2021 Overdose Awareness Day

demons up against me drugs
This quote is by Charles Rogers who died by suicide while going through withdrawal from heroin addiction

This post for Overdose Awareness Day is in memory of loved ones who died from intentional or accidental substance overdose. Over the years, many have told their stories here. Others have talked about their near misses–overdoses that didn’t result in their death.

So I’m highlighting the stories here today in honor of those we’ve lost to substance use disorder. And those who have survived. Here is the official Overdose Awareness Day and Week website.

From the White House

Grief Support

See grief support on this page

Addiction support on this page

Lifesaving messages

Download Resources here

Commemorate your loved one who died from an overdose or drug-related death

If you want to commemorate someone you lost to overdose or other drug-related death, leave a comment on this blog post below.

  • Tell us your relation, their name and age
  • Tell us about the person. What did they like to do? What was special about this person?
  • You can also link to a picture or obituary.

Comments from people who’ve not commented before are held in moderation automatically and I will be sure to approve them quickly.

Articles from Emotionally Naked Tribe Members who’ve lost a loved one to overdose

Child

My mom lost her battle with addiction and my world fell apart by Miranda Booher (mother, accidental overdose)

Billy Derr’s Story by Jenny Derr (son, accidental overdose)

Separation, connection and my son’s death by drug overdose by Sara Daves (son, accidental overdose)

Remembering Daniel Louis Rafferty by Teri Rafferty (son, accidental overdose)

Sam’s Soul Journey. A mother’s grief by Lynda Harrison Hatcher (son, accidental overdose)

Dawson Pettit’s Story by Laurie Pettit (son, accidental overdose)

In memory of Thomas McCue by Vasiliki Canotas (son, accidental overdose)

Taylor Rhodes was from a normal family by Kerri Rhodes (son, accidental overdose, video)

JHW Foundation and Collegiate Recovery by Roz Watkins, Founder, JHW Foundation (son, accidental overdose)

Grief is like a chronic disease by Omar Abubaker, D.M.D, Ph.D. (son, accidental overdose)

Drug addiction was never in our family plan by Braxton Collier

Remembering Jeffrey Scott Maurer II by Ms. Dawn Burton (son, accidental overdose)

Jared’s last words by Jared Murphy Submitted by Maureen Mahaney (accidental overdose)

Jilly’s Hearts– #griefheart number 293 by Jayne and Anne Moss (daughter, accidental overdose)

My beautiful daughter, Brenna LeFleor, died of overdose by Marta LeFleor (daughter, accidental overdose)

What I want you to know… by Mary-ellen Viglis (son, intentional overdose, suicide)

Love, by Chaney’s Hands – #griefheart number 20 (daughter, intentional overdose, suicide)

Sibling

Remembering Scott Neal Zebrowski by Jill Cichowicz (sibling/twin brother, accidental overdose)

How is grief like nesting dolls? by Susan Casey, MSW, MFA (sibling, accidental overdose)

Boyfriend

My boyfriend died from a drug overdose by Victoria Kiarsis (boyfriend, accidental overdose)

Friend

Miss you Blake. Miss your sweet messages by Anne Moss Rogers (friend of Charles’s, accidental overdose)

In memory of Christopher Baker, a wonderful human being by Anne Moss Rogers (friend, accidental overdose)

Articles from Overdose Survivors

In April 2020, my life almost came to a halt by Jessica Donovan Amend

Addicted, pistol-whipped, raped. Help came from the most unlikely source by Courtney Nunnally

A Dance with the Devil. My son’s decades-long battle with addiction and recovery by Connie

Free ebook: Signs of Drug Use

Learn what I wish I’d known before I lost my son to drug-related suicide

Grieving After an Overdose Death: The First Days

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “2021 Overdose Awareness Day”

  1. Joyce Hann
    Cousin’s son

    Kyle Krawchyk was found by his mother on Mother’s Day 2015 after he failed to meet her for church and lunch. He had been in recovery. I only met him once, at my uncle’s funeral and was a little haunted by his eyes then. He was a much loved, much missed, and awesome guy.

    He is one of too many.

  2. SON: Levi Halter; 04-09-89 to 02-16-16. (26 yrs old)
    Levi was a sweet, kind soul. He loved his family, his friends, and his two rescued cats. He was a musician with a band in college that actually was interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine! After his death I received over 400 messages from friends -most of whom I’d never met- about how he changed their lives for the better in one way or another. I knew he was special, but having those messages meant so much to me. While there’s a hole in my heart that will never be filled, I try to find peace in the fact that he’s no longer in pain.

  3. My son Michael Sharpe passed away March 23rd, 2018 from an accidental fentanyl overdose. Really, he was poisoned by the person who gave it to him.
    Michael was a brilliant and happy person. He did suffer tremendously by an abusive father all his life.
    Despite, that Michael always was an optimist. He always said,
    I am lucky!” He always had a group of friends that loved him dearly. Michael got into computers when they were first coming out. He was self taught. He could do anything with a computer or a computer part. He taught many of his friends how to get started with computers.
    Michael was my buddy. We got one another.
    He never caused me any trouble.
    Problems with addiction started when Michael was 16 and prescribed an opiate after having his wisdom teeth extracted. He later told me it was like a “light bulb” going on inside his brain and that was all he could think about from that day forward.
    Michael struggled and fought this disease for 20 years. He studied it and knew it inside out.
    I miss Michael so much. We talked in the phone every night and I still keep the phone next to me in the evening with some hope that he will call me.

    1. Thank you for that beautiful tribute for your son, Michael. I’m honored you shared it. I love that he got into computers and then shared that passion with all of his friends.

      I have an article I share from this site about three times a year about asking dental professionals not to prescribe any opiates for wisdom teeth removal. I’ve had people who’ve reached out because they did a search on it and they’ve chosen not to fill it or take it based on that article. At a young age, so many kids will feel that “lightbulb go off in their heads.” Younger brains are more vulnerable to the effect.

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