Page 17 - November2021
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November 2021
Page 17
 ication, and nothing seemed to work. One time he was pre- scribed Wellbutrin, melted it down, and shot it up with a nee- dle. Frankie tried getting treat- ment with Suboxone but seemed over-drugged all the time." She went on to explain, "The last time my son used drugs, he was living in Maine. It was two days after his 10-month anniversary of being sober. He had gone to rehab, then to a sober house, and was doing well. I'm not sure why he chose to end his sobriety and come to Bristol, but I guess it was familiar to him, and he knew where he could get drugs. He died two days later."
A message Frankie wrote after seven days of sobriety.
I could hear the anguish in Bonnie's voice as she told me about Frankie's last days. At his
celebration of life, held at the Newfound High School foot- ball field, 150 people attended, and most were in their early to late '20s. Many of them told Bonnie about their friendships with Frankie. Again, she was reminded of how caring and thoughtful he was. One of his friends asked for Frankie's me- morial card. He said, "I want to put it with the rest of the ones I have." This statement was an eye-opener for her to listen to and scary for me to hear. It is difficult to know that this young man has lost so many friends to overdoses that he keeps their fu- neral cards to remember them. At this point, Bonnie believes she must convey to kids how just one more time of drug use maybe they're the last.
As I'm sitting with this mom, who just lost her son two weeks before our meeting, I feel a strong sense of empathy. My mind fills with images and thoughts about families I've talked with over the years who lost their chil- dren from drug use too. It is heart-wrenching and unfathom- able to think of losing a child or any other family member. But I'm grateful for the time she gave me and the messages she wants to relate to others. Bonnie does not want her son's death to be in vain. Her statement is unequivo-
cal, "You can be a good person and still have a drug problem." Frankie was a good person with an addiction to drugs. Addiction affects everyone.
Drug overdoses are the pan- demic within the pandemic. Drug dealers don't care about your race, ethnicity, or socioeco- nomic background. They want to sell drugs and make money. Take the time to incorporate strategies into your life to help you or someone close to you. Don't wait to get help. Connect with one of these organizations and learn how to take care of yourself or your loved ones during these turbulent times.
 SMART Recovery for Families
Learn to Cope
Celebrate Recovery for Families
Al-Anon for Families
The New Hampshire Addiction Treatment Locator:
New Hampshire has many facilities that provide care, regardless of your ability to pay. Call 211 to talk with a substance use disor- der professional at one of The New Hampshire Doorways. They can assist you with support, services, screening, evaluation, treat- ment, prevention, and peer recovery support. Check the map below for a location near you.
My books are also available for both family members and the person with a substance use disorder:
Chem-Free Sobriety
(A 2020 #1 New Release Best Seller on Amazon, with 101 Stories of hope from people in recovery) and
 God is in the Addict (Strat- egies to use in the first 90-Days of
Recovery) Both books are available on Amazon. A copy of each is also at the Bristol Library.
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