Tell us about your loved one.
My son Michael was the most compassionate person I have ever known. He could relate to anyone, no matter there age or background. He was extremely funny, caring and loved music. We miss him desperately.
Tell us about Michael's struggle with addiction
Michael started experimenting with alcohol and weed around age 13. He struggled with ADHD, anxiety and depression at times.His junior year of high school, his drinking escalated and he was having black outs. The summer before his senior year, his girlfriend broke up with him which seemed to send him on a self-destructive road. He started using xanax,mollys.alcohol... marijuana smoking increased and he snorted heroin a couple times but but did not get into that drug, however, we felt we needed to take him out of high school and put him in a long term rehab. He was extremely upset at us for disrupting his last year of high school and of course I have spent countless hours second guessing everything we did. As parents I know we made a lot of mistakes not really understanding this disease. I guess with other diseases, the afflicted isn't usually screaming the F-word at you. I don't want to get to detailed but my son at 18 years old just could not (and would not) stay at the rehab more then 5 months. It was a one year program. He went to a sober house last Sept. and was doing well until he went to listen to live music at a club one night and did acid. The kids learn at rehab that acid slips through the drug tests. He was asked to leave the sober house so he came to live with us in October. He became quite depressed when he got home because all his friends were in college and I think he felt lost and like a loser.:( Although we knew he had a substance abuse disorder, we decided to let him give college a try. We thought if he felt like a "regular kid", his age it might change his outlook on life. He had been accepted to Coastal Carolina University in his senior year of high school so we contacted them to see if he could start mid-semester. We headed down to SC (we live in the NYC area) mid-January... he died 8 days after school began. I am running out of room but I want the colleges notify us and treat us like kids with other diseases,and notify when first drunk occurs.
What made Michael smile?
"Our dog, Walter. His brother, Jake. His girlfriend Nicole. Music made him smile.
Seinfeld episodes.the T.V. show Key and Peele. Snow days that caused school cancellations!"
What do you miss most about Michael?
Well, off course everything, but he was the best hugger. I miss his laugh, the sound of his voice, his beautiful smile and his warmth and understanding. I just miss all of him!!