On November 29, 1987, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy; truly a gift from God. His name was Christopher and as he grew up he had a special gift of making others laugh and smile. He could walk into a room and the room would light up. He was always so good, made good grades and chose the best of friends.

Debbie & ChristopherAfter graduating from high school he went on and completed Graham Web Hair Academy and became a hair stylist. He friends pursued other careers and they all went separate ways.

Christopher made other friends and learned from a co-worker about the drug Adderall. After being introduced to it he was told the doctor who would prescribe it and what to tell them in order to get it. So this is how it started and it wasn’t long before the same doctor then prescribed Xanax to help him sleep.

This went on for several months until he started trading his prescriptions to get Percocet. This went on for a short time as his addiction then took off… he quickly turned to heroin. It happened so fast. He couldn’t keep his jobs, a place to live and moved back home several times in between rehabs.

In four years he entered at a least nine different rehabs here in Maryland (none were long-term). So I got a good health insurance plan for him that included out-of-network benefits and he went to California and Minnesota for long-term programs, for a total of 23 different rehabs in four years.

He came home between rehabs. October 12, 2017 was his last visit home. I found him dead of an overdose on heroin and fentanyl. His bags were packed as he had called to go back the next morning to rehab.

My heart is completely broken. Another beautiful life lost to this horrible disease. I tried everything; I cried every day and mourned his death for four years prior to his passing. I knew my son was slowly dying each day of his addiction. It’s such a painful experience and I know how hard it has been for me I can only imagine how bad it was for him. He tried to get better–he wanted to – but in the end, he lost the battle. Christopher used to tell me so many times that he never wanted to grow up to become an addict and hated the life he was living. I tried everything I could to help but it was a battle lost. I cry everyday and miss him so much.