Family Photo Next To Body Of Father Who Died Of Heroin Overdose Goes Viral

By McCarton Ackerman 09/16/15

Eva Holland wanted people to see the reality of addiction.

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An Ohio family who lost their father to heroin addiction made a bold statement by posing for a family portrait next to his open coffin.

Eva Holland posted the sobering photo to Facebook, which shows her and her two young children smiling in front of the coffin. She wrote that her husband of 11 years, Mike, died of a heroin overdose. He had completed rehab late last year, but relapsed when a toothache led him to start using prescription painkillers again.

"I'm sure this photo makes a lot of people uncomfortable it may even piss a few people off but the main reason I took it was to show the reality of addiction. If you don't choose recovery every single day this will be your only way out," she wrote. "This was preventable it didn't have to happen but one wrong choice destroyed his family ... hiding the facts is only going to keep this epidemic going. The cold hard truth is heroin kills. You may think it will never happen to you but guess what that's what Mike thought too."

Holland has also been sharing the photo on recovery websites and heroin support group pages as a way of starting a conversation about addiction and also delivering a powerful message.

As of Sept. 14, it has been viewed over 247,000 times. Holland said that while sharing her story has been difficult, she has had "people tell me that his story stopped them from using and others who say it's motivating them to continue their recovery, even if it's just for the day, this is saving lives."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.