Obituaries Shed Euphemisms to Chronicle Toll of Heroin

When George P. Gauthier died of an opiate overdose in May at 44, his sister, Cindy Gauthier-Rivera, wrote an obituary that was more like a cry from the heart.

His destructive addictions to heroin, painkillers and alcohol had cost him his marriage, his children, his job and eventually his life, she wrote from her home here in western Massachusetts. An outgoing man who dressed well and loved music and poetry, he had wanted to become a drug counselor, saving others from the abyss. Instead, he plunged further into it; he was found dead at their mother’s house, just a few miles from his sister.

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