DAN | Grand Junction, CO

By sharing Preston’s story, I can help others realize they’re not alone.

I am Dan. My son Preston was a rising football star until he was shot eight times by a gang member outside of our house. He survived, and after visiting the hospital we went to a doctor who prescribed him Oxycontin. We thought the medication was ok if it was prescribed by a doctor, but he kept needing more opioids to manage his pain. He wasn’t himself: getting in trouble at school, wrecking the car. When we realized there was a problem, we got him into a 30-day rehab center where he started taking Suboxone, which helped manage his opioid addiction, but he was still in pain. Despite the initial relief provided by Suboxone, it became evident that simply managing his addiction was not enough to address the underlying issue of his persistent pain. Frustrated and desperate for a solution, we decided to explore alternative methods of pain management.

We eventually found a solution that made the physical pain manageable, but he still struggled with addiction, emotional pain and PTSD. On June 21 of 2010, he went to the doctor without me and got another prescription for Oxycontin. He passed away the next day. Losing my son was unbearable, but when I started talking about Preston to others, it helped. People hide addiction where I live because they don’t want to be judged. By sharing Preston’s story, I can help others realize they’re not alone. Resources are out there that can help them or someone they know.