February 4th will mark five years since my son Jordan passed away from an overdose of prescription drugs. I miss him as much today as I have done on any day over these years.
Jordan was a person who cared deeply about family, friends, and animals. He did not have time to really develop a philosophy about his life in the world. Youth and addiction can do that to a person. While he knew deep love, he missed out on marriage, children (he loved kids!), growing wisdom and the joy we experience in the world of the living.
He is remembered with love by his friends and his family. We knew him as funny, over-the-top, risk taking, caring, skilled, and smart. But as a person involved in drugs, he was often anxious, scared, rude, irresponsible. Addiction does that to a person. It did not come from within the beautiful soul of Jordan.
You may be surprised that I include Jordan’s addiction in this piece as it was only a small part of who he was. But that is what took him away. My life’s work now is to support the lives of people who use drugs, families with a loved one using drugs, and to advocate for more compassionate, evidence-based drug policies. No one should lose a child.
Senseless, accidental and preventable drug deaths must end. The stigma around drug addiction must end. No one should suffer needlessly from drug harms. Jordan brought love and joy to my world for 25 years, and for that I will be forever grateful. In Jordan’s memory I ask that everyone educate themselves on the nature of addiction and the treatments for it.