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“That would never be my kid.” The Addiction Crises.

These memory blankets were created for a wonderful family who lost their son to addiction. He was 19.

This family was so kind to share their story. It breaks my heart. Their son was a kind soul and full of life, loved his family and friends, and wanted to make the world a more peaceful place.

He did not want to live the life of an addict. He wanted to heal and tried to recover. He went to rehab and was clean for 53 days. Then he was gone. It has only been 6 months and sometime they feel it has been six days and sometimes it feels like six years. They are hurting. They are experiencing every parent’s worst nightmare.

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To be honest, I had heard whispers and talk that heroin and drug addiction are a huge problem in our area and around the country, but until now, I hadn’t come face to face with the issue. Meeting this family and seeing their pain has opened my eyes to how real and widespread this problem is.

I am not an expert and have a lot more to learn, but I have read and heard from reliable sources (counselors and parents) that heroin is cheap and readily available, that kids are getting addicted to certain prescription pain relievers first, that someone can die from their first dose, and the worst thing you can say is, “That would never be my kid.”

Kids are dying all around us, right in your backyard, from the schools your kids attend. It’s time to take a stand and declare that it is NOT okay to bury our kids.

Education, quality physical and mental health care, and losing the stigma around addiction will help our community get a handle on this problem and hopefully eradicate this crises.

Locally, there is an organization called Steps 4 Hope (http://www.steps4hope.org). It was founded by a Great Valley family who lost their son on January 7, 2014.

“We support and partner with both local and national organizations, such as Shatterproof, The Herren Project, The Adolescent Awareness Foundation, Be a Part of the Conversation and Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education.  These important organizations educate students and communities, advocate for desperately needed changes in legislation and health care and work to end the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. Please join us to help end this public health crisis.” ~ Steps 4 Hope

There is a race in Ridley Creek State Park on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 9 AM. If you would like to register or become a sponsor, here is the link: https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/NewtownSquare/Steps4Hope5kRun1mileWalk

Steps 4 Hope

Please join me in in the fight by talking to your kids, supporting local awareness, and showing empathy to the families that are suffering. Parenting takes a village and we are all part of it.

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