Loved ones raise awareness of addiction after Brownville woman’s death

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - “Heroin is ravaging our community.” Those words come from an obituary. Now, the loved ones of Tia George-Sargent, including her mother, are raising awareness about addiction.

“Heroin promised Tia the world. It told her she would feel accepted, loved, and normal like everyone else. It promised to take away her pain and made her believe everything would be okay.”

Roxanne George read the line straight from her daughter’s obituary - a brutally honest take on Tia’s life leading up to her untimely death on September 1 at the age of 32.

“I found her,” said Roxanne.

Both Roxanne and Tia’s best friend, Desiree Smith, say heroin promised Tia the world. What it didn’t promise was the devastation it would bring to her family and her life.

“When the drugs came into play, she was a totally different person,” said Roxanne.

With her photo sitting between them, both Roxanne and Desiree remember the times when Tia was Tia.

“She was always there to help people. Even at a young age, she always wanted to help people. It’s just sad she couldn’t take care of herself,” said Roxanne.

She even helped her best friend, Desiree, who also struggled with addiction, but came out on the other side.

“I was strung out for ten years. I’ve got clean a few times, and Tia’s always been right there to help me,” she said.

Now, Tia isn’t there to help. And she never will be again. That’s why her loved ones are sharing her story through her obituary.

“If we could help anybody, or any family in any way, to stop this cycle. I was willing to do it,” said Roxanne.

Both Roxanne and Desiree say it’s important to stay educated about what addiction looks like, and that everyone’s journey to recovery can look different. Tia’s obituary is a first step for them in bringing awareness to what addiction can do to the life of someone you love.

“Wake up, people. Please, please seek help,” said Roxanne.

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