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Overdose spike seen at WNY funeral home

Posted at 11:23 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 23:23:39-04

Heroin kills people. We know that. No one may know that better than Constance Perna.

She's a funeral home director at Perna ,Dengler, Roberts Funeral Home in Amherst. She's noticing the increase in overdose deaths, not just this week, but this year.

“We are seeing families who are clearly devastated,” said Perna. "These kids have been in rehab more than once and we're also finding that most of overdoses are occurring right after they come out of rehab. They've gone through detox and the next time they use, typically right after rehab, unfortunately sometimes, it's the last time.”

Before being a funeral home director, Perna was a detox nurse. She says there's a clear difference between the heroin we're seeing now and years ago. She hopes people, especially young people, will learn. 

“The young kids go to the wake, they see it and I think they are affected, briefly. But when they leave, they go back to their life because it's never going to happen them,” added Perna.