I’d like to share for a moment.
I lost a friend, Johan Endre. He was a CannaFriend. We were going to do a podcast and he started one of the large groups on FB, Adults Who Enjoy Cannabis. I spoke with him last on May 23rd, he passed on May 27th. I learned of his passing Saturday, June 2nd and the cause on June 3rd. I had suspected OD, based on some his past history of use. He was quite candid with me regarding this. He stated he hadn’t used heroin in many months and with cannabis, was able to give it up along with a few other Schedule 1’s. He hadn’t kicked alprazolam yet, was however quite hopeful with a positive look towards the future.
Two years ago, I learned that a young man, Brandon Satterfield, OD’d. He was barely 22 years old. This young man was in puppy love with my oldest daughter in sixth grade. They were best friends, part of a trio. He was at our house a lot for three years during middle school. They drifted, as friends do, when they attended different high schools. I have three daughters, no sons. Brandon, and the third of the trio, Kalvyn, were as close as I would ever be to having sons. They both hold a special place in my heart.
Brandon had joined the youth group at church and had been drug free for six months. That’s the way it goes, right? An addict can get clean, yet the addiction is still there. I’ve gone through physical withdrawals from a prescribed long acting opiate. I couldn’t imagine what that would have felt like if I were mentally addicted. It’s easy to see why opiates have become this huge epidemic. An epidemic that has an extremely long reach.
Coming back to present day, I decided to allow myself to feel this grief. Well, my emotional state has taken off on its own journey. None the less, I’m grieving. I’m grieving a friend I had never met in person, however we made a connection. We were like minded in many ways.
As I was trying to wrap my head around this sudden loss, I asked my two oldest daughters how many friends or acquaintances they had lost to a drug overdose. They both replied with… Wait, I need to add some background on them.
Ashley, my 22yr old, graduated summa cum laude from high school and just finished her BS in Dietetics at UF. She’s been up in Gainesville since August 2014.
Samantha, my 24yr old, graduated with a high B average. Started community college, went through a break up, and changed paths. She works as a server. She’s been in hospitality m, as a server, since she was 19. She makes a living, lives a mile away from me with her roommates and only calls at 2am about once a week now. Sam is deep into a party phase. Well past the middle point, yet not completely done.
They have been 250 miles apart, in different cities, on different paths.
Back to their responses. They both sent back, “a handful”. When I pressed for a little more information, they both, yet individually, said they didn’t want to talk about it, they didn’t want to cry.
This truly is a “nation overdosed”, as NBC puts it.
How many have you lost?