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Ron and Dotti Taylor

Dear Paul,

My husband and I can not thank you enough for the work you do regarding overdose emergencies using the Evzio kit.
Your training class saved our son’s life. We were at home on a Tuesday evening and I had just sat down to relax around 8 PM, I feel as though the Lord prompted me to go into my office which is directly over my son’s room, and in doing so I heard a strange noise. Assuming it was his TV I called him to turn it down but he didn’t respond. I called my husband into the office so he could hear what I was hearing.… Click Here

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I had a typical happy New Jersey childhood. As a child, I played softball and basketball. I loved going camping and spending my summers at the beach. I have loving parents, who did the best they could. Despite my happy childhood and loving parents, I began to feel like an outsider in my early teens. I developed a smart mouth and a rebellious attitude. I felt insecure and angry most of the time. I tried alcohol at the age of 14 and attempted suicide at 15. I was regularly smoking marijuana at 17, and I eventually tried a number of drugs soon after that. I was arrested for possession and being under the influence of LSD at 18; instead of jail, I was hospitalized. I received pre-trial intervention (PTI) and the charges were eventually dismissed. For the next six years I was in and out of therapy and outpatient rehabs, but somehow managed to get decent jobs. I even became a licensed broker’s assistant (obtaining the Series 7 license); however, my life was unstable and I couldn’t hold a job for more than nine months.

In 2003, at the age of 25, I was in the grips of a near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction. I was unable to maintain employment, healthy relationships, or housing — any semblance of functioning life. I became unemployed, homeless, and had few friends. I felt so lost and alone. Drugs were the only thing that made me feel ok, and it was always just temporary. As my life spiraled downward, my substance use increased.… Click Here

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My name is Skip Bailey, I am a recovered cocaine/crack cocaine addict. I have been free from the use of drugs for over 20 years. My involvement with drugs started when I was 13 years old, when I first smoked a marijuana joint.… Click Here

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Thomas Verde

“Recovery is a life long journey. When a family experiences addiction in their lives, the first reaction is how to save their loved one from themselves. There can be no limits to the extent that we will go through to help them. We immerse ourselves in their affliction and submerge our thoughts on curing them. We spend our waking hours crying for them, our sleeping hours dreaming of them and every second in-between trying to figure out how to save them. We become so consumed by our desire to “fix them” ourselves that we don’t take notice of what it is doing to us. In becoming desperate for answers, we alienate our loved ones, avoid our friends, neglect our duties. Our lives eventually become unmanageable as we become “addicted to the addict”.

Nar Anon allows us the opportunity to regain control of our lives. When we realize addiction is a disease that cannot be cured, when we understand that we are not alone in this journey, and when we start to accept how to manage change in our lives, our recovery begins for ourselves. I wrote this poem as a way to express what the Nar Anon program means for myself and my wife. Our meeting friends have become our “family” and the wisdom and comfort and care that this “family” shares have helped us tremendously through times of turmoil. I believe this poem sums its up. Hope you enjoy it.”… Click Here

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Don Hebert

My name is Don Hebert and I am a man that’s been blessed with over 25 years of long term recovery. I come from a loving family, great parents and a fantastic middle class up-bringing in northern NJ.… Click Here

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Michael DeLeon

Michael R. DeLeon, a successfully acclimated ex-offender who after nearly 8 years of drug addiction and gang involvement, spent 12 years in state prison and half-way houses for a gang-related homicide. He was addicted to drugs and actually died three times, being brought back through hospital injections of naloxone.… Click Here

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Jacob Siegel – GONZO

Hi, my name is Jacob Siegel also know as “Gonzo”. I am a music artist from Yonkers, New York that has struggled with drug addiction.

My struggle with addiction at one point consumed my life, but one day I decided to face my addiction head on. During that process I found out that I was madly in love with music.

My song “Addiction’s a Horror Story” is a powerful message from me about my struggle with addiction, and also my escape from it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.… Click Here

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Tammy’s Story

Narcan reversal gives my child another shot at life

My (very) shortened version of HOPE. For 15 years my son was an addict. It started with alcohol and weed, progressed to pills, and finally to heroin. It went down the predicted path- homelessness, psych institutions, jail, and finally (almost) death. I say that because on Feb 29th my son overdosed and died. They threw him out of the car and he was left outside for dead on the front lawn. I brought him back to life with naloxone that I received in a TOPAC training class. It was a class I signed up for thanks to Patti DiRenzo and Ed Brazell I found in the Facebook group Addiction Really. I believe in the ambulance he was given another injection of Narcan but the time went so fast, I can’t really be sure, and he isn’t sure either.

Within 90 minutes at the hospital, he was screaming “I just want to leave and go get high” because he was in full withdrawal and there was nothing the hospital would do but release him. It literally brought me to my knees on the floor in sobs. I knew my son would leave and subsequently overdose again, probably that same night, and die.

I sucked up enough breath somehow before he left the hospital to call the cops and his parole officer and tell them both he had heroin on him. He was arrested outside the hospital and put in jail. He HATED ME.… Click Here

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Hello, my name is Donny, and at 6’6” and 300 lbs, I may not look like the typical heroin addict. But then again, these days there really is no such thing as a typical heroin addict.

I am 23 years old and have experienced a condensed but intense version of the worst that drug addiction has to offer. The trouble all began during my junior year in high school when I broke my thumb playing football. My doctor gave me a prescription for the opioid painkiller Oxycontin, to help me manage my post-surgical pain. A three-sport athlete in high school, I dreamed of earning a full-time scholarship to play football at the Division I level, and it was during a tryout for a college scout that I suffered this debilitating injury.

Unfortunately, the doctor who prescribed me the Oxycontin didn’t warn me or my mom about how addictive this medication could be. I admit I was rather casual about my use of Oxycontin, which did bring me relief from my pain. But after two surgeries, and several months on the drug my doctor refused to supply me with any more of it, and after experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms I realized to the horror that I had become addicted. The strength and depth of my dependency caught me completely off guard, and soon I found myself scrounging and scraping for cash so I could afford to buy the pills.

But just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, my future careened out of control and smashed into a concrete wall.… Click Here

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Maureen McLoughlin MSW CSW

I saw a need to help families who were struggling silently in their homes as they witnessed how drug addiction destroyed their families. As a social worker, I felt the need to address the social problem which plagued every community across the country. I was not immune, no different from the next mom as my son had a substance abuse disorder and struggled years before getting the appropriate help needed. Reaching a life of recovery for my son as well as the whole family, at the time felt, almost impossible to foresee. Our family struggled years revolving around the addiction cycle. Each family member reacted differently and eventually, the family dynamic broke down.

I took the lead in the family and decided to practice what I preached. Since, I had a BSW from Georgian Court University, and an MSW from Monmouth University along with a certification in Social work, I took a step back and viewed my own personal family crisis in a more objective way. I was self-determined to help my own family and others at this point in time. In addition, a degree in business administration was a plus. Therefore, out of a personal crisis Families Against Addiction Inc. came to fruition. No one should have to suffer in silence.

Now, I facilitate a support group in Old Bridge NJ for any family member who has been affected by a loved one that has succumbed to drug addiction. I promote social responsibility and self-determination. I set a nonjudgmental atmosphere for anyone in need to elaborate on their personal family problem.… Click Here