The changing face of drug abuse - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

The changing face of drug abuse

The face of drug abuse is changing.     

No longer is it the dealer on the street corner who's dying of an overdose. Now its your next door neighbor, a family member, or a close friend.     

Last year Southwest Louisiana averaged over a death per week due to prescription drugs and the numbers of those ending up in local emergency rooms is staggering.     

For years, drug abuse has carried a stigma that keeps many families from addressing the problem. And we know we can not fix what we do not acknowledge.     

Mother Janet Aguillard speaks about her son. "Beau was my little spider monkey. He played T-ball. He was a Cub Scout. He played football. All the way through Jr. High he played baseball."     

But that's when Janet Aguillard says her son began to change. "Maybe 9th grade when he started."     

14-year-old Beau Regan was on the path of addiction.     

Agiullard: "Even to the last he was still of the mind 'Well I'll work during the week but I'll get high on the weekend.'"     

As drugs became more accessible, Aguillard says Beau lost control.     

Aguillard: "He was suffering, he was suffering and he didn't want to be like that...this was the third overdose with this stuff and more than once I said, 'Bubba I don't want to bury you its not supposed to be like this.'"     

Earlier this month Aguillard's worst fear was realized.     

On March 9th, Beau, at just 22-years-old, lost his battle with addiction.     

Aguillard "I feel the loss of what could have been what should have been without addiction."      Aguillard says through faith she's found the strength to speak out just days after her tragic loss.     

Aguillard: "These kids think that they're doing fine, they don't understand that look in their eyes. They're just totally detached from reality. At the funeral there were kids that said 'Oh i've been clean for a month and a half' and they could barely speak. It was so sad. I would beg somebody who has some power to do something to try to find a way that the parents or those that care about these young people could intervene concretely to keep this from happening because we can see it happening and there's nothing we can do about it. "

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