Weatherford Democrat

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February 3, 2013

DEADLY DOPE: Heroin deaths hit Weatherford hard

A story of three local men whose addictions cost them their lives


Dealing with a recent break-up, Menefee had used heroin for the first time in about 6 months the day he died, those close to him said.

They suspect it was because he had been sober so long and his body couldn’t handle the same amount it could when he was regularly using, Reeves said.

“The lure of those drugs, it’s a curse,” Reeves said.

“If you dance with the devil he’ll want to take you home early,” Byrum told those at Menefee’s funeral. “Make a choice. Honor Jay’s memory. Don’t let your children grow up without their mommy or daddy. Get help for whatever substance you may be abusing. And, don’t condemn those who are struggling.”

Byrum, who also knew Briggs, said she has never known anyone who has died from a gunshot wound. But she has had some connection with six young people who died of drug overdoses within a two month period last fall. 

Drug use is an out of control problem that Weatherford needs to acknowledge so the community can deal with it, Byrum believes.

Because Weatherford is such a wholesome, good community, it’s difficult to acknowledge that, Byrum said.

Her hope is that parents will start educating their children early, before they become teenagers, and that young people will realize just how dangerous “what they are playing with is.”

Michael Lowrance

Born in Fort Worth in October 1988, Michael Randall Lowrance was raised in Weatherford, attending local schools and Couts Memorial United Methodist Church with his family.

Described as an “avid outdoorsman” by family members, Lowrance loved hunting, fishing, skateboarding and bicycling.

He was also a gifted artist, copies of his own drawings later adorning the biography distributed at his memorial service.

But Lowrance also struggled with drug addiction after a family tragedy during his high school years. 

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