I rise up for Our Son

Gloria Brown
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

We tried not to let it consume our lives, or rob us of loving him. We tried to always see his struggle, we always stood by our son, we worked with him any way we could to help him get help, we would do it all over again. It tried to rob us of our joy and resources, but we wouldn't let it. It robbed us of a future with him, of watching him finish school and get the job he was preparing to have, of marrying the woman of his dreams who he loved dearly and of the joy of having grandchildren by him. It has left our entire family with such a void in our hearts, that will never be filled. We can't imagine our lives will ever be the same. We miss him so much, every day is a struggle, he touched so many lives and all of them he had an impact on, life for us will never be the same.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

It's time to not be silent, the world needs to change how they treat addiction and those who suffer with from it. The methods of treatment need to change; no more drugs to overcome a drug. No more studies, we know what is going to work, start making it available to everyone, remove the restrictions to physicians to treat symptoms. Set restrictions on pharmaceutical companies and doctors who abuse medications for profit. The resources to control this epidemic have been available for decades, fight the restrictions and abuse, make our voices heard, we are the victims of this horrific dilemma, call it what it is, it’s a Crisis, not a disease, diseases don’t have cures, this one does, let's make it happen people, listen and then let’s love those afflicted and affected by it, because then and only then will we truly win the battle against drugs.

We lost our son to heroin. On August 2nd, our son lost his battle to heroin. He was 25 years old. He was the most loving, charismatic young man you ever want to meet. Addiction did not define him. He refused to believe that his life could be controlled by this drug, so much that he died trying to prove it. We were one week away from his next Naltrexone implant, he had missed his third implant because he had been restricted by his probation officer to leave the state for 90 days. He refused to take the pills because they made him sick, and he thought he would be okay if it was only going to be 48 days between the implant wearing off and his next appointment (June 22 was the appointment he couldn't make and August 9th would have been after the 90 days he was prohibited to leave the state). He would never make that appointment. On day 39 he OD'd and survived and was sent home from an emergency room with referrals and was told that is all they can do for him, knowing he would need to use again. On day 41, only 2 days later, he OD'd again, only this time, he was alone with no one to help him and died. His life stolen from us by a drug that has no compassion, does not discriminate, and destroys everything in its path. When will we wake up and see that the methods we are using are not working, and that we need to band together and speak up until we are heard, so no one ever has to suffer the senseless loss of a loved one to heroin or any drug. I will walk for Jason and every parent who has lost a child to heroin.