Alcohol and Drugs are the Leading Cause in Teenage Suicide ~ by Jodi Barber

Early detection is extremely vital in saving your child’s life!

Kids who start drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are more likely to become addicted to both alcohol and drugs. Kids are experimenting with drugs in elementary school. Parents need to educate themselves in order to detect the signs and get their child help immediately. There are many reasons why a child starts to drink or use drugs. According to, kids decide to use because they are influenced by people using substances around them and in the media, they use when looking for an escape (especially among teens going through depression or the roller coasters of adolescence), they use drugs and alcohols out of boredom or rebellion, they use in order to boost confidence in social situations, and they use when they are misinformed about the risks.

Please know who your child is hanging out with. Know their parents, as well. Call the house phone and ask the parent if your child is there. Do not call the cell phone, as they can lie and tell you they are at one place, but really at another. Middle school age is a time to want a bit more freedom. They want to walk to stores or to get something to eat. If you have any question in your mind that your child cannot be trusted, spy on them from a distance! Monitor their online access as well as their cell phone, drug test them and check out their room. Keep them home for dinner. The dinner table is a great time to bring up conversation. I do school presentations. One thing I mention to students is if they are in a situation and offered a drug, tell the friend you are being drug tested, even if not. That is their way out!

Jarrod on the right.

Marijuana and/or alcohol is where most of the kids start. It is a gateway for most addicts. The younger they start, the harder it is to stop. Sadly, I know this from my own experience with my son. He started smoking pot in 8th grade, and continued to the day he died, which was five years later. I later found out he was smoking while at a friends house, during sleep-overs. They would walk to the trails. By the time he came home the next morning, I had no clue. My husband and I caught him and his friend in his room when he was 17. By that time, Jarrod was already far into his addiction to marijuana. We drug tested, took privileges away. It became a continuing battle, and I honestly didn’t know what to do. He was very strong-willed. I pictured what it would be like to have an interventionist kidnap him and take him to a wilderness camp. I pictured my other son who was 15 at the time, witnessing this and it would have been horrific! Now, as I look back, it may have saved his life. Jarrod started smoking marijuana at 14. By 19 years of age he wanted something stronger and found friends who can give him something stronger. A quarter of a pill, called Oxymorphone (Opana) and he was hooked! Using marijuana puts people in contact with friends who are using as well, selling the weed, or selling and using other drugs.

Some of the signs/ red flags to look for are:

A drop in grades/skipping school

Change in behavior and friends

Extra tired, extra happy, extra quiet

Red eyes/dilated pupils

Isolating in their room

Lying and breaking rules

Not wanting to be with family or go to family get together’s

Apples are missing (they are taking them to school, and using them to smoke out of in the bathroom)

“If I knew then, what I know now, maybe my son would still be here.” The overdose deaths are preventable through early detection.

Trusted resources: COA


At my son’s funeral, one of his friends was struggling with opiates so his mom read the eulogy for her son and the others who struggled.  Sadly, 11 months later, her son overdosed and died. In 2010, I started reading that same message at funeral services.


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A Message To Jarrod’s Friends

“When we lose someone we love before his time,

the grief is inconsolable, the questions never ending…

Why, we ask, and what can be learned from this passing

of one whose life was only just beginning?

The answers do not come easily and

comfort from our grief cannot be found

except in the lives of others…

who now may live because of Jarrod’s legacy.

He has shown us how to live and how NOT to die

and we thank him for this brutal lesson.

If we want to honor this young man,

our beloved son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend,

then we must always remember his journey

and know that if he could he would say to each of us 

“Choose life, Choose wisely.”

If we can hear his message clearly,

then Jarrod’s loss will never be in vain

and his memory will live on

in the friends he left behind.

And if, in the future, the choices that they make,

show deep remembrance of their dearest friend,

he will never be forgotten,

and his life, however short, will serve a higher purpose.”

Below there are upcoming events and groups if you want to get involved and learn more about addiction and deaths.


Drug overdose is now the #1 cause of accidental death. Christine Brant and I will present ‘Overtaken’ and ‘The Otherside.’ This COA Clinic is for parents, adolescents/teens, educators and anyone else hoping to understand how ‘One Choice Can Destroy’ and alternatives to a healthy sober life.

Commissioner Hall from the Orange County Superior Courthouse will speak about the effects that Prop 47 has on our kids as the epidemic is bigger than before, along with a great panel of speakers.




Stand Against Addiction And Deaths ~ SAAAD

Our mission is to stop physicians from Over-prescribing and to stop another preventable death. Accidental Overdose is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. surpassing fatal car accidents.

Let’s stand up for addiction and protest!

We are ALL sick of teens and young adults dying all over the country! It’s time! We are losing the next generation and WE The PARENTS need to come forward publicly and tell our Government and Big Pharma these deaths are PREVENTABLE! GREED is killing our kids!