Families who lost loved ones to overdoses call on retailers to stop selling syringe props
Some families are calling for a specific Halloween accessory to be taken off the shelves.
Pens resembling hypodermic needles and syringes are not uncommon to see when searching at Halloween sections in stores, but those who lost people to drug overdoses say it’s offensive.
“I’m absolutely appalled by it because I lost two children to heroin overdoses,” says Lido Beach resident Kelly Grym.
Grym’s only children, 19-year-old Daniel and 20-year-old Kenny both died of heroin overdoses. She says the syringe props bring back horrible memories of her sons’ deaths.
“When you lose a child to something as horrible as what we’ve gone through, heroin and overdoses, it’s not funny and it’s very offensive that these companies are profiting from something like this,” Grym says.
The novelty toys are sold nationally at chains like Target, Party City and Spirit Halloween stores.
Melville resident Tania Thomas also lost her 21-year-old daughter Anastasia died of a heroin overdose in 2016.
“Whether it be real or fake, it doesn’t matter to the person that lost a child,” Thomas says. “It’s still a syringe, it’s still something that brings back the most traumatic part of your life.”
Both Grym and Thomas are members of The Beading Hearts LI, a support group for parents who have lost a child to drug overdose.
They are calling on retailers to pull the items off the shelves.
Grym even made pleads via emails and Twitter.
Only Party City responded, saying in part: “Thank you for reaching out to us and making your voice heard.”
However, they made no mention of action that would be taken place.
So far, only Party City responded to Grym saying in part -- "Thank you for reaching out to us and making your voice heard" -- but made no mention of action.
“It’s hurtful because I feel like they’re making money off our sorry,” Grym says. “I feel like they’re almost mocking us.”
She and other parents say the prop is also a bad influence on children especially in light of the country’s heroin crisis.
Latest statistics from the Centers for Prevention of Disease and Control show drug overdose deaths rose 10% from 2019 to 2020.
“We need to take a stand on what our kids are playing with,” Thomas says.
The mothers are hoping to take a stand to save a new generation from drug overdoses in member of their own children.
These moms say they're taking a stand to help save the next generation from drug overdose in memory of their lost children.
“They don’t have a voice anymore, so I have to be their voice,” Grym says.
News 12 called and sent emails to Target, Spirit Halloween and Party City for comment and are still awaiting a response.