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“Not one more.” One father’s campaign to stop overdose stems from personal tragedy

Photo courtesy of Martin Vorel

Jeff Moore passed away on April 6, 2015.

His father, James, found him on the couch. Jeff had overdosed on heroin. He was 24 years old.

Jeff had been through two rounds of detox, had spent time in the emergency room, and had completed two-thirds of a 90-day recovery program before being kicked out due to personal behavior.

“He said he had a problem and that he needed help.” said James. “I told him I’d pay for him to go back to school if he did the treatment.” When James got an unexpected call from the treatment center, he said he had some harsh words with his son.

“We had a family meeting and decided he’d move back in with his mother and I.” James continued. “He’d live with us; eat with us; work with me. We had a really good first week.”

But on the eighth day, Jeff wasn’t answering his phone.

“When I called him to meet me for lunch, his phone just rang and rang. When I went over to check on him, I was greeted by his two dogs Ziggy and Teddy. They led me into the living room, where I found him deceased on the couch.”

He still grieves.

“I went to a conference in D.C. Thousands of people were on the National Mall. We were all hurting; just walking around like zombies. I was wearing a shirt that had Jeff’s picture printed on the front. Out of the crowd, there walked up a woman wearing a shirt that had a picture of another young man printed on hers. Looked a lot like Jeff. Without speaking a word, she pointed at her shirt, then to my shirt, smiled, and handed me a wristband that simply said ‘Not one more.'”

James believes two factors contributed to his son’s death. 1) The belief in a person’s mind that they are morally delinquent when addiction takes hold, and 2) the perception by society that paints addicts as failures.

James now campaigns to change how society and families view those around them who are struggling with addiction. In additin, James has also been instrumental in bringing the overdose-reversing drug Narcan to first responders in the town of Laurel. He intends to continue his work of spreading a message of hope and recovery.

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