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Memorials & Testimonials 


James Preston Owens IV


Mindy Sue Kovack

I lost my Daughter tragically on March 13,2016 to overdose. I had to fight drug addicted father to terminate his rights so I could adopt Mindy's 3 little girls and keep them safe where they belong. We shouldn't be burying our children and we shouldn't have to raise our grandchildren at our age but there is nothing I would change. At least I have 3 of her and I see a bit of her in each one daily. 💔💔



I remember being 12 years old and sleeping over my best friend's house in July of 1986 when I was woken up by the sound of a knock at the door early in the morning. Then hearing crying. What I didn't know was that it was the police telling my friend's family that they just found their oldest daughter, Cindy and she had passed away from a heroin overdose, she was in her early 20's. She left behind two young children. One went to live with the dad and the other was taken in by the grandparents. The family was torn apart because of this and there was a lot of shame and guilt they felt. We were not allowed to even mention my friends older sister. To this day, it still breaks my heart.In 1993, my cousin Sarah Buckley was thriving after going through recovery, She struggled with heroin addiction from her mid-teens up until her early 20's. She was doing great and we all were so proud of her. I don't know what made her use it again on that day in 1995. All I know is that she overdosed and she died. She was 24 years old. I saw what her death did to my Aunt, she could never recover from the loss of her child. It didn't have to be this way! I worked with a woman from 2000 until 2008. She was a mentor to me and a great example of a mother to her children, they always came first. In 2007, she found out that her 17-year-old was on heroin. They tried a few times to get him clean and finally by the end of 2008 he was in recovery. A few years later, he enjoyed what would be the first Christmas with his whole family and everyone had a great time-- it was like old times. The next day, they found him on his bed, he had passed away. I never asked my friend how he died, she was beside herself with the loss of her youngest child. Regardless of whether it was an overdose or not-- heroin use had affected the whole family and their health worrying about him.Two weeks ago, my daughter called me sobbing and distraught-- one of her really good friends had passed away from an overdose. She was a beautiful and vibrant 26 years old. She left behind a 7-year-old son. The worst part is he is now an orphan because his dad passed away a few years ago of a heroin overdose. These stories have become all too common and we have to do something! Please, PLEASE join me in support of Brian Cody's Law. There needs to be more help, more resources, and more after-care support for these individuals to get clean and stay clean.  The saying is "It takes a village to raise a child."  I take that as we all have a responsibility to help guide others (especially the young). This responsibility is all of ours to help ensure opioid-addicted individuals can have a fair opportunity to get better.  


Joe Keeler Jr.


Albert David Gillotti


Vincent Britain Mitchell III


James Burton

I have suffered two losses in my life from drug overdose. My baby brother and my fiancé. No matter how many times we reached out for help from different agency’s. Seems as if help wasn’t close. It was hard ...... my fiancé was 33 years old when he past and my brother 23. We need change. Both the people who sold to them were never prosecuted even when there was plenty of proof they sold to them. Help needs to be available. Hospitals need to stop turning these people who need help away. Releasing them to the death of them. The loss is not the only thing we suffer from. The family ties are lost we all have guilt of what we could have done.for my brother my parents and siblings will never be the same. For my fiancé our children will never be the same. Kids growing up without their father because the system failed them.  But the reality of it was if they didn’t have the right insurance again they couldn’t get help. I hope change is to come ! 


Matt DeSimone

Growing up in a middle-class suburban community during the early 2000's, surrounded by great friends and family's, opioid addiction was the last last thing I would have expected to take the lives of a couple of my great friends.


At the young age of 21, my friend and 'brother from another mother', Kevin, tragically lost his life to this pandemic that is growing at a rate never before seen. Kevin was a great person. He had aspirations of being a state trooper, and was well on that trajectory until this cruel disease hit. He would not hesitate to give his shirt off his back for someone in need. When we were both 19 years old, he suffered a torn ACL playing sports. During his recovery, he was irresponsibly prescribed a large quantity of extremely strong opioids. Once his prescriptions finally expired and the physician refused any more, unfortunately in darkness and alone, somehow hiding his deep struggles from his friends and family, his addiction to the opioids became too strong and he seeked alternatives that somehow were easily available in our community. Less then a year later, his younger sister (18 years old) discovered him in the family's basement, cold to the touch with a needle hanging from his arm.


He overdosed and died that day.


I was away at college when i received that call from my mother with this news. A day and feeling I will never forget. In our close knit community, a piece of all of his friends and family died that day as well. Cruel and sad are the only words to describe this.


Fast forward 7 years. My good friend Nick passed away at the age of 30 from the same terrible disease. Nick was a athlete and role model through and through. In high school, he placed 4th place in NYS in the sport of Wrestling. If you know the sport of wrestling, if you place in a state tournament in any North East state, you have a real gift. He was a role model to his younger brother, and a shoulder to lean on for his 2 older brothers. He was a great friend that would have your back, no matter what. After 2 years of in-patient and out-patient facilities that never proved helpful because insurance small print that ended coverage, on top of continuous relapse's because how easily it was to obtain these terrible drugs, he succumbed to this disease at age 30, with a full life ahead of him. Complete devastation.


The expansion of criminal laws, immediate removal of treatment barriers for those seeking help, and expanded treatment guidelines and requirements for service providers/insurance companies as outlined in Brian Cody's law, is a pivotal and vital movement in the opioid epidemic war in CT.


I don't use the word war lightly, but hear this fact...according to the CDC, from 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Of those deaths, 68% involved a prescription or illicit opioid (


I am asking you to support this law to save lives and spare families the grief of the loss of a love one. 


My Son, Brian Cody

Brian Cody was a loving father, fiance, son and brother who left this world way too early.

After several years of addiction, Brian Cody hit rock bottom and began to embrace the hope of recovery. In the months leading up to his death, he proactively sought help, he successfully completed detox and two in-patient programs but  knew he was not ready to return home so he asked for an extension to his treatment, which the insurance company denied. 

Brian was forced to leave treatment, so he started attending out-patient services religiously, but the support offered was deficient and it failed him too. 

Brian Cody was trying. 

In the days after being forced out of the treatment center, he found a gig that was supposed to only be a one day job, he turned that into a full time job opportunity, with full benefits. 

When not working Brian loved being with his daughter Aubree and although he was a young father, he was active and engaged in the daily nuances of what it takes to be a great dad. 

On August 9th, 2019 Brian relapsed, was arrested, and failed a suicide screening administered by the police officer. 

Somehow, in spite of his history of addiction and a failed suicide screening, he was released from custody in the early hours on Saturday, August 10th.  

Within hours of being released Brian was found dead at a house that's had numerous overdoses in a very short period of time, it's what we call a 'trap house'. 

My family was never contacted, we were not told that our son failed a suicide screening, a fact that haunts us each and every day. 

Unfortunately, the story does not end there...

On the day we came home from identifying our son's body, we walked into our home and on the counter was a two page letter from the insurance company. 

Page one stated that Brian Cody's request for extended treatment was denied, page two was a bill for tens of thousands of dollars, apparently owed to the treatment center that failed him so terribly. 

The worst part of my family's story is that we are not a 'one-off' or an exception to the norm, but instead just one of millions of families impacted by the opioid epidemic. 


My family's story is really all of OUR family's story and it is a call to action!

We need a fresh approach to our battle against opioids and we need you to lead us, PLEASE!

We are behind you. In fact we've begun a movement with an entire coalition of people who support your efforts to combat this epidemic. 

We implore you to support our proposals, they are the result of ideas from those of us that have lived the recovery journey life. 



My Dad, David

In Recovery


I’ve been a recovering heroin addict for 4 almost 5 years now. I lost 15 of my friends since then, one being Brian. Please help put an end to this before everyone’s children get trapped in this epidemic


Allie & Donald



Amy Plude

I just lost my best friend, Marisa to this epidemic. She was a beautiful strong willed woman who was always there for her friends and family. Always putting their needs above her own. She was a single mother to a beautiful 7 year old boy, a boy who also lost his father to the same vice four years ago. 

In Recovery

Amanda Plummer

In recovery since January 2020


Dave Grandinetti

My husband overdosed 5 years ago from heroin. Laws need to change regarding halfway houses and accountability for dealers. It’s a huge epidemic   


Erin Christine


Elvis Ariel Novas



My child went through 6 years of this living hell. Her addiction started out with Percocet that she bought easily off the street. Eventually she needed 10 or more of these pills to not be sick per day. With a cost of $50 per pill on the street she could not come up with $500 a day to not be sick. As a result she started using Heroin that she also easily bought off the streets of Waterbury CT. Eventually she needed more and more of the Heroin as well. Her life spiraled into the toilet.  She lost weight, lost her job, smashed up her car, stole from friends of ours to pawn things to get drugs. Eventually with no money my child had to have sex with these scumbag drug dealers in exchange for drugs.  What a horrible act of desperation. When we finally found out what she was addicted to we sent her to treatment at High Watch in Kent at an out of pocket cost of $9000 for 21 days. She used the same day she was released from treatment. Those scumbag drug dealers delivered Heroin to my mailbox that day. She actually thought these people cared about her. Her addiction got even worse . She was involved in a motor vehicle accident on  Route 8 one afternoon. Her car rolled over and over until she was ejected out the passenger window of her car. She was unresponsive at first but survived. She was taken to Waterbury hospital and treated for her injuries which thankfully were not life threatening. There she was given Percocet for pain even though they knew she was addicted to Heroin. Back home to the nightmare. She went for outpatient treatment in Waterbury which became useless as well. One afternoon we found her on the floor in her room she Overdosed that day and thank God Narcan was able to save her. She was Narcaned at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington. She was released within a couple of hours of us finding her overdosed on the floor. We were given a business card for the outpatient services and sent on our way. I couldn’t believe it. She was nearly dead a couple of hours before. They released her I was furious !!!! That day again her scumbag dealer managed to bring her drugs to my home. The next day as I lay in her bed with her I spoke with her about her overdose. Asked her wasn’t she afraid to die. She said yes Mom and then she said the most heartbreaking words I have ever heard. Mama I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live anymore. What an awful thing to hear. From there thank God I was able to find an inpatient women’s home for her in Georgia. I had to pay every month out of pocket for her to stay. After 16 months of living there my girl got on with her life. Out of this state!!!! If she stayed here she would be dead by now. She just Celebrated her 4th year of recovery on January 20th. My girl survived. Sadly I know friends of hers that didn’t. Friends she played with as a child. How heart wrenching.  Something has to be done we’re losing a generation of young people.

Thank you for listening to my story. I support Cody’s Law please do something please do the right thing.

Sincerely,  a lucky Mom Emily


Melinda Lee



I married an addict and then divorced as it destroyed our family but he continues to fight his battle and needs help before it’s too late!


David A Abrantes Jr.


Henry Scozzafava Jr.

In Recovery

Brittany Lee

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