monday morning he signed himself up for outpatient rehab but wanted one last high. mom debbie says most of the family was home when his older brother found him slumped over.

>> i yelled is he alive? they yelled yes.

>> reporter: her daughter samantha was trying to shield her nine-year-old sister from seeing her brother like this.

>> i seen my dad holding him, and that's when she looked at me and said is he going to live? and she just broke down crying.

>> reporter: danny 's disease is affecting everyone in this family says his father david .

>> you don't sleep. i watch my teenagers, you know, stress out about it.

>> it's hard to try to explain to a nine-year-old what drug abuse is.

>> reporter: in the corner of her son's hospital room, debbie was calling residential facilities.

>> it's the second time in a week he's overdosed.

>> reporter: it's a struggle many families face. there is no guide book for rehab and insurance doesn't often cover lengthy residential treatments.

>> you have to be on the phone. it's a full-time job. i have six kids. managing an addiction is a full-time job.

>> reporter: she can't wait for a bed to open in a state-run facility, so she found a spot at a private rehab in tennessee. family members are loaning them the $20,000 for a 30-day stay.

>> i'm just praying that it works, it really works.

>> reporter: looking through photos, debbie came across a birthday card.

>> you value time with me and everyone else in the family.

>> reporter: telling his mom how much she means to him.

>> i haven't read it in a long time. i needed to hear that from him. and i know he's going to say it again.

>> reporter: tonight, danny is on his way to tennessee to start treatment.

>> i'm not ashamed of my son. i'm proud of my son, and i love him with every fiber of my being and there is nothing i won't do to make sure that i give him every shot at recovery.

>> the drug that saved danny monday is narcan , an update from last week about that. the governor of maine says he opposed to let parents have it but this week changed course. he supports making it available to immediate family members under certain conditions. brian?