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Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    Sitting on the bed of the daughter she lost to a methadone overdose in 2013, Gail McCarthy of Stetson inhales the lingering scent from the clothes her 24-year-old son, Matthew, was wearing when he died of a fentanyl overdose just a year and a half after 21-year-old Ashley’s death. Among the more than 60 families of overdose victims interviewed by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since the summer of 2016, at least seven had lost more than one person to the epidemic.

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    Within the span of about 18 months, McCarthy lost both Ashley, 21, and Matthew, 24, to opiate overdoses.

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    McCarthy can't bring herself to wash the clothes Matthew died in because they still smell like him.

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    McCarthy goes through a plastic container filled with childhood mementos of her children, including a card made by Matthew.

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    McCarthy begins to cry in her daughter's old bedroom at her home in Stetson. Ashley McCarthy died from an overdose in her bed and Gail laid with her daughter until paramedics arrived.

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    Gail McCarthy lost 2 children to opioid overdoses - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    A quote Ashley added to her Facebook wall before she died now hangs in her old room. Addiction strikes some families repeatedly because it is driven largely by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

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