Former Kickapoo High School cheerleader dies from a drug overdose, her mother is speaking out

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The mother of a former Kickapoo High School cheerleader is speaking out after her daughter died from a heroin overdose.

The mother says more needs to be done to curb this growing dilemma.

"She had such an amazing heart, she was so charismatic, everybody that met her just loved her. She was just amazing, she was a golden person. She lit up the room when she walked in," says Julie Oziah Gideon, Samantha's mother.

September and early October have been hard for Julie Oziah Gideon after she lost her 20 year old daughter Samantha to a heroin overdose.

She had recently graduated from Kickapoo high school and had aspirations of going on to college.

Despite the hardship, Julie and her family are speaking out about changes that need to be made. Her first recommendation is longer times in rehab.

"One thing I think that needs to change is the way the insurance is. They only pay thirty days. When she was in treatment in Florida they made her leave after thirty days because insurance wouldn't pay anymore and she was on the phone and she said I don't want to leave, I'm not ready. I need two or three more weeks in-patient. The counselor said I'm sorry but insurance quit paying. You have to leave."

Julie also wants to see better services available in Southwest Missouri.

"There is no in-patient in Springfield. There is only out-patient. So much needs to change, I mean there are definitely good places here in Springfield but it takes you a week or two to get in, then they want to put you on medicine and that means its another week before you can see the doctor."

Julie says its almost impossible to cover the costs of the medicine and treatments when insurance stops helping out.

"I mean it's terrible but it comes down to money. There are so many people struggling with addiction and its not talked about and its people don't know about it and you don't know what to do until you get in the situation but something's got to change because we are losing our loved ones like very single day."

Samantha was in a car accident during high school which caused her to take pain killers.

Her mother says the pain killers lead her to look for stronger drugs before finding heroin and becoming addicted.