Dangers of prescription drug misuse

A mother’s worst nightmare

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Dana Garcia

Becky Savage, the mother of Jack and Nick Savage, explains her story’s pertinence to the audience. “These were smart kids, smart kids with good futures; that made a bad choice,” Savage stated. Savage uses her family’s tragedy to inform new generations on the dangers of drug misuses to help students keep their futures bright.

On June 14, 2015, the lives of one family changed forever. Two young adults, Nick and Jack Savage, 19 and 18 respectively, attended a high school graduation party to celebrate them finishing high school. Unfortunately, at a time that should have celebrated the beginning of a new era, the two brothers sadly passed away on that same day due to acute alcoholism and an oxycodone overdose.

The siblings graduated their high school senior year with good grades, and both were captains of their high school’s hockey team. The past two years had been full of highlights for the brothers, and in 2014, Nick was a leader for his new hockey team, and they were both the runner-up for State. At this time, Jack was preparing for his first semester in college, leading his team to earn the 2015 State Champions Hockey title.

With the help of many people, a foundation was made to honor these two boys, headed by their parents, Becky and Mike Savage. The 525 Foundation aims to prevent more families from having to feel the same grieving process the Savage family did. To accomplish this, the Savage’s have spoken to many news channels, social media platforms and schools about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

This foundation was founded in 2017 to educate and save the lives of many families and communities. By 2019, the foundation had raised enough money to invest in prevention programs, placing pill drop boxes in some supermarkets, including Martin’s Super Markets. After eight months of having them instilled, the drop boxes have collected more than 2,000 pounds of unused prescriptions. In the years since, the pill drop boxes have impacted the lives of many who have dropped their problems into the box, both metaphorically and physically.

“When you drop, you stop misuse and abuse in our community. When you drop, you stop senseless deaths. When you drop, you stop the opioid epidemic,” said Becky Savage.

In addition, Savage partnered up with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration for prevention efforts. As a result, a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was created to address crucial public safety and health issues. The DEA also provides opportunities for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths by using any of the three treatment resources listed on their website.

“If you need a prescription that a doctor gives you and you’re supposed to utilize it, then they’ve examined you,” assistant special agent of the DEA in Indiana, Michael Gannon, said on CBS 4 News. “They’ve made sure that your body and your chemistry can take that prescription, what they’re giving to you. Never take anybody’s prescription medication because your body may not be able to handle it.”

Having this in mind, Rock Hill hosted a presentation from Becky Savage in the school cafeteria. The doors opened at 5:30 p.m. for visitors on Monday, Nov. 1st. The audience learned much more about Savage’s story and how one destitute decision can change many lives.

“Teenagers should not die from their mistakes; they should learn,” said Becky Savage.

Savage’s family was at the presentation as well. They discussed that the presentations made by Savage influenced families from all parts of the country. The knowledge that they were helping other families with these discussions helps memorialize their sons, even if it doesn’t ease the pain.

“I often think about what I would give up just to have 10 seconds (with Nick and Jack). I’d give everything up for 10 seconds. It’s just that simple,” said Mike Savage.