Ohio Parents Publicize Daughter's Heroin Overdose to Spark Dialogue

Allison Shuemake
screenshot WLWT   

When 18-year-old Allison Shuemake died in late August, her parents, Dorothy and Fred, could have kept the cause a secret. But according to Cleveland.com the Middletown Ohio couple chose the rare step of publicizing her heroin overdose in hopes of shining some light on the drug plague that is claiming so many lives in their area. They said they were neither ‘ashamed or guilty' in stating the drug death in the first sentence of her obituary.

Fred Shuemake, a retired Middletown police detective, says he believes his daughter was ‘dabbling’ in heroin. According to the website, Allison had previously been in rehab for alcohol and marijuana use. She had recently taken on two jobs and moved in with her boyfriend, 31 year old Luther Combs. She and Combs were both found dead on August 26th with needles nearby.


After noting the cause of death, Allison’s obit described her as “a funny, smart, gregarious, tenacious and strong-willed teenager with gusto. Her favorite color was "sparkle" which matched her personality.”

As southwest Ohio heads toward a record number of heroin-related deaths, the Shuemakes are being praised for their courage in trying to open a dialogue.


Read more at Cleveland.com.

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