Carson: Hi Im Carson Shultz doing my uh storycorps project. Im talking to Brendan Burns about his cousin. Who is it in relation to you that you've lost to drugs? Brendan: Uh it was my cousin Marissa. Carson: Was it sudden or were there signs of this issue? Brendan: It was sudden when she ODed, but there were signs when she went sober for an extended period of time then she would extremely abuse the drugs. Carson: How has this changed your outlook on drugs? Brendan: Particularly my outlook on drugs have been the same, especially drugs like heroin. Its either my family says, it's either the first time you do it or the second time you do it that's the worst, but you're bound to overdose. Carson: How has this affected your family? Brendan: Um obviously it was very sad, um it was a shock so it had an impact on everyone like it kinda hit us out of nowhere because she seemed like she was doing so well. Then she relapsed then ODed the first time. Carson: Was there a change in personality after the drug use started? Brendan: there was a huge change in personality not specifically in personality, but in the way she acted, like she would disappear over two week periods and not have any communication with the family whatsoever the would reappear out of nowhere and completely act like nothing had happened. It was such a huge impact to us, but seemed nothing to her. Carson: Has your loved one tried to get help in the past? Brendan: Umm She actually refused all help. Most of the help she went through was just her family trying to get her help. But she was like I don’t have a problem, I don’t need help, I can deal with it myself and it never got better. Carson: Have there been previous overdoses or scares in the past? Brendan: Uh yes, we thought as a family there was a scare during one of those periods that she disappeared and had no communication with us. Carson: Is there anything you would want to tell someone that is in the same spot as your family or your loved one? Brendan: I would have to say that drug addiction is very hard especially the people going through it. It may seem worse for you, but it's not because they are the ones struggling. They can't quit even if they want too. They need the support of you. It's gonna be hard. They're going to get mad at you, but you need to be there through all the hard times. Carson: Who has been affected by this tragedy the most? Brendan: Uh I’d have to say her younger daughter that she had because she is now going to be raised by her aunt and uncle and she is living her life knowing her mom overdosed on heroin. Now she won’t have that motherly figure that she can say is her mom. Instead is raised by her aunt and that’s something personally I would have a hard time dealing with. Carson: Sorry for your loss and Thank you for your time.