Tragic Death of Teen Proves that the Damage of Addiction Can Extend Far Beyond the Addict

Fourteen-year-old girl’s death in Anchorage, AK, provides an example of one person’s addiction destroying the life of two people.

Teen Heroin Use

Teen heroin use is a devastating issue amongst our American youth.

Jena Dolstad was a fourteen-year-old girl who looked older than her years. Sean Warner was a 26-year-old former Navy medic who returned from Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When these two met in Anchorage, Alaska in December 2011, that meeting would end in disaster for both of them.

According to Sean’s aunt and uncle who raised him, his parents struggled with drug and alcohol problems but Sean chose a positive road of academic accomplishments, ROTC and military duty. But after he returned from Afghanistan, he began his own struggles. He began to suffer sleep problems and nervousness. He was prescribed medication by the Veteran’s Administration but this wasn’t enough. He began to self-medicate with heroin. At that point, everything changed. His uncle said, “Sean was pretty much a regular guy until heroin came into his life.”

His family saw his struggle and tried to encourage Sean to get help. But they never realized how serious his problem was.

Teen’s Heroin Habit Turns Deadly

On the Friday before Christmas, Sean and a couple of his buddies picked up Jena so they could all “hang out” together. It’s not clear where Jena got the methamphetamine and cocaine in her system, but witnesses state that she asked Sean if she could try the China White heroin he was sharing with his friends. She requested that he inject her with the drug because she didn’t want to inject herself. It took Sean a few tries to find a vein but then he finally succeeded in injecting her with an overdose of high-grade heroin that would result in her death a few days later.

The three men left her on a bed, face down. When they checked on her in the morning, she was lying in a pool of her own vomit and her pulse was weak. Rather than deliver her to an emergency room, Sean gave her Suboxone, a drug used to treat opiate addicts. When she began to convulse, he finally called paramedics.

Jena suffered heart and brain damage from the drugs and lack of timely medical care. She remained on life support for six days before succumbing, and Sean remains in jail. (To read the full story, click here.)

Heroin Abuse Harms Everyone in its Path

The abuse of drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and others can do more than just result in the addiction or death of the drug user. As in this example, those around the addicted person can themselves become addicted or lose their lives. The only safety is in helping a person who is addicted to find addiction recovery, the sooner the better.

Derry Hallmark, Director of Admissions at Narconon Arrowhead, a premier drug rehabilitation center in Oklahoma, stated, “Every time a person recovers from addiction at our center, the area they return to and everyone in it, feels the benefits of their recovery. That person, now sober, can prove to others that sobriety after addiction is possible, and they won’t be distributing drugs to others.”

When addicted people choose Narconon Arrowhead for their recovery, they not only get a long-term, residential program that uses no drugs of any kind in their treatment, they also get a program with an excellent success rate. Seven out of ten graduates of the program achieve lasting sober lives after they return home.

“If a family is trying to help someone who can’t stop using an addictive substance, they can call Narconon Arrowhead for advice on the best way to get that person started on their path to sobriety,” added Mr. Hallmark. “We can help them transition that person toward recovery.

“This is one of the most difficult situations families ever have to face,” he concluded. We are here to help families turn addiction around into lasting sobriety and a return to the person they used to know before the drug abuse started.”

To help someone you know who is struggling with addiction, call 1-800-468-6933 for successful heroin drug rehab options.


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