If you think it can\u2019t happen to you or your kids, think again. Farmington High, Royal Oak and Rochester Adams have all recently had students with serious addiction problems. It has even reached as far out as my home town of Milford.
Many kids with addictions seem to have parents who have done everything right. For example, one 15 year old
boy almost died of an overdose during lunch hour at school. His mother was PTO president for many years and
very involved with her family. Another 15 year old honor student fell asleep in a classroom after stealing a
laptop from her teacher.
By all accounts Noah was a great kid, and everyone who knew him was shocked. The family of this boy is very
admirable as they are using the tragedy to try to help others avoid it. Peter Johnston, the father of this boy, is
working with Judge Julie Nicholson of the 52-3 District Court Rochester Hills to share Noah\u2019s story, hoping that
it will impact other young people.
They show a video in the schools, including footage of Noah\u2019s funeral, to get their basic message across. \u201cAs
hard as that is to look at, I wanted everyone to know you aren\u2019t supposed to see your 18-year-old in a casket. All
I can do is preach to the kids that parents should not bury their kids,\u201d Peter said.
Hopefully this brave family\u2019s story will impact others. When I was a teen, I remember the impact of reading \u201cGo
Ask Alice.\u201d This was the actual diary of an anonymous teenage girl who died of a drug overdose in the late
1960s. I saw the movie and still hear the lyrics of the song by Jefferson Airplane.
find his body at ... "
The voice mail message was left on Rudolph's mother's cell phone Oct. 20, 2007.
The 18-year-old had just been released from 68 days in the Macomb County Jail after an arrest for heroin
know," said Mark Rudolph, 54, of Fraser.
It's a question that more and more parents are asking as heroin overdoses are on the rise.
Narcotics officers in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties all say that in the past year, they have encountered
"Heroin was always the dirtier drug in the past," said Macomb County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Guzdziol, who works with
the office's drug unit. "It's something you'd hear about old guys doing in the '60s and '70s, and now the kids are
gravitating to it more."
Last winter, in an effort to gauge the severity of the heroin problem, Wayne and Macomb counties launched Operation Smack Down, a three-day enforcement effort that largely targeted Macomb buyers hitting known Detroit drug houses.
vehicles and 47.7 grams of confiscated heroin.
Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said he was floored.
"You didn't hear about this before," he said. "Crack was the big deal, then all of a sudden this became
Few area advocates for families hit with drug problems have been as outspoken as Mark Rudolph, who tells his
son's story on a Web site he launched,www.promise2ryan .co m, which serves as both a cautionary tale and
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