Weatherman’s message: Drugs kill
Published 2:17 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Johnson shares story of brother’s heroin addiction, OD
Pleasant Home School students on Tuesday heard a very personal account of how drug addiction affects not just addicts, but also their families, often for a lifetime.
WSFA chief meteorologist Josh Johnson spoke to the students as part of Red Ribbon Week activities. Johnson’s younger brother, Chris, died a year ago of a heroin overdose. Johnson has often said his little brother’s smile “lit up every room.”
It was a knee injury that led Chris Johnson down a destructive path.
“For my brother, it took away the happy fun-loving boy they knew and turned him into someone that would steal from me, our parents and our grandparents,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t that Chris was a bad person, but once that addiction gets a hold of you, you will do anything to get that next high.”
Johnson told the students about his brother’s once bright athletic future before his drug addiction derailed it.
“My brother was an outstanding baseball player,” Johnson said. “He was getting offers from all of the big schools, but then one day playing basketball he tore his ACL and the doctors prescribed him Oxycontin. He became addicted to painkillers and then he moved to heroin.”
Johnson said that he and his family tried everything they could think of to help Chris, but nothing ever worked.
“We tried everything to help Chris out,” Johnson said. “I paid for apartments and I tried tough love and let him go homeless, but nothing ever worked. That’s the thing about addiction, it doesn’t fight fair. I’ve seen how this story ends and I don’t want that for any of you or your loved ones. The easiest way to fight addiction is to not become addicted in the first place.”
In an editorial WSFA shared yesterday, Johnson wrote, “Right now, heroin is being transported into our state, sold to our people and shot into their veins. And it’s getting worse every day.
“Chris’ fight is over. We didn’t find an answer in time. Don’t let someone in your family leave an empty chair. If you’ve never tried drugs, DON’T DO IT. If you’re fighting addiction, don’t fight alone. Get professional help.”
As part of the Red Ribbon Week assembly, students also presented short skits and Red Ribbon Week slogans.