Losing a child is the most painful trauma and grief any parent will ever experience. I found that out firsthand on August 28th, 2021, when my 30-year-old son lost his life to a disease called Substance Use Disorder - formerly known as Addiction.
When someone hears a person died of an accidental overdose, the cultural image that usually pops up is that of a strung-out undisciplined party animal.
No one expects that it was an Ivy League student with a documented high tolerance due to multiple surgeries who was unable to find reliable medical treatment and felt forced to go to the streets to find relief from unrelenting cravings.
No matter where the dependency starts however, medical induced or social choice, the end result is too often the same. Recently released data by the CDC show that drug overdose deaths reached a record high of 93,331 in 2020. Over 800,000 since 1991 when Purdue Pharma created Oxycontin.
This blog is written in memory of my son’s heroic fight in the hopes his story can save others and that my writings can help bring comfort to all those who grieve.
Chemical dependency is the price we paid for his life - but at least he was still with us.
Luke had many years of sobriety between surgeries. His last sobriety lasted 3 1/2 years. Facing yet another surgery and depression from lack of endorphins his brain was just too altered by the vast amount of narcotics to keep going. Had he better insurance or a medical system that understood his disease he may still be here and not reached out to the street for help. Instead we were forced to say good-by far too soon. RIP my son