BANGOR – A 2007 Brewer High School graduate is likely the latest victim in the state’s drug epidemic.
The family of Kristen Lounsberry, 30, said she apparently overdosed in a hidden area near the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. Her death is the second in just a few weeks of a member of Bangor’s homeless community.
“That’s too young to be gone. She had her whole life ahead of her,” said Lounsberry’s friend, Casey Pinkham. “It’s sad that she couldn’t get the help in time.”
Lounsberry went to Brewer High School with Pinkham, who once used drugs himself but has been clean for nearly 10 years.
A homeless man named Stephen Decatur died in a reported drug overdose near the Penobscot Bridge on May 13.
Even though more than 30 homeless people have been placed in hotels over the last couple weeks thanks to a partnership between Hope House, Maine hope house, MaineHousing and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Lounsberry was not among them.
“Somehow she fell through the cracks,” Pinkham said. “She probably was depressed because she had nowhere to go and when I got depressed, drugs were my last resort.”
Lounsberry’s family said her husband also died in a drug overdose, making her a widow and single mother.
Last year, 380 Mainers died in drug overdoses.
“I seen her probably three months ago with my buddy, James. I knew she was in a bad spot but I told her if she needed anything to give me a buzz. I gave her my number but I didn’t know it was that bad,” Pinkham said.
Lounsberry was arrested in February after breaking into a Bangor home and inviting others to go inside.
“She indicated that she was cold and said she did it so that she wouldn’t freeze,” Penobscot County District Attorney Marrianne Lynch said at the time.
Lynch said it was a symptom of the larger problem of homelessness and drug use in the Bangor area.
Lounsberry’s friend said he planned to talk to Lynch about the problem.
“It’s devastating to see her go. It’s too bad. I feel bad for her family,” Pinkham said. “There has got to be more help out there for people who are addicted.”