We lost our son Boone to drugs in 2017. He had been using xanax recreationally for a few months under our noses, but his habit increased significantly after his close friend died while using drugs, and was left alone. The night before we were to check Boone into rehab, he went out with some friends and took too much Xanax. His friends were concerned, but were afraid to call for help because they thought they or Boone would get in trouble. Boone went missing and authorities found his body in a lake a week later. We were crushed knowing that our son’s death could’ve been prevented because so many knew his condition and where he was, and had his friends known about Good Samaritan laws that protect people from prosecution while calling for medical help- they would have reached out versus hiding in fear of getting him or themselves in trouble with the law.
While Boone’s death was an avoidable tragedy, my family and the family of his good friend who died a month earlier have set out on a mission to make sure other young people don’t suffer the same fate.. While we encourage kids to avoid drugs, we also want them to know that they should always call for help if someone they know does overdose or appears to need help. Since our son’s death, we’ve worked with local schools, authorities, and elected officials to raise awareness among students, parents, and law enforcement about Good Samaritan laws and their effectiveness in saving lives.
For me, talking about these issues is important because I know from first-hand experience that it saves lives. Through speaking out, I’ve met so many other parents who have gone through similar experiences and the support of this community has been tremendously helpful for finding my voice. The only way we can make a real difference is by raising our voices together. That’s why I’m proud to support ROAR.