Jimmy Galante was almost free from the clutches of heroin addiction. However, two days after Christmas, December 27, 2016, his mother found him dead in his bedroom at her home in Latham Needles and tiny empty glassine envelopes on a desk near his body was her indication that he had been taken by heroin overdose. He was only 26 years old when he died. Learn more about “How Heroin Overdose Kills You“.
Jimmy’s funeral was held the day after New Year’s in at Saint Ambrose Church in Latham, where he had been an alter boy growing up. He was laid to rest in peace in Our Lady of Angel’s Cemetary.
Jimmy Was Almost a Heroin Success Story
Jimmy was on his way to becoming a heroin success story and living a long, happy, drug-free life. Jimmy has just completed 16 months of intensive residential inpatient treatment at Hospitality House in Albany, New York and was clean for just over two years before a fatal drug relapse took him away from his loving family.
Jimmy had been given multiple chances at turning his life around and sobriety. In fact, he has been brought back from near-death in a hospital emergency room with Narcan (Naloxone), a miracle medication that reverses an opiate and/or heroin overdose that can almost literally “bring victims back from the dead”. Jimmy had also spent time in jail after being kicked out of several drug rehab facilities and programs. Drug court gave him a fighting chance.
In the days of his active addiction (prior to addiction treatment), Jimmy did what a lot of addicts do. He stole cash, jewelry and prescription medication from his mother. He continued to burn a lot of bridges and damage relationships.
Jimmy’s Life Before Heroin Addiction
Jimmy had a good life before he became a heroin addict. He played Little League baseball, he was a Cub Scout and played the guitar when he was a little older. He loved heavy metal music and joined the band “Lycanthrope” that got their first gig at the old Saratoga Winners.
Jimmy was incredibly smart and aced a practice Regents exam long before they went over the material in class. This led to Jimmy winning an all-paid-for trip to Disney world. He attended Hudson Valley Community College while working hard and very well as a window installer.
Heroin can knock even the best people down if we let it. Sadly, Jimmy was dragged down and taken by its deadly grip.
Jimmy’s drug use originated when he started smoking cannabis (marijuana) with his friends as a teenager at Shaker High School and Christian Brothers Academy. His parents wanted more discipline for him and to keep their son away from his “druggie friends”, Jimmy was transferred to CBA his junior year. “I was so naïve back then,” his mother Marytheresa Galante said. “It was just a better class of drug user.”
Jimmy Galante’s father James Joseph Galatne Sr. is a retired Albany cop.
Jimmy’s Attempts at Addiction Treatment and Recovery
In recent months leading up to his heroin overdose related death, he had been opening up to his mother Marytheresa Galante. He was very upfront about his heroin addiction which started with snorting it 6 years prior to impress a girl he liked. Snorting heroin led to shooting it in order to obtain a better “high”.
Like many heroin addicts, his addiction eventually became less about achieving a feeling of elation and more about avoiding dreadful heroin withdrawal symptoms that can take even the toughest individual down on his or her knees.
His mother said, “He told me that when you’re dope-sick, you’ll kill your mother for $100.”
Jimmy had written 14 names in a notebook his mother recently bought him of friends of his who died from heroin overdoses. The list was incomplete and four more of his friends were in prison.
Some of his friends include Dan Flood and Patty Farrell’s daughter, Laree who died of a heroin overdose in 2013. Dan Flood was 26 and previously failed a number of addiction treatment programs. He spent time in jail and is now homeless in downtown Albany panhandling just off Interstate 787 at the Madison Avenue exit. Jimmy Galante always stopped to speak with Dan and give him a little cash when he saw him out there holding an old, beat-up cardboard sign.
At 15 years of age, Jimmy had gotten a tattoo on his leg: “XXX Straight Edge”. It was he and a friend’s pact never to do drugs again. Regrettably, Jimmy’s friend died of a drug overdose at his parents’ home in Loudonville in 2013. His family chose not to publicly share his story. However, his mother had posted the following on Facebook in the last week.
“Heroin addiction is a tragedy for the person it has control over as well as their family. Time to stop all the shame and secrecy. Before one more child dies.”
The above post led to a message from a Shenendehowa High School teacher who said she new of 7 former students who also died from heroin overdoses in the past couple years.
Young Do, a counselor and clinical director at Hospitality House for 11 years said, “It’s still getting worse,” noting there has been a recent surge of new stronger, cheaper synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which have flooded the streets like open sewers, claiming the lives of even more individuals.
Jimmy Galante’s family is raising money for Hospitality House in Jimmy’s memory. “They gave me my son back, at least for a little while,” Jimmy’s mother said.
Jimmy’s mom cried when she looked at a photo showing last summer’s family vacation in North Caroline’s Outer Banks. Jimmy was clean at that time and his younger brother and sister were there too. She said it was the first time in 6 years that they’ve all been together. Jimmy was happy and healthy at that time.
She sobbed when she looked at a photograph of last summer’s family vacation in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Jimmy was clean. His younger brother and sister were there. It was the first time in six years they were all together. She hadn’t seen him healthier or happier in a long while.
Sadly, Jimmy wasn’t able to escape what his mother called the”terrible demon”. Jimmy is one of many devastating deaths from the heroin epidemic.
This community offers our heart felt condolences to Jimmy’s family during this horribly sad time.
Photos of Jimmy Galante
Written and Published by William Seemiller – Owner and Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
CEO/Owner/Founder, Modern Image, LLC
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