This powerful presentation describes the details and warning signs that led up to Jonathan Levitt having a substance use disorder involving heroin which ultimately cost him his life. At the young age of 22, he died from an overdose which ended up being 100% fentanyl. Jonathan was academically and athletically gifted. He loved education, history, and family. He had a promising future ahead of him. He was a special individual that always reached out to help others and had their backs. His family was overwhelmed by his kindness but realized that when Jonathan needed his friends the most, no one had his back. Jonathan's father, Rich, discusses the opioid addiction that took over his son's life. From being given OxyContin at age sixteen by a local emergency room doctor, to stealing his dad's post-surgery pain medication, to his best friends giving him heroin in the hockey locker room, to multiple rehab facilities, Rich chronicles how Jonathan's life began to revolve around his addiction. All the way up until he met another addict in rehab which led to him dying at home in his basement on February 10, 2017. Rich shares Jonathan's story while citing national, state and local statistics and trends. He generates risk awareness by showing that this disease does not discriminate and can happen to anyone. The Levitt family began sharing Jonathan's story in hopes of helping others. He reaches out to students and asks them to have each other’s' backs. He also speaks to kids and adults who may be battling addiction or thinking about taking drugs to escape some kind of pain.
"My mission, as his father, is to help people of all ages- kids and adults, anywhere, anytime by sharing Jonathan's story. This is what my son would want and if I can educate and save one person, it is 100% worth the effort and time. I work with many local, state and federal agencies doing research and learning about this horrible disease and how we need to overcome the stigma. I look forward to seeing you at one of my presentations."