A Personal Message from The Founder
For 15 years, my daughter Laura and I struggled to understand the disease that had her in its grips and devastated our family. She made one last fateful decision, overdosed and two days later died on December 21, 2017.
When we held vigil in the hospital watching Laura’s life slip away, her close friend in recovery reminded me that she and I were now in a “position of privilege” and not of our own choosing. We had experienced the disease of addiction close up, gained insight from our struggles, and had the potential to make a difference with those that struggle to understand the disease and develop a plan to maintain health and recovery.
From Grief to Purpose
For over a year, I processed how to turn my grief into purpose and shortly after Laura’s death writing a series of articles, Lessons from Laura, to personalize our struggle and alert others that even the best families are not immune from the disease. In early 2019, how I could make an impact became clear. I had unique experiences as the parent of an addict, had founded and run an adolescent treatment program, and owned a technology company.
Addressing the Challenges
I discovered that the risk of dying from overdose was now the number one killer of anyone under the age of 50 because of the emergence of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Flooding in from Mexico and disguised in counterfeit pills, heroin, cocaine and even marijuana, someone that may just be experimenting or like Laura, making one bad decision could be poisoned from only a few grains of the synthetic opioid and overdose. I also realized that technology had the potential to detect the leading indicators of overdose from devices that young people wear everyday, their smart watch or fitness tracker, send that data to us and allow our technology to alert others and send help. Laura was only a mile from the hospital and could have been saved if this detection and alerting system had been online.
I also learned that there were new tools in the fight against the opioid crisis from the hard work of our states' attorneys general who negotiated over $50 billion in funding from opioid litigation to fund prevention programs, awareness campaigns and connection to recovery and treatment services, a beacon of hope in a difficult fight.
But most parents were not focused on the drug that has taken over as the biggest threat to a young person's safety, nor did they want to believe that what happened to our family could happen to them. So it became clear that our mission was to raise their awareness that the hope that it will not happen to you is no longer a strategy to keep their sons and daughters safe.
We are committed to use our experience, knowledge, technology and resources to save lives, help families, and create strategies for young people to choose to be healthy and safe.
CEO, Convey Services & InterAct LifeLine