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Lauri Peterson’s son, Joshua-Michael Waring, passed away at the age of 35 due to addiction. His sister, Ashley Zarlin, described addiction as a disease that distorts and destroys, leaving shattered dreams and broken hearts. Waring had limitless potential but addiction veered him off course, leaving behind lost opportunities for growth, laughter, and dreams with his family. Peterson confirmed her son’s death in an emotional Instagram post, expressing her heartache for the what-ifs and the dreams left unfulfilled.

Zarlin reflects on her mother’s unwavering love and tireless efforts to support Waring, fighting alongside him in belief that he could overcome his demons. She mourns the loss of possibilities for a different outcome, wishing she could have done more to help him find his way back to the light. Despite the sorrow of his loss, she cherishes memories of who he truly was before addiction took hold, remembering him before he was stolen away by the disease.

Joshua-Michael Waring is survived by his parents, Lauri and George Peterson, his sisters, Ashley and Sophie, and his daughter, Kennady. Lauri adopted Kennady in 2015 amid Waring’s struggle with alcoholism. Zarlin also mourns the loss of countless others who have been failed by a system that should have been their lifeline, calling for urgent change and reform in the healthcare system to prioritize compassion and support above judgment and neglect.

Zarlin expresses the urgent need for a healthcare system that prioritizes compassion and effective support systems to help those struggling with addiction. She criticizes the healthcare system for its shortcomings, limitations, and failures that ultimately led to Waring’s death. She hopes for a world where compassion and support replace judgment and neglect, allowing others to find the help they desperately need. She concludes her tribute to Waring by expressing hope that he has found the peace he was seeking and that he is finally free from pain.

In memory of Joshua-Michael Waring, Zarlin encourages those struggling with substance abuse to seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). She emphasizes the importance of reaching out for support and assistance in dealing with addiction and urges others to not suffer in silence. Waring’s story serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of addiction on individuals and families, highlighting the need for a more compassionate and effective healthcare system to address these challenges.

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