Losing one child to an overdose is devastating. Imagine losing your third.
Jeanmarie McCauley is having to bury her third son, Jesse. In the gofundme summary they wrote:
I can’t believe that I am having to do this again. Jeanmarie McCauley, is having to bury her third child, Jesse. He was a big-hearted kid who was so lost after both of his brothers died. He went to Florida to try and get his life back. Sadly, he did not make it. I can’t imagine the pain she and the rest of the family are in. She has to come up with the burial expenses as well as the added expense of bringing him back from Florida. She wants to have the three brothers together in their final resting place. We would be so grateful for any help. No mother should have to go through this. She and her family appreciate all the love and support they have received.
If this story is not proof that our country is in the midst of an epidemic, what more will it take? It was only a few months ago that a mother who runs the page I HATE HEROIN on Facebook lost two of her sons in the same night. Both of these mothers are fighters that actively fight to spread the word about this epidemic in hopes that no other mother will have to endure the pain of having a child who suffers from substance use disorder, much less losing a one.
When this happens to families who are knowledgeable about this illness and actively fighting it, it just goes to show how powerful it truly is. So what does that mean? It means that we as mothers and fathers cannot do this alone. We need the full support of our police forces, judges, politicians and communities.
When one of our loved ones gets picked up for possession or petty theft and it’s obvious to the arresting officer that they are using opiates, that person needs to be taken into custody. Not just for a few hours until they are let back out to wait for court. The presiding judge needs to look over his podium and imagine it’s their child standing in front of them. They need to recognize that this is their chance to possibly save a life.
Why can’t they be held until a bed somewhere can be found? We know if they are released that the first thing they will do is whatever it takes to get high. They can’t help it ― it’s a disease. So that means if they have to steal something out of your garage or sell their bodies they will make the money it takes to feed the disease that is doing everything in its power to kill them. If the judge knew they were going to leave and die by suicide, they wouldn’t let them leave. What is the difference?
The politicians need to pass laws that make it possible for judges and police officers to take advantage of these opportunities to save our loved ones’ lives. I know this is America, and typically we allow adults to make mistakes and then learn on their own from them. This isn’t the same. Many of these people won’t get the chance to learn from their mistakes ― they don’t live long enough to. Don’t you see, this isn’t like smoking pot, doing a line or having a drink? You don’t have two, three or five years to screw up and decide that you want to get clean. With the fentanyl and now carfentanil, every single time they use might be their last.
Three beautiful young men, all from the same family, are just gone. It’s not the leading story on the news, and the comments below this story will include horrible judgment and hate. All because these wonderful young men have a disease that people have decided makes them less than. I can promise you this. Those boys were loved, their lives mattered and their family’s feelings matter. Please, take a stand. If you love someone who suffers from substance use disorder, don’t be scared to speak out. You hold the keys, all of you. If we all stand together and tell our stories, we can stomp out this stigma and force the public to take notice. Those of us who fight every day need you. Together we can make a change.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.