A Missouri mom named Jennifer Salfen-Tracy appealed to Facebook in the search for her son Cody Bishop, who she said was homeless somewhere on the streets of Las Vegas. Her post quickly went viral, in part because Salfen-Tracy shared images of Bishop from before he began to use heroin and how he looked seven months later, completely emaciated.
“The face of heroin and meth,” the post begins.”Is reality for so many people and families in this world today.”
She says she is hesitant to share the extremes of what Bishop and his family have been going through, but adds, “I have learned along this path that so many people and families deal with the same heartache but just do not talk about it. This is a true issue in our world today that we need to pull together about and focus on to fix instead of the government worrying about and spending all their money on throwing each other under the bus.”
Salfen-Tracy says she wants her son to reach out and know she loves him, and though knowing how badly he may be suffering is painful, not hearing about him is even worse. She says she is hoping he will return home to his family and receive the care that he needs to recover.
Reporters picked up the story and a campaign to find Cody Bishop began on Twitter, under a hashtag of his name. Las Vegas reporter Marie Mortera tweeted on October 14th that he has been found, but more information was not forthcoming.
— Marie Mortera (@MarieNews3LV) October 15, 2019
The post was shared over 45 thousand times according to the New York Post, but it appears to have been deleted or set to private, perhaps because Salfen-Tracy or her son were receiving too much attention. It’s possible that they wished to deal with their reunion and his potential recovery in a more private manner than social media can afford, but the popularity of the post shows that Salfen-Tracy was right: families everywhere have been ravaged by addiction to opioids, heroin and, meth. They recognize all too well how quickly these drugs can take over someone’s life and make them unrecognizable. It is an issue for the government, and speaking out about it from a personal place is very brave and very necessary.