Why I Openly Discuss My Son’s Death From Drugs
We did everything the experts told us to do. We did what we thought was right. But lurking around every corner was the Monster. The Monster was waiting to pounce on us and steal our dreams and destroy our future. He did. Bigtime!
You may know the Monster by another name – Drugs! Whatever name you give him, he’s an unforgiving and unrelenting monster who, according to the DEA, claims the lives of one American every 20 minutes.
When our son died, I could not bring myself to utter the words – “he died from a multidrug overdose.” I could merely say his heart stopped. He was a 31-year-old Paramedic and RN. The dregs of society? No. He was a young man with promise, talent, intelligence, good looks, kindness and every loving attribute you can describe.
Some kids do drugs to feel good or their peers entice them to do so but a lot of kids start taking drugs to self-medicate their emotional pain.
We can no longer remain silent about drug addiction. For far too long we’ve sat back and let the experts speak for us. Now we must speak.
We must not only get a firm handle on drug addiction but we must do all that we can to help the mentally ill. Mental illness and drug addiction quite often go hand in hand.
Three and four week rehabs are not the answer.
Jail time is not the answer. Unless an addicted person has committed a crime while under the influence of drugs (the fact that even doing drugs is a crime, notwithstanding) they don’t need to be sequestered in jail with hardened criminals. They need treatment, not punishment.
Although ridiculed, Nancy Reagan was spot on with her “Just Say No” message. But that won’t work in and of itself. We must attack this with as much vigor as the anti-tobacco campaign. Until science discovers a cure for addiction, the only remedy truly is prevention. “Be smart – Don’t start.”
We have to start early on talking to our kids about drugs, showing them the horrific consequences of drug abuse. Let them see the drug addicts in hospitals and nursing homes who are alive but not really living.