SOMERSET, SOMERSET COUNTY--- A 20-year old died from a heroin overdose, now his father is fighting to save other families from burying their child because of the drug.
“Sage was 14 year old when he first tried heroin,” said Carmen Capozzi.
Sage Capozzi didn’t act or look like your typical user. He had good grades, played sports and went to college, but he had a dark secret.
“When he first admitted to us he was doing pills and heroin, that day was a new beginning for us, we had no idea.”
Capozzi never thought his son would get mixed up with drugs, he (Sage) knew better. Sage was 20 years old when he died from an overdose. That was in 2012. Capozzi now spends his time sharing his story and what can be done to help others. That’s how Sage’s Army was created.
“If it could happen to us, it can happen to anyone,” said Capozzi. “I thought I was safe… not my son.”
Capozzi brings his army with him to schools to talk to parents and school administrators.
“We need to take a front line approach,” said Capozzi. “We need to stop it before it starts.”
Two recovering addicts, Nick Carrozza and Amanda Lintner also spoke Thursday at Somerset High School. They talked about what their life was like before, during and after using drugs.
“It was like one big glamorous party that never ended,” said Carrozza. “Then friends started dying, I got sick and I began robbing from my own grandmother… then it wasn’t so glamorous.”
Carrozza said one day he just decided he couldn’t do it anymore, he couldn’t use.
“I knew I needed help…. If you would have told me I would be where I am today a year ago I would never believe you.”
“I was told the other day, ‘You don’t look like a typical drug user?’ My response- you should have seen my detox picture I didn’t look so hot then,” said Lintner.
Lintner said she started off small and then quickly progressed to using regularly she ended up with a $500 a day heroin habit.
“I stole from a lot of people, I was eventually banded from pawn shops,” said Lintner. “My family and friends didn’t want anything to do with me… everyone was afraid of me because of what I turned into when I was using drugs.”
The group tries to warn students before it’s too late. Capozzi said fighting to save others from the same tragic ending his son had keeps him going.
“I miss my son every day,” said Capozzi.
For more information on the group and the program click on Sage’s Army.