Family Uses Overdose Tragedy To Educate Others
A family in mourning is using their son’s overdose death to create positive change in Grand Rapids. Garret Bethke passed away two years ago from a heroin overdose, and his mother has been working to educate the community about addiction since.
Deb Noethe says she didn’t know the depth of her son’s addiction until his first time of inpatient treatment in 2011.
In just a short time, he was out of the treatment and went straight back to using drugs.
After that, Garret cycled through rehab and criminal convictions for drug possession and paraphernalia, until he had a fatal dose of heroin. When the people he was with called the police, it was too late and Narcan, an overdose reversing agent, did not work. He was 28 years old.
Friends and family gathered on the anniversary of his death to reflect; using the day to ensure that others know there are people out there who care about them.
They’re leaving “blessing bags” in areas where people experiencing homelessness may be with a list of area resources, food and water and other necessities while sharing their story. Mellissa Lane has experienced homelessness and says these bags would have meant a lot to her.
Doing something good, for a good man’s legacy.
The Noethe family says the best way to end the opiate crisis is for parents to get educated about addiction and to talk to their children. The family started a foundation to educate others. More information can be found at www.GarretBethkeFoundation.com.