My Story, by Sharon Blair
I don’t stand alone. I stand with other mothers who have been devastated by losing our children to drug overdoses/ drug related issues. We are now courageously taking our sorrow, pain and grief and turning our energies into the development of advocacy groups, laws and organizations that help others who are where our children once were.
Through education and awareness, we can: Offer help and hope to those whose lives are out of control. We can help others understand the disease of addiction and its power over the mind and body. We can change the perception of the disease by teaching society that the addicted are not the stereotypes of the outcasts, but as human beings who need us all to help them get intervention and treatment. We are teaching lawmakers, legislators, judges, policeman, pastors and layman alike. We are exposing a subject that no one wants to talk about for different reasons. Maybe addiction has not touched their family. Maybe they
think it’s all a matter of will power. Maybe they stereotype the addicted as those who are shooting up in a dirty alley, lying in a ditch or sleeping on a park bench. Or maybe they are somebody’s child – like mine! No one starts out saying, “I think I will be an addict.” It comes
about for many different reasons. It goes from “trying it” to being addicted to it as a gradual progression of the disease.
We mothers who have watched our children suffer, go through
withdrawal multiple times, overdose and face incarceration know the power of addiction. Those who have buried their children, like me, know the deep, deep agony of the supreme
pain of losing them. We don’t want any other mother or father or family to have to go
through this crushing and devastating experience. So myself and others are initiators of laws and educators from our experiences. I wrote The Jennifer Act bill draft for Florida after watching my daughter Jennifer suffer for over 12 long and painful years with a drug addiction that took her young life last year on Jan.15, 2009. I saw her lying dead on a cold steal table at the coroner’s office in Largo, Fl. last year. That has changed my life forever. FOREVER!
Please support our legislative bills and our advocacy groups. Please take us and the issue of addiction serious. We are trying to save other children, teens and adults who are caught in the trap of addiction. We are giving it all we’ve got, and then some, with a broken heart and tears running down our faces. By Sharon Blair (Jennifer’s mom)
Visit her website at TheJenniferAct.com
This story originally ran in the Fall 2010 issue of GoodLiving® Magazine. All rights reserved.