Katharine Lotze

Photographer
  
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Nationality: American
Biography: | Photojournalist specializing in sports & action photography |  My passion for photography began with a passion for sports. As a graduate and record-holding track athlete for Central Washington University, I spent weekends... read on
Private Story
Before It's Too Late
Credits: katharine lotze/the signal
Updated: 04/04/18
Before It's Too Late

Originally published in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal as a series of stories from May 2017 through October 2017.

This series project was recognized by the California Newspaper Publisher's Better Newspapers Contest 2018 for Public Service Journalism

James Fusca called his mom. 
He pleaded with her to help him into a program to combat his heroin addiction. Just the day before, seven people -- some he knew -- overdosed on heroin in Santa Clarita. He knew he needed help... before it was too late. 

Cary Quashen, owner and founder of Action Family Counseling, intervened. Years before, Fusca's mother, Sunny, had gone through the program herself, and she knew he could help. 

But after a few days of sobriety, and what Cary called "magical thinking," James was back in hot water. A few weeks later, he was in jail on outstanding warrants after acting out in the in-patient rehab. 

He was released three months later, sober, and determined to stay that way this time. 

James was arrested on a misdemeanor drug charge in April 2018, following his release from a Bakersfield, Calif. rehab. Cary Quashen agreed to bring him back to his Piru, Calif. in-patient rehab once he is released.
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