My Dear Friend Recently Made His Departure

Michael Gardner
I am the 1 in 3 graphic image
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

Throughout my life, I have been around friends who have used drugs and alcohol. I have seen it tear families apart. I have seen the gross negligence that comes from it. From what I’ve seen in my own life, the only way to drink responsibly is to not drink at all. Seeing several classmates and dear friends die from alcohol and drugs makes you very aware of what you're doing in your own life, and makes you aware of the way you're living your life and the kind of examples you're setting for your children.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

If you know someone who needs help, never give up on them. They may not accept it and may choose a different path, but if they choose the path to get help, it will be rewarding for the both of you. I am struggling with why my friend choose not to get help. I do wonder why someone who was going to have shelter, food, clothing, and a steady income would not want it. Even though my friend lost his battle with addiction, I still believe that giving up is NOT the answer.

My childhood friend, who I'd known since birth, recently passed away from addiction. When I was 10, my family had to move away from the town where my friend and I grew up together, and we lost touch. Twenty years later, I Googled his name and learned that he was incarcerated only 30 minutes from where I lived. He was serving an 18-month sentence for manufacturing meth. I offered to pay for him to go to rehab as well as stay in a halfway house. Naturally he was very reluctant to go along with the plan. I was trying to help him with the cost of rehab and help him find a job to get back on his feet so he'd be able to provide for himself. On June 9, 2018, I learned from his family that law enforcement did a welfare check on him and found him dead from an overdose in an abandoned building. I am now asking myself what else I could have done to prevent this tragedy. What else could I have done to help him get help? Right now, I am just lost for words.