By: Emerald Pellot/The Little Things Michelle Benson’s son died too young. Adam Richard Bear was just 25 years old when he passed away. While the mother noted all of the lovely, special things about her son in his obituary, she did not shy away from revealing a dark truth about him.
Adam was a heroin addict. His addiction to opiates is what killed him.
“Adam enjoyed going to the gym, snowboarding, four wheeling, jet skiing, bonfires on the beach, reading — especially Harry Potter — and will always be remembered for his charming personality, disarming good looks, and welcoming smile,” Michelle wrote. “Unfortunately, he will also be remembered as a statistic.”
The mother revealed that Adam’s addiction began during his pursuit of wealth and success. What started out as a simple experimentation with drugs turned into a chemical dependency. He battled for years but eventually succumbed to the disease of addiction.
“Once he started heroin, like so many other people suffering from addiction, he struggled with it; he never stopped fighting, but he certainly didn’t win the battle,” Michelle told News 5.
Michelle knew that at his core, Adam wanted to help others, which is why she chose to share his story. According to the mom, there is too much stigma surrounding addiction, which prevents people and their families from seeking help.
“What we’ve learned is that there are so many families struggling, and they just keep it quiet because it’s shameful and they’re ashamed and there’s a real stigma attached to that, and we have to break that cycle if we’re going to do something about that suffering in addiction,” she said.
According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Around 78 people die in the U.S. everyday due to an opioid-related overdose, while around 3,900 people begin recreational opioid usage.
“For our family at least, we know Adam is finally at peace, but we want to be part of helping other families, sharing resources and just talking about addiction to try and erase that stigma,” she said. “We are excited about the things we can do to turn our family’s grief into something positive,” Benson said.