There’s a reason that I work via Henry’s Fund to raise awareness about addiction in young people and to help fund grants to addiction treatment programs, a reason that I worked to see Henry’s Law passed and also that I lead monthly GRASP meetings in our area. It’s because of a boy named Henry Granju. He was my son, and drugs killed him before he even had the chance to vote for the first time.

Henry Granju

My son, Henry Granju

I have many regrets about the things I did and did not do with Henry before he became addicted to drugs as a teenager, and one of those regrets is that I didn’t talk to him early or often enough about what addiction is and what it can do to you.

I didn’t have the brutally honest conversations with him about the critical dangers of drug use that I should have. I failed in this regard because it honestly never occurred to me that my sweet, smart, well-behaved and polite child (and that’s what he was – a child) could possibly become a teenaged drug addict.

Please don’t make the same mistake I made. Talk early, often and as honestly as possible about drugs and addiction with your own children. A good place to start your discussion is by sitting down and watching this documentary about Henry’s life and death with your own children. Let Henry’s story open a dialogue in your own home about how drugs can take hold of even the “nicest” kids, and explain why you have a zero tolerance policy for even drug experimentation.

This is Henry’s story. By sharing it, I hope it helps your family’s story be written differently.

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