Tuesday, April 1, 2014
A life turned upside down by heroin and crime came to a sudden end for 31-year-old Christopher Desjardin, a Vermont native who made his presence known here in Amherst by stealing laptops from unsuspecting UMass students last year.
When the obit reads "passed away suddenly," that's usually code for either a drug overdose or suicide. Or, maybe, both. Because using a drug like heroin is a fairly easy way to kill yourself.
The Vermonter who gave me the heads up, a father who set up a successful sting to get back his son's stolen laptop resulting in the arrest of Desjardin, feels badly for his family but not so much for Mr. Desjardin.
When crime has touched you or a family member, it's hard to be forgiving. Especially when the perp is a repeat offender.
Massachusetts just declared a "public health emergency" to address the rising tide of opiate abuse. One of the recommendations is to spend more money to increase treatment and recovery services -- especially in state prisons and county jails.
When Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge Poelher handed down a sentence (11/15/13) for Christopher Desjardin on 13 counts of stolen property, the six months jail time was to include "mandatory drug treatment." That was only 4.5 months ago.
But even if Christopher Desjardin stayed in the system until May 15, the call of the needle would someday, perhaps, prove too strong.
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