BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — A Massachusetts family says they have an important message to share after their son died of a heroin overdose. Emmett Scannell was 20-years-old when he died on April 20. Over the last few days, his father’s Facebook posts have been shared thousands of times.
“When you look at his picture, do you see his innocence?” William Scannell asks. “When you look at his picture, do you see an athlete, scholar, writer, inventor, musician, straight “A” student, or maybe even someone your daughter could date? When you look at his face in this picture, doesn’t it scream happiness??? When you look at this picture, do you not see a future success story? Ya, I see all of these things too when I look at this picture but let me ask you this question… When you look at this picture, do you see a “junkie”?? Do you see a desperate young man that is addicted to heroin???? Do you see someone that is so sad or depressed or who has become a prisoner of his own life??”
Emmett was a National Honor Society student and was studying computer sciences on a full academic scholarship. He had also been in recovery and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 2 years when he went off to college.
“Within 6 weeks, heroin came into his and our lives, stole him from us and Substance Use Disorder killed him in only 18 months,” his family writes in his obituary.
But Emmett’s family isn’t just asking for you to understand his story. They want to serve as a warning to other parents and hopefully save lives of other young people.
“To the parents of young kids, I beg you, please do not think it can not be your child…Please do not be naive to the point that your child does not or never will use drugs or alcohol,” said William. “Please open your minds and hearts to this epidemic and make sure.you always talk to your children and I just have one last question for you…When you take a picture of your child or see your child smiling from ear to ear, do they look as happy as this poor lost soul??? Please, talk to your kids!!!!! I BEG YOU!!!!!!”
They ask that people speak openly about addiction and substance abuse.
“You see Substance Use Disorder is not something to be ashamed of or hidden. It is a DISEASE that has to be brought out into the light and fought by everyone. It continues to cut down our loved ones everyday. Please do whatever you can to fight it so that you never have to feel what everyone one of us who has lost a loved one is feeling right now.”