In this episode of Grieving Out Loud, Brenda Schivito says her son Nick’s drug usage began when he was just a kid and would ride his bike to the gas station and buy Spice, a synthetic marijuana. The adverse side effects of Spice include psychosis, hallucinations, delirium, and paranoia. When Nick was older, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and his battle with substance use disorder kicked into high gear. Nick died of fentanyl poisoning at the age of 22.
In response to their family’s tragedy, Brenda started Angels Against Addiction. This non-profit organization is raising awareness and helping people getting out of inpatient treatment for substance use disorder transition into recovery communities.
K2 and Spice are just two of the many trade names or brands for synthetic designer drugs that are intended to mimic THC, the main active ingredient of marijuana. Overdose deaths have been attributed to the abuse of synthetic cannabinoids. Learn more about Spice/K2, Synthetic Marijuana, here.
Information from DEA.gov
MEET THE GUEST
Brenda Schivito’s son, Nicholas “Nick” Lee Schivito, lost his battle to substance abuse on January 20, 2018. Nick was a kind-hearted young man willing to help anyone in need and performed many “acts of kindness” in his short 22 years. As a result of this tragedy, Brenda is motivated to do what she can to continue in a positive way to help others as Nick would have done. Through the Angels Against Addiction Foundation, Brenda hopes Nick’s message will be passed on with the power to help save others. The mission of Angels Against Addiction is to bring awareness and educate the community about the dangers of illegal substance abuse. They also aim to raise awareness of the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse.
Angela Kennecke is a journalist who lost her 21-year-old daughter Emily to fentanyl poisoning on May 16, 2018. Angela is “grieving out loud” to try to put an end to this epidemic by stopping the stigma and promoting the treatment of substance use disorder as the disease it is. Anyone coping with loss and looking for inspiration can benefit from listening to this podcast.