Page 16 - November2021
P. 16

 Page 16
By suzanne thistle
Frank Roach died of a drug overdose at the age of 27. As a longtime Bristol, NH resident, he loved life, family, and service to others. His participation in foot- ball, baseball, basketball, and other activities brought him close to many and kept him active in the sports he loved.
His mom, Bonnie Tisdale, told me how loving and caring her son Frankie was and how he made it a point to help his friends. She shared about an incident when Frankie was six years old, and the elementary school called her. They told her that he always went out of his way to support his classmates and worked on projects with a boy no one else would. This boy was ostracized because he had a mental illness and another dis- ability, but Frankie wanted him to feel included and part of the class. Frankie's mom said, "This is the first sign I noticed of his caring heart. Even when I wasn't looking or no one was around, he
When Addiction Hits Home
November 2021
was still that person." Unfortunately, during his ad-
olescent years, he started to feel insecure and wanted to fit in, as many do at this age. Then, an 18-year-old girl decided Frankie was the guy she wanted to be with, and he gave in to the temp- tation of dating an older woman despite his mother's disapproval. Sadly, this girl introduced him to drugs and alcohol, a different world than his upbringing. A re- lationship with her, coupled with being a teenage boy, became a toxic mixture. It wasn't long be- fore drugs took away his inspira- tion and motivation for school and sports.
Frankie's mom explains how she knew when he was using drugs, "he was an instant jerk. When he was sober, he was a great guy." Frankie's addiction grew worse, and Bonnie thought, "As a person in long-term recov- ery, what can I do that my par- ents didn't do? How can I help him?" She and her husband, Jim, knew they needed to hold him accountable but be there as par-
ents to love and care for him as well. This task wasn't easy.
Before the Tisdale's knew it,
Frankie was 15 and ran away from home due to his drug use. At one point, Bonnie states, "we
had to put a CHINS (Child in Need of Services) on him," and they sent him to a home for teens who need extra care. However, the neighbors found him face down in the street shortly after returning home because he in- jected drugs and had a near-fatal overdose. They didn't want to get him in trouble by calling 911, so they did what they could to sup- port him. Yet, getting help is the first thing someone should do if they suspect an overdose has occurred. So many things can go wrong with the body from substances. Keeping Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, on hand and making sure you're trained to use it is another.
Bonnie went on to explain that at the age of 16, "he started seeing a counselor, and he was getting through to Frankie, but the counselor left the agency and was no longer available." After this, things got worse. Frankie started losing friends who didn't use drugs and gaining friends who did. Bonnie said, "We tried everything, counseling, med-
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