County Attorney urges people fighting addiction to come forward, - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

County Attorney urges people fighting addiction to come forward, get help

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Mike O'Connell following his May 20 primary election victory. Mike O'Connell following his May 20 primary election victory.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – An elected official is asking anyone dealing with addiction to come forward and get help.

Monday Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell released a statement and call to action after medical examiners said his son, Matt O'Connell, died of an overdose of cocaine, heroin and alcohol in May.

His statement read:

"It is hard to put into words the emotions that go along with losing our son, Matt. Matt was a wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend and his death leaves a hole that is not fixable. It is a loss that I would hope no parent would ever have to endure.

Unfortunately, our family knows that many parents find themselves in the same position Ellen and I are in now as we try to move forward. We know that families all across Louisville, and throughout Kentucky, have watched loved ones struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, just as we watched Matt struggle over the years.

In every neighborhood of Louisville, in every corner of Kentucky - from the most prosperous to the most economically challenged - men and women battle addiction. And in this past year, we have seen cases involving heroin skyrocket, intensifying the struggle for people throughout Kentucky.

Parents and families across Kentucky are experiencing the same powerlessness our family has faced when watching a loved one fight to overcome his addiction. Painfully, even when there have been successes, there are also sometimes tragic outcomes.

We would like others who are struggling or mourning losses to know that they are not alone. We understand their immeasurable pain. We understand the unspeakable emotions that come along with loss.

While our state continues to grapple with the scourge of heroin, we urge our communities to take a serious look at what can be done to help. We ask for continued and greater investment in substance abuse programs.

And we encourage anyone who finds themselves in the throes of addiction to please come forward and seek help."

O'Connell suspended his campaign for county attorney in after his son was found dead. However, in the May 20 primary election O'Connell received 31,906 votes against his opponent, Karen Faulkner, who received 26,085 votes.

Following his victory he promised to keep fighting against domestic violence, drunk driving and those who fail to pay child support. ended up winning the election.

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