He knew the potential dangers but did them anyway.
I guess he thought he was invincible as most 16-year-old boys do and just wanted to have fun. Through the fog of grief and pain, all we could think of is why. Why didn’t we know our son had a problem, why didn’t people that knew he was using tell us, why didn’t Josh turn to us for help? Within 24 hours of our son’s death, I was online doing research trying to discover how this could have happened to us. What I found was shocking, I learned that heroin use and heroin and other opiate-related overdoses were occurring at record rates. Every 19 minutes someone dies from a drug overdose in the United States. In Illinois, drug overdoses are more common than car accidents as a cause of accidental deaths. I’m a parent of teenagers and a physician and did not know the scope of the problem.
I vowed to my self and to my son that I would not let his death be in vain.
In looking for a way that I could make a difference, I discovered harm reduction, specifically overdose prevention. So, what exactly is harm reduction? Harm reduction involves programs and policies that aim to reduce the risk associated with drug use. Harm reduction acknowledges that despite our best efforts people will continue to use drugs because they are unwilling or unable to stop. People who support harm reduction believe that human rights apply to everyone. People who use drugs do not forfeit their human rights. We believe that good healthcare and safe drug practices should be available. And that the focus should be on low-cost high-impact interventions. One such intervention is overdose prevention.