True Stories

photo of Adam Moser

Adam Moser, 27, Portsmouth, N.H, Fentanyl

Adam Moser was popular, adventurous, athletic, a college grad, a top fisherman and a World War II history buff who fluently spoke French. In 2015, he died at age 27 after overdosing on the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

Photo of Laura Hope Laws

Laura Hope Laws, 17, Morphine and Cocaine

Laura was an active church youth group member, a star varsity soccer player, and kind to many people. However, a prescription painkiller to treat a sports injury eventually led to her heroin addiction, and ultimately, an overdose on morphine, cocaine and alcohol.

image of Montana Sean Brown, who overdosed on 25i-NBOMe

Montana Sean Brown, 15, 25I-NBOMe

Montana and his brothers thought they would have some fun trying LSD for the first time while their parents were out of town. Instead, the freshman football player took a deadly, clandestinely-made synthetic version that killed him.

Photo of Taylor Hooton

Taylor Hooton, 17, Steroids

Taylor Hooton was a star pitcher on his high school team, a handsome teenager who had everything going for him. Until steroids caught up with him, and he took his own life.

Irma Perez

Irma Perez, 14, Ecstasy

Irma was a 14-year-old girl from Belmont, California who took an Ecstasy pill. She became sick immediately—vomiting and writhing in pain—yet her friends did not seek medical help for her. 


David Pease, 23, Heroin

Dave spent most of his teen years looking for answers in a mixture of marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol.


David Manlove, 16, Inhalants

When our son, David, was 13 and 14, we discovered he had tried drinking alcohol and smoking pot. We reiterated our rules that alcohol and drug use was unacceptable, and imposed what we felt were appropriate consequences. 

Ian Eaccarino

Ian Eaccarino, 20, Heroin

In his senior year of high school, his car was firebombed in the driveway of our home. In retrospect, we realized it was drug related, but at the time, the explanation he gave us made sense. It was all a lie. Drug activity is typically associated with violence and deception.

Jason Surks

Jason Surks, 19, Prescription Drugs

I worked for a community-based substance abuse prevention agency and so did my son, Jason. Jason knew the dangers. We believed that he was not using drugs—we talked about it often. I was so convinced that he was not using that it became a sort of joke between us—as he would leave home at the end of a weekend, I would frequently say, “Jason, don’t do drugs.” “I know, Mom,” he would say, “I won’t.” But he did.