All I can add to this is my story. My son didn’t ask for his addiction. It was the by product of a serious leg injury in an ATV accident. We had no experience, exposure or understanding of what was happening to our son, and our family. When we lost him to an accidental overdose at 25 on November 23, 2014, my family’s life, and everyone who knew and loved Dane Olsen, had their lives changed forever. It has taken me these years since to understand what I didn’t understand, and to find my voice to help raise awareness about what can happen to ANYONE. I have been willing to share very painful stories of our experiences anywhere someone is willing to listen, so maybe another family can learn something that might help them NOT go through what Dane and our family went through.
Through a series of really unlikely events I have met the most amazing people who share this conviction to be a part of the solution, not to allow fear or stigma to silence them. Many, many, positive things are happening because so many have put their grief aside and are speaking out. But there is such a long way to go. And our loved ones didn’t choose, or deserve, the death sentences Addiction can be. No one does.
When our son was hurt, there was a clear course of action to take and we knew what to do, and people responded in a helpful, supportive manner.
When our son became addicted to his pain meds, there was no “911” to call for that. No clear resources or course of action to take. That is what we are trying to help change.
These “people” we are losing… in the HUNDREDS EVERY DAY Are our future. EVERYONE knows SOMEONE who is affected by this epidemic. It isn’t a character flaw. ITS A DISEASE, and one that was fueled by the over prescription of opiate medications. Many were unsuspecting. Now we know, and understand so much more, we can find a solution.
No one thinks Naloxone is a SOLUTION. It is something to keep someone alive long enough to find that solution. Who doesn’t want that? We must all fix our ignorance and misinformation.
Be as outraged by this national tragedy as we are by any other! Be a part of the positive things that are happening. Everyone can do something.
by Terry Ann Olsen