Arlington Hts. support group open to those who've lost loved ones to drugs

  • Chelsea Laliberte lost her 20-year-old brother, Alex, to an overdose in 2008.

    Chelsea Laliberte lost her 20-year-old brother, Alex, to an overdose in 2008. Submitted photo

  • Executive Director Chelsea Laliberte of Live4Lali, center, hugs Tina Franco of Mundelein, left, and Terri Bartlett of McHenry after Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim announced a naloxone training police program in 2014. All three women have lost loved ones to overdoses.

      Executive Director Chelsea Laliberte of Live4Lali, center, hugs Tina Franco of Mundelein, left, and Terri Bartlett of McHenry after Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim announced a naloxone training police program in 2014. All three women have lost loved ones to overdoses. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

A support group has formed in Arlington Heights for people who have lost a loved one to a drug-related cause, including overdose or suicide.

Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, spouses and colleagues are invited.

The free meetings will take place every two weeks at 7:30 p.m. at Live4Lali headquarters, 3275 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 403.

The first meeting was Monday, and the next one will be Monday, Feb. 29.

The meetings will be led by Live4Lali's executive director, Chelsea Laliberte, who lost her 20-year-old brother, Alex, to an overdose in 2008, and Terri Bartlett, of McHenry, who lost her son Michael to an overdose in 2012.

"I wish someone would have told me that grief ebbs and flows. I thought I would go through the stages of grief and just get better one day," Bartlett said. "What I didn't know then, is that no matter what the day or time, I can break down in tears or laugh at a memory. Three years later, I still need support."

Laliberte said that even though Live4Lali and other groups have made strides to reverse overdoses and encourage those struggling to seek treatment, the death toll is still rising and there's very little support for victims' families.

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"We want to change that," she said.

In the suburbs, one person dies every three days from heroin overdose, Laliberte said. That's why Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim likes this new support group.

"It is important that, while they are trying to help other families, they are also taking care of themselves. They have experienced tragedy that few can comprehend. Unfortunately, due to the scope of this problem, there is no shortage of people that can relate," Nerheim said.

For more information, call Terri Bartlett at (224) 323-1008 or visit live4lali.org.

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