The overdose death of an 18-year-old high school football player in Ragland, Alabama has spurred his mother into action against the national epidemic of opiate abuse.
According to WIAT, Dylan “Jhase” Thompson was a popular college-bound senior with good grades, but on a morning in November, his mother Aprille Thompson found him dead in his bed of a heroin overdose.
“(A)s much as I try not to have that vision in my mind, I will have that vision until the day that I die,” she said of the discovery of his lifeless body.
Dylan tried heroin for the first time months ago, Aprille Thompson said. He quickly became addicted and the drug took his life. Thompson said that the struggle to try and save her son is something she wants to protect other families from.
“Once your child is using, your nightmare has already started,” she told WIAT. “It’s important to get in front of this drug before the use starts, because it’s just a demon, it’s an evil that is almost impossible to beat.”
She went on, “I’ve read message after message, and post after post of parents who have seen their family members struggle with this for years. I struggled for five months, and it was a living nightmare every day. I can’t imagine a years long struggle.”
Dylan was scoring heroin within blocks of his family home. His mother says she tried everything to intervene.
“He was getting drugs two blocks from where we live, he was buying it for less than his school lunch cost for a week,” she explained. “He died in the security of our home, so it’s coming into people’s homes, so there is no safe place.”
Now she wants to spread awareness of the seriousness of opiate addiction and save other families from what she went through. She has spoken to local law enforcement, the Ragland city council and local churches in an effort to raise awareness.
“My message to the children would be: Know what this choice can do,” she said.
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