'Families are living this every day,' fatal overdoses up among teens

Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 13:37:27-04

More teens are dying of drug overdoses as the heroin problem continues to rear its ugly head.

Fatalities are rising, according to a study by the CDC released Wednesday, but the new numbers are so much more than statistics to too many families in Northeast Ohio.

The Bornstein's are one such family in Stark County who lost their son, Tyler, too soon.

"He was athletic. He was kind. He was compassionate. He was smart," Travis and Shelly Bornstein said.

Tyler was a decorated young golfer, winner of the Senior Ironman award on the football field and a magna cum laude high school graduate - probably not the young man many would think was using heroin.

"I was the parent that you could not convince this would happen. That this would happen in my home," Travis Bornstein said.

He said his son spent nearly 6 years struggling with his addiction, "relapse and recovery, relapse and recovery," before it took his life.

For Tyler, and so many others, a problem with heroin was fueled by prescription painkillers after several sports-related injuries.

"He broke his right arm four times," Bornstein explained.

He and his wife warn others about addiction through prescription painkillers through a nonprofit called Breaking Barriers - Hope is Alive. The organization was set up to honor Tyler and others who struggled with the same addiction and lost.

"If your kid, your son or your daughter, had a sports related injury or a dentist or doctor is talking to them about opiates? Your head needs to spin off," Bornstein said.

Their family coming together with their community to hopefully help save others from their heartbreak.

"Families are living this every day. Every single day," Travis Bornstein said.