For Fla. family, pill addiction epidemic takes its toll

“OxyContin In Your Words” stories are unedited accounts of OxyContin and heroin addiction. Help us break through the shame of addiction and share your own story. Confidentiality, if requested, is assured.


The prescription pill abuse here in Florida is out of control. It sickens me to think I have not one but two children addicted to these pills, I blame them, but I also blame the doctors providing them. Yesterday was my daughter’s 27th birthday, she spent it in jail where she has been for 2 weeks now, her charges are drug related, she ran out of her own pills and went to purchase some and was arrested.

July 20, 2011 will also now be remembered as a sad day…My son called me at 5pm he was frantic crying, I could barely make out what he was saying to me, I heard the word dead several times, it was my son’s best friend. A young man of only 30, a young man I had known since he was 11, DEAD OF A DRUG OVERDOSE…

My husband and I drove to the beach to his friend’s parents’ house, his parents had left for vacation the day before. When we arrived my son was being comforted by law enforcement and paramedics, The officer praised my son for not leaving after he discovered his body, he also told him not to blame himself. The paramedic pulled me aside, he told me to watch my son carefully tonight, he said he has been to many scenes like this one, and on to many occasions, they repeat themselves often the same night. I paid attention to his words and brought my son home.

My son talked with me in great detail about this day, I listened and cried with him…I’m going to share what he told me with you in my son’s own words:

“I talked to Dustin at 12:30, I was going to run some errands, walk my dog, and then spend the week at his parents’ house with him while we both attempted to get off these pills. I called him around 2:30pm, no answer, I called again and again several more times still he didn’t answer….

Something in my heart told me something was wrong, so I drove to his parents’ house, knocked on the door, no answer, the door was unlocked and I went in…. I yelled out his name, nothing, not a sound…. I walked into his room he was kind of next to his bed and a desk on the floor in a sitting position. His legs were apart and his upper body was forward with his head on the floor, I pulled him out and laid him down. A needle was lying next to him, I think it fell out of his arm when I moved him. His face was swollen and purple, his eyes, Mom…were wide open looking at me, I dialed 911, I was frantic, I begged for them to help me save my best friend. Is he breathing, put your ear next to his mouth, no he’s not….felt his neck for a pulse, no, no pulse….start chest compressions, how do I do that? They told me 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4….All I could see was foam in his nose, with each compression a gurgling sound, I though he was coming back….I saw those eyes again, Mom, like he was saying, help me man!!! Help me. The paramedics finally came followed by a sheriff. They pulled me off him, I heard a lady say let’s get him hooked up….then another voice said it’s too late, he’s gone….”

My son can’t get that image out of his head now, he said every time I close my eyes Mom I see him…I can only try to imagine what he must be going through…I ask how many more deaths is it going to take??

In my opinion these types of drugs should only be given to terminally ill people. OxyContins KILL… They are the most addictive drug next to heroin. Our doctors have become the drug dealers in our state, they open pill mills and do cash-only business, they see in excess of a 100 people a day…they actually are lined up outside these clinics….waiting for 180-240 of roxy’s plus OxyContins plus Xanax and whatever other drugs you may ask for….We have addicts robbing banks for one dollar because as one of those paramedics told me yesterday, “Hollywood has glamorized addition with reality shows and because of that it’s out of reach for the people who need it most.” So rather than die they choose to go to jail for help. This just creates a new problem for the system, too many crimes, not enough room. Early releases and either found dead or in trouble again…I’m not sure if my son’s experience yesterday will be positive or result in even more abuse. Only God knows the answer to that. Drug addiction is hard on all parties involved. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor tall or short or old or young. But one thing I can say is DRUG ADDICTION DOESN’T CHOOSE YOU, YOU CHOOSE IT!!!! I have not one but 2 children who are addicts. Yesterday was my daughter’s 27th birthday, she spent it in a jail cell, her charges are drug related, see she didn’t have the money to continue seeing doctors so she chose to buy pills from so-called friends. Someone in that house set her up, thank you for that…she is ALIVE AT LEAST FOR NOW.

I write this because if I can make an impact on just one person who reads this, and they forward it to someone else and someone else, and it stops just one child or adult from ever taking even one of these pills and ending their life, then I know I have at least done something and possibly saved a life. Being silent about this epidemic is only going to cause more loss of life. Us mothers should ban together like the M.A.D.D. MOMS DID AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BEFORE IT IS ONE OF OUR OWN WHOSE FUNERAL WE MUST PLAN. I have no shame, this is my reality I deal with daily, I will keep my faith and continue praying to God daily…I must go now my son needs me….

~ Submitted by Patricia Dye Masi, Florida

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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