The opioid crisis from ‘just a dad’

by Don Holman
In future posts, Don will be offering current event updates regarding national policy on the addiction and opiate crisis in the US 

Fighting the Opioid Crisis – What is it?

My proudest accomplishment in life is being a Dad to Kristen and Garrett. On 2/9/2017 that accomplishment took a tragic hit with the loss of my son Garrett. From that point on in my mind, no matter what I accomplish or acquire in the time I have left, I have lost. So, I had the choice of throwing in the towel and giving up, putting it behind … Read more... “The opioid crisis from ‘just a dad’”

Drug addiction was never in our family plan

by Braxton Collier

Stephen Boyd Collier died from overdose
Stephen Boyd Collier

My wife and I were married in 1973 and started off with all kinds of dreams of how we were going to live our lives, how many children we wanted to have, where we would like to live and many other things just like most all couples in middle class America.

In January 1976, our first son, Stephen Boyd Collier, was born and we decided my wife would stay home and raise him. Then in May 1979 our second son was born. I would say we were a relatively normal couple, two kids, … Read more... “Drug addiction was never in our family plan”

Billy Derr’s Story

By Jenny Derr, his mother

In April of 2016, our 24-year-old son, Billy was visiting us in Richmond. We had a good weekend–he was engaged, laughing, and spending a lot of time with us, which is not the typical behavior of someone in active addiction.

He had relapsed in October 2015, after a year and a half of sobriety, and seemed to be back on the right track. He was enrolled at Boston University taking two classes and he loved living in Beacon Hill. He flew back to Boston on a Tuesday morning, I took him to the airport, … Read more... “Billy Derr’s Story”

Dawson Pettit’s Story

by Laurie Pettit

My son Dawson, my first child, was born February 13, 1988. He was such a happy baby and he grew up in the Wyndham area of Short Pump. He loved school, his friends, his pets and his family–especially his cousin Grayson.

Dawson played little league baseball, YMCA basketball, travel soccer with Richmond Strikers, and he was a brown belt in Karate. He later played Lacrosse, and tennis and golf through High school. Dawson did well in school and was accepted into Deep Run’s Center for Information Technology, his home school and where his friends were.

When the … Read more... “Dawson Pettit’s Story”