Death of an Addict

It has been difficult for me and my family since my nephew Aaron passed and it has been difficult getting back to writing. Part of this is related to taking care of his final affairs, but the real reason is disappointment. I am not disappointed in him or the system, but I believed that he was going to finally become the independent person that I thought that he could become.

There was so much progress. He was off of drugs and off of the streets of Camden. He was in a motel. He was now getting a monthly check to buy food, clothes and even a watch. He was looking healthy, dressing nicely and talking about things that he was going to do. But, now that his Social Security claim was settled, he was not receiving subsidized housing and had to pay for housing out of his money. I assured him that we could handle this, but he was anxious about his inability to find more permanent housing. His contact person was not having any success in helping him find a place and I could tell that this really bothered him.

I paid for two weeks at the motel out of his money and gave him $200.00 for his expenses because I was going to be in North Carolina for almost two weeks. I assured him we would make this work. I talked to my brother and we decided that we would buy an investment property that he could rent from us. We could offer him a decent place to live for less than someone else and we could get him involved in making renovations. Joe and I were going to make this happen.

When I returned home a few days early, I received a call from Jefferson Hospital in Cherry Hill that Aaron had been admitted and his medical condition was critical. It is too soon to go over all that happened, but years of drug abuse and compromised medical conditions had become more than the medical professionals could handle. They indicated that the chance of recovery was remote and he died on the day that the next payment to extend his stay at the motel was due.

I will try to make some other comments in my next post. Aaron’s life ended with the knowledge that his family cared about him and that he was important to us.

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I have a BA in Psychology and a teaching certificate as a Special Education teacher. I have a MA in Student Personnel Services and I recently retired from my position as a Guidance Counselor. I have been active on advisory boards concerning disability issues for over 25 years. I also have over 25 years of business experience in Human Resources and Operations Management.

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