Heroin continues to be big problem in Ventura County

Hal Eisner reports.

- In Simi Valley, there is a group called "Not One More" that has a goal of educating the public in order to curb the rising tide of heroin-related overdoses and deaths.

Nick Petrov is recovering heroin addict. Proudly, he says that he's been clean for "one year, six months, 25 days."

Melissa Siebers lost her 22-year-old daughter five years ago to heroin, never realizing there was a problem.

“She was seen smoking some heroin and then went to take a shower and she was in there too long so they broke down the door to find her in a foot of water face down,” Siebers said.

Nate Mullett is an MMA fighter. He is also a drug counselor. The knockout blow he'd like to deliver would be against heroin.

“This is not a Hollywood story. This is real. This happens every day," Mullett said. "There are people waking up smoking dope, playing video games. It’s like that’s their life.”

Mullett was hooked on pills but never got to heroin. However, he and Nick Petrov know the monster that is heroin.

“Your life becomes consumed by it," Petrov said. "There’s nothing more important. There’s nothing more that matters.”

Officials say heroin fatalities were on the decline for several years but, in Ventura County, they increased to 33 deaths in the county last year.

Two of those were in Simi Valley.

Police say part of the problem is cost. Another is accessibility.

"We get delivery services usually from out of town coming in," Sgt. Travis Coffey said. "You can call and order your own narcotics, comes right to your door. They’ll meet you wherever you want and its cheap. We’ll pick off one of them and the next day. There’s another group already coming out.”

It's an ongoing problem, but to Petrov it can be overcome. He stopped because he got "tired of going to jail" and being "physically sick from heroin."

Nick’s alive. An old girlfriend isn’t. She died from heroin. And he has a family, including a 16-month old, for which to live.

Meanwhile, Melissa says Lindsay is always on her mind.

“I always want to remember the good things she would do.  She was a beautiful person.”

"Not One More" is the name of the group Melissa, Nick and Nate are involved with to fight heroin overdoses and death. It's about education they say. The national website is at https://notonemore.net.

You can find the Simi Valley Chapter there or go to its Facebook page.

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