On the first episode of my new radio show, Afflicted by Addiction, I interviewed the founder of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, April Rovero, who lost her youngest son Joey in 2009 to a prescription drug overdose. He was a victim of dirty doctor Lisa Tseng, who is now awaiting trial for three murders and a slew of other crimes, who prescribed him, a 21 year old, a deadly cocktail of Xanex, Soma, Roxicodone, for a sore wrist and anxiety.
I asked April why she embarked on a mission that requires her to relive her darkest moment over and over again. Here are highlights from this bit of the show. You can listen to the entire show on Voice America.com. I’ll have a different guest each Tuesday at noon. Please join me.
Brad: I know the limelight is not your goal… Can you share with us what [this prescription drug abuse activism] does for you as a mother? How this helps you, how this makes you feel, what your ultimate goal is in doing this?
April Rovero: …Joey was a wonderful son. His death came as a complete shock. Our whole family is devastated. This is something that should not have happened. … The thought of some other family going through this just kills me, it brings it all back home; every time I hear about a death, it is like a dagger in the heart. At the bottom of all the work we’re doing, It is the mission to save people, save families from going through what we’ve gone through. It is a pure “I want to help” mentality. There is a certain amount of anger that I have, at the fact that I didn’t know. I should have known that these drugs were being abused and misused and that they were so powerful that they could kill you. I didn’t know this because nobody else was talking about it, and so shame on me if I don’t raise the voice that can give others the opportunity to avoid what happened to us. So, this is the mentality that I work from, to save lives.
For me as a mom, to have lost my precious child, you know Joey was more than just an overdose. This helps me know that his life has made a bigger difference than just he died from an overdose and that’s the end. It gives me some level of peace to know that his story is making a difference. People are paying attention and learning from his life and his story.