Heroin claims the life of a Brookfield teen

CREATED Jan. 21, 2014

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BROOKFIELD - Heroin caused nearly half of the recent drug overdose deaths in Waukesha County.

Luke Pulsifer was incredibly artistic and well-liked by his peers. His former Study Hall teacher remembers him well.

"He was a real pleasure to be around,” recalls teacher Chris Guthrie. “He was just a really nice kid."

Luke graduated from Brookfield East High School June 2012. A year later, he was gone. His mom tells TODAY’S TMJ4 he overdosed on heroin.

His parents will take part in a summit Wednesday night to raise awareness of the havoc caused by heroin. They feel the only way the problem can be solved is if the community fights it together.

"I miss him terribly,” expresses Dad Lee Pulsifer. “He left a big hole on a lot of lives. He was far more important than he ever thought."

A commander in the drug unit in Waukesha County tells TODAY’S TMJ4 that law enforcement deals with the scourge of heroin on a daily basis. Needle marks on arms and legs aren't the only signs of heroin use.

"Another sign is withdrawing from friends that they previously hung out with,” shares Addictions Counselor Sue Kalensky. “They might not do things with the family or isolate themselves in their room."

Luke saw a drug counselor weekly. His parents knew he'd used heroin a few times. They say that last time, he didn't overdose on purpose. He never wanted this to happen. He just needed better coping skills.

"Life is for the living, and life goes on,” says his mom Laura Pulsifer. “But our lives will never be the same. Our family, as we knew it died."

The Waukesha Heroin Summit is open to parents and community members. It’ll be held at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield on January 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.