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Colin R.

Colin Riebel

BellMawr, New Jersey

Colin, that "teddy bear of a guy," was the youngest of two sons and a great friend to many. He aspired to one day have a career in either sports reporting or broadcasting. Growing up, Colin was a devoted Philadelphia sports fan and very active in his community’s organized sports leagues, which eventually lead him to play both baseball and football in high school. During high school, Colin suffered four sports-related injuries within a three-year span, all of which required intensive surgery (shoulder rotator cuff and three torn ACL’s). Colin first became addicted to Percocet at the age of 15, which he was prescribed by a reputable medical provider who continued to prescribe the medication. A while later, he bravely announced to his mother and I that he thought he might have a problem. We helped him get admitted to an outpatient rehab, which evolved into two inpatient rehab stints, both of which were out-of-state. In 2013, Colin admitted that his struggles with Percocet had transformed into a heroin addiction and he agreed to attend another two-month treatment program out-of-state. Colin was discharged from treatment on 11/21/13 and overdosed within 48 hrs, on 11/23/13. He was only 22 years old. The impact that Colin's addiction has had on our family is immeasurable—we were living in a constant state of fear and uncertainty, running the worst-case scenario through our heads and wondering what might lie ahead. Colin was a functioning addict. He worked as a payroll administrator for a national company and was able to perform daily activities without arising suspicion. Colin wanted a normal life more than anything and fought tirelessly to overcome his addiction. All he wanted was to one day marry and have a family—addiction denied my son the American Dream.

To read about the affect that Colin's story has had in his state of New Jersey, read Ken Serrano's article in the Asbury Park Press, "New opioid law would put NJ out front"


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