As the wind blows through the trees carrying the voices of those lost to the drug epidemic, may we always remember them, their grieving loved ones and those who continue to fight for recovery.
Teen Photo Memorial Wall
My son, Brian, was a loving child, full of smiles and light. Like so many children, as he entered his teenage years, Brian tried drugs and alcohol. And like far too many, this led to addiction. For almost 10 years, Brian battled this disease and its cycle of shame, isolation, and failure. During that same time, my family and I fought to navigate the complex and confusing web of treatment programs and therapies.
"If you know someone who has struggled with addiction, you know all too well the pain and anguish of watching a loved one in the clutches of this disease." - Gary Mendell, Founder of Shatterproof
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States.
U.S. overdose deaths have risen most years for more than two decades, the AP reported in May. The increase began in the 1990s with overdoses involving opioid painkillers, followed by waves of deaths led by other opioids like heroin and — most recently — illicit fentanyl. Over 71,000 people died from overdosing on synthetic opioids like fentanyl in 2021, up from almost 58,000 in 2020, according to the CDC.