By Nicholas' mom, Karen
Nicholas W. Classic
Nicholas was the oldest of my 3 children. He was smart (had a bachelor’s degree), funny, handsome, quick-witted hardworking and well-liked. Addiction stole my son. Nicholas died from a prescription drug overdose on 10/18/2015; he was 29 years old.
There is a fine line between addiction and dependence. My son used to compare the two. There is a LEGAL opioid problem, BIGGER than you could ever imagine. Physicians bare a significant responsibility in how this developed and bare a significant responsibility in solving it. Opiate dependence and tolerance often develop together to keep the pain at bay and to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The doctors continue to write prescriptions for higher and higher doses. This is what happened to Nicholas. He was also seeing several different doctors for his pain (back issues). This is before the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was put into place. He died from respiratory depression from five prescription drugs -- not heroin or fentanyl.
I can’t say I lost my son over three years ago because I lose him every morning when my eyes open to a world where he no longer exists. Every single day is a struggle. I always assumed Nicholas would be here forever. My head and my heart are consumed with him, no matter what I am doing, who I am with or what conversation I am having. The only thing I ever think about, from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I close them, is Nicholas.
I miss him more than he’ll ever know. The pain and darkness are unbearable. I would do anything just to hug him, kiss him and hear his voice one more time. A huge piece of my heart and life are gone forever.
Nicholas came into this world at 5:53 am on Friday, April 11th and left this world at 3:48am on a Sunday, October 18th. Both of those days I held my boy in my arms and cried with emotion. Both days I kissed him, one for the first time and one for the last time. Both are days that will define me for the rest of my life. I hope he knows my love is, was, and will always be unconditional.
I want to raise awareness to both addiction and overdose. I want to be a voice, not only for my child but for other children whose lives were taken by addiction. I want to help change the way people stigmatize those struggling with substance use disorder. I want to be able to help those still struggling find a way out. I want our government to start making those responsible for dealing death be punished and the fees collected go towards funding treatment grants.
My wish is not another family goes through the pain of losing their child as we have.