Below is a family story that was sent to us. It is so impactful… while reading it you can feel how the drug addiction of one can affect so many others. There are thousands of stories like this one unfortunately… so many parents watching their children suffer.. children watching their parents struggle …and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors helplessly watching on the sidelines. The sense of helplessness is overwhelming. What can one do to help? That is the million dollar question… ¬†I think we can all start by cleaning out our medicine cabinets and practice proper disposal of un used medications. 96% of prescription drug abuse starts out of our medicine cabinets… ¬†Support community efforts with education and awareness efforts and addiction support. And support each other…

My son had an issue with drugs since arriving in Detroit in 2005 as a freshman in high school. He met a new friend who exposed him to cough medications in addition to much marijuana use that led to his drive to use even more. Jeff was a musical prodigy who could pick up an instrument and play it upon touch. He was always good at math and great at poetry. He had written many songs and poems that brought attention to his creativity. Jeff was the oldest child of two and had the world at his fingertips.
Jeff’s father was caught cheating and I promptly divorced him and returned to California in the Summer of 2007 so the kids could finish their schooling for the year. I came home to family and support. I returned to college and was very successful. Jeff graduated high school 5th in his class in 2009. His sister followed his success and was 3rd in her class of 46 the next school year. This shows I was on task with my children and totally supportive.
Over the next few years, Jeff played his father against me, time after time for employment and his future plans. I remarried in 2012, and my husband suggested truck driving for employment as well as housing. Jeff apparently drove and continued to use both meth and heroin. After a couple of years of varying truth, Jeff lost his job and came to California in 2016 as a last ditch clean up, to enter the Air Force. He again blew it and got hurt at my home after beating up my husband, I received a restraining order against him, and he returned to Texas first, and was kicked out from his dad and returned to Michigan to drive for a small company that did no drug testing. Jeff was soon again fired, penniless and unemployable, and called me for help. He said he had the ability to go to rehab and I said “GO!” He asked where would he be welcomed after, and I told him he would be a great “poster child” for rehabilitation as he was a handsome man who cleaned up very well. He was not welcome to return to California and family. We all had house alarms from his threats to me. Jeff called me June 2017 after Father’s Day explaining he had hurt a friend, was still using heroin, and had no future. He had asked his dad for help and was turned down, I explained how a restraining order worked and how I was finished with him as well, I said I loved him and to get help. I asked him to find me after he was clean and hung up.
Jeff was found in an abandoned house in Detroit, September 14, 2017. He was dead for about two months. I have seen a therapist and have problems with family members about the entire process. No one understands what drug addiction can do to a “normal” family. I am a teacher, my parents are alive and well in their 80’s, and no one has had a drug problem before this. We are struggling to understand how a brilliant young man can turn to this end.
I totally feel for Mrs. Savage and her loss. I have a daughter, Samantha, who lights my world. She is 25 and my husbands three at 28, 17, and 15 still do not fill the void I have from my son.
I am not religious, however, I have prayed for Jeff to be received somewhere for eternity. He was so lost. Somewhere I failed to see it in time.

Susan W.