Couple speaks on moving forward after loved one dies from drug o - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Couple speaks on moving forward after loved one dies from drug overdose

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

A panel discussion about opiate abuse will be taking place in one week. KULR-8 spoke with family members of a woman who died from opiate abuse and found out how they moved forward after losing their daughter to drug addiction.

It is no secret that Montana has one of the worst statistics for drug abuse. Two of the speakers on the panel discusses their struggles on how to move forward after losing a precious loved one from an overdose.

Carol Keenan talked about what her daughter, Mary Kate, was like before she passed away almost a year and a half ago.

"When she got together with her friends or her cousins, she laughed all the time," Keenan said.

She explained Mary Kate passed away after going to rehab for her opioid addiction and relapsed. Keenan said many people don't realize when a loved one dies, everyone else has to keep moving forward.

"Meeting people that have gone through the same things as us, losing children from a drug overdose, that gives us comfort too because they're the only ones that truly, truly understand what it feels like," Keenan said.

Mary Kate's father, John, said keeping family together after a loved one passes from an overdose is important.

"You're never going to be in the same place and you have to appreciate where the other person is, so that's what kind of holds you together as a family," John Keenan said.

The Keenan's are using their story to encourage others among the community who may have experienced similar situations.

"That's given us an opportunity to open up and know how to talk to people and get their feedback to try to help them with some comfort," John Keenan said.

The Keenan's will be speaking at an opioid panel aiming to increase public awareness about the opioid issue and to start a conversation that includes the faith community.

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