Former Little Silver Woman Writes Story of Heroin, 'Heartache and Hope'

Ann Laverty tells the story of her son's addiction and its effect on the family.

Unraveled: A Story of Heartache and Hope" by Ocean City resident Ann Taylor Laverty is available now through online bookstores.
Unraveled: A Story of Heartache and Hope" by Ocean City resident Ann Taylor Laverty is available now through online bookstores.
“This is the good kid from the good family,” says author Ann Laverty of her son, Matt, who had a fairly typical experience of a child growing up in Little Silver. 

After Point Road School and Markham Place, he attended Red Bank Regional High School, where he got into a little trouble for experimenting with smoking pot and drinking, but then went on to college and graduated with a solid 3.0.

But a few months after his graduation, the Lavertys, who lived in Little Silver for 20 years, learned the awful truth: Matt was addicted to heroin.

His November 2009 arrest plunged Ann and her family down the rabbit hole of addiction and she’s written a book that not only chronicles the experience but offers hope to those with similar struggles.

The book, "Unraveled: A Story of Heartache and Hope," comes on the heels of a recent forum held at Rumson-Fair Haven High School by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office to discuss the growing use and abuse of heroin in the region. According to a report on Patch, heroin addiction does not discriminate and is not just a lower-income problem. In just one year, heroin deaths in New Jersey of 18-25 year olds rose 24 percent.

“I don’t know how we could have stopped it,” Ann, 57, says of Matt’s addiction. When his drinking and marijuana use spiked in high school, the family worked with the school and sought outside counseling and Ann thought he had eventually “settled down.”

“I kick myself all the time, wondering if I shouldn’t have worked outside the house,” she says.  She and her husband, Mike, had babysitters at home to help out with Matt’s two disabled siblings while they were at work.

Following the arrest, Ann says Matt “spiraled out of control,” but today, at 26, he’s living in a group home in Belmar with other sober men and has been clean for 14 months.

“It was a crazy year,” says Ann of the road to sobriety. “And what it took to get there was pretty bad.”

Now living with her family in Ocean City, NJ, Ann says her book was her "healing process."

“I had to put it down somewhere or my heart was going to explode,” she says. “It started as a way to keep myself somewhat sane, as well as to keep track of everything that was happening."

Ann says she intentionally wove glimpses of a younger Matt, who was a happy child and quick to laugh, throughout the book. “That’s what I had to remember,” she says. “He might be sitting in a jail right now but deep down he’s a good kid.”

The book is geared not only to parents of children addicted to drugs, but for the addicts themselves and any parents with children coming up on their teenaged years.

“This could be any of the children sitting in Monmouth County,” Ann says. “It’s the kid next door.”

To purchase a copy of "Unraveled: A Story of Heartache and Hope," visit:



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