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


His parents say their son intended to become a substance abuse counselor and talked of helping those who faced the same struggles he had dealt with since high school.

Though his addiction had significantly impacted his life, it also didn’t define the person they knew as passionate about life, his family said.

Several of his friends told the family at the funeral that they had no idea he struggled with a drug addiction.

During a difficult period for his family, Sean Briggs, who wasn’t the partying type, began using drugs at the age of 15, his mother said, who believes that his addiction to opiates was sealed when he was prescribed hydrocodone after his wisdom teeth were removed at the age of 17.

For years, he went through a series of battles with addiction, including time spent in a rehab facility and an outpatient program that he was participating in at the time of his death, and had more than one friend die due to drug overdose.

“Sean hated drugs,” Kathy Briggs said. “He wanted that out of his life. He didn’t want any part of that any more but it was just bigger than him.”

He had made significant progress and managed to get himself cleaned up and on an upward path just before his last relapse, when his family believes he received heroin from a particularly potent batch that led to his death.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office recently ruled his Oct. 5 death an accident due to acute heroin intoxication.

“He’s just one of those unfortunate ones to get caught up in the drug scourge that Weatherford seems to close its eyes to,” his father, Philip Briggs said.

Weatherford is losing its best and brightest to drugs and there does not seem to be a concerted local effort to deal with the problem except turning people over to the law, Briggs said, adding that by the time the law is involved, it’s too late prevent addiction.

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