Becky Savage on what she says to parents when asked “What can we do? How can we make sure this doesn’t happen?” ~
“It’s so simple. Go home and clean out your medicine cabinets. Any expired medications that aren’t needed or medications that aren’t being used, get them out of your house so that they do not end up in somebody’s pocket at a graduation party.”
Becky Savage: Our sons Nick and Jack were like many other 18 and 19 year olds. They were athletes,had a great circle of friends, and had dreams and aspirations in life. Nick had just finished
is freshman year at Indiana University and Jack had just graduated high school and was heading into his first year at Ball State University. They were best friends. 2 Sons Gone, Mother Tells Opioid Story to Senate
Brian Wilson: The sheer number of children being caught up in this country’s opioid crisis is shocking. But let’s look beyond the statistics. Each and every one of them was a child with hopes and dreams, talents and ambitions. The loss of one son or daughter can leave an indelible mark on their community, and more importantly on their families. To lose one is an absolute tragedy. Becky Savage lost two of her children to the opioid crisis. She shared her story with this podcast and explained how the tremendous loss lead to the development of a foundation dedicated to finding solutions to the opioid crisis.
Brian Wilson: Becky, tell me about the 525 Foundation and what that name comes from because that tells us a lot about what you’re all about.
Becky Savage: Sure. Well, the 525 Foundation is a representation of our two older boys who we lost related to the opioid epidemic and crisis in our society. Five was Jack’s hockey number and 25 was Nick’s hockey number, so we just created a foundation to memorialize them, but also to help spread education using their story as our platform to tell people about who they were and to just raise awareness to the dangers of prescription medications and opioids when they’re not taken the way they were intended.
Brian Wilson: Did this start in the medicine cabinet for you at your home?
Becky Savage Shares Her Tragic Story – It May Save a Child’s Life
Becky Savage: Yes. This did. Our two boys had gone to graduation parties, and a gentleman had brought prescription medication with him that he had taken out of somebody’s medicine cabinet and was passing them out at the graduation party. Our boys decided to partake in something that they had no business participating in, and neither one of them woke up the next day.
They came home. I had told both of them to be home at a decent hour and checked in with me. I was actually at home, and they went into the kitchen to make snacks, and I had went upstairs, turn my light out and went to bed. The next morning was a Sunday morning, which started out like many other Sunday mornings for me. I was doing laundry, household chores, and I was collecting laundry out of Jack’s bedroom, talking to him about “It’s time to get up.” His dad has things that he wants the boys to help him with, and he wasn’t responding, so when I went over to awaken him, he was unresponsive. I immediately grabbed my cell phone and called for 911. I remember hollering for Nick because I knew Nick was at home with friends, for their help. I picked up Jack and put him on the floor next to his bed and initiated CPR. Needless to say, that was not a morning that we would ever think would happen, and something that I would never wish on anybody.
The paramedics did arrive and took over the resuscitation attempts on Jack, and I remember, everything was kind of in a fog, but I remember one of the paramedics leading the resuscitation attempts on Jack and headed downstairs. I remember hollering at him and screaming at him, like, “Why are you stopping? What are you doing? He’s a fighter,” basically pleading with him to not give up on Jack, but little did I know that while I was trying to help Jack and I had been hollering for Nick, his friends had went to try to awaken Nick to let him know that I needed help and Nick was unresponsive as well.
So, there was another 911 call out of my basement, so the paramedic that was leaving Jack was actually going down into my basement to respond to the other 911 call that had come out of my house that morning. Unfortunately, Nick had passed as well.
Brian Wilson: We’ll be right back.
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You never threw them out, so they sit inside your medicine cabinet posing a risk to you, those around you and anyone who enters your home. Today going through medicine cabinets searching for drugs is done by people of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, over 70% of new opioid addictions begin in a home medicine cabinet. If storing unused and expired medications puts people at risk of accidental poisoning, addiction and death., why have them there at all?
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Becky Savage: How could two boys who have always seemed to make good decisions in life make such a choice that would ultimately cost them their life? My husband and I don’t understand. How could this happen? How did somebody’s prescription end up in the pocket of a teenager at a graduation party? Why wouldn’t they just say no? It would be so easy to be consumed by grief and never heard from again, OR , we could talk about what happened to us and increase awareness in the hopes of helping others. This is what we have chosen to do. 2 Sons Gone, Mother Tells Opioid Story to Senate
Brian Wilson: What kind of advice would you have for parents who have teenagers? What should they be on the lookout for?
Becky Savage – Advice to Parents Who Have Teenagers: “Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets”
Becky Savage: For parents, our family was a very close family, a tight knit family, educated family, were involved with our kids just like a lot of families across the United States. Advice I would give to them would be to continue to talk to your kids. We did not talk to our kids about prescription drugs and prescription medications, and misusing and abusing them. Three years ago, it wasn’t even on our radar.
We talked to them about everything else it seemed like we were supposed to, so my advice for parents would be to have those conversations with kids because they do listen, but also a lot of people come up to me and say, “What can we do? How can we make sure this doesn’t happen?” It’s so simple. Go home and clean out your medicine cabinets. Any expired medications that aren’t needed or medications that aren’t being used, get them out of your house so that they do not end up in somebody’s pocket at a graduation party.
Brian Wilson: Well, of course, one way to do that is through this product that we’re talking about, which is DisposeRx.
Becky Savage: That’s a great product. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with the gentlemen that are behind that product [DisposeRx], and it is a wonderful product. It’s easy for people to use, and a lot of communities don’t have permanent pill drops in their communities, or if they do, they’re few and far in between, so that is a good product that they, another option of something that they can use to dispose of medications properly.
Brian Wilson: Becky Savage, thank you for sharing your story.
Becky Savage: I appreciate it.
Brian Wilson: Brian Wilson: Maybe you’re a parent like Becky. Even if you’re not it’s becoming clearer everyday how easy it is for family members, friends and even strangers to fall into the grip of addiction. Why not make a positive contribution to this tragic situation today by safely disposing of your unused medications. Visit disposerx.com to learn more about why responsible drug disposal matters. That’s disposerx.com.