Mom Raises Heroin Alarm on Chicago’s Northshore


Daughter’s Battle With Addiction Sparks Mom Into Action

PJ Newberg knew something had changed when her daughter got a new boyfriend, but wasn’t really sure what the problem was. Finally, she went into her room and discovered needles and heroin.

Even as her boyfriend died from an overdose, her daughter struggled to stay clean. “We have tried all kinds of treatment facilities, but even as her friends were dying, she had trouble staying clean.”

Not content to just sit back and watch more young people die in her North Shore community, Newburg founded Northshore Secret Heroin Problem. Her organization is focused on spreading the word about heroin abuse along the Chicago Northshore.

“I don’t want other parents to go through this,” Newberg said. “I have a broken heart everyday. There is nothing that compares to the emotional pain. And it’s not just my kid. It’s happening all over – in our backyards. It can happen to anybody. … Trust me, I didn’t want to be a spokesperson for having a heroin addict daughter. There’s a lot of shame and guilt associated with all of this. But I’m way past that. I’m trying to save lives. Even if it’s just one, it’s worth it to me.”

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