Ann Marie’s son, Christopher, was a great student and a gifted baseball player, and he was very close to his mother and sister. When he was 20 years old, Christopher was in a minor car crash and was prescribed opioids for back pain following the crash. Christopher’s tolerance grew quickly, and he sought out doctors who would prescribe him more opioids. He increased his intake from one pill a day to 25 pills a day. Ann Marie described how these pills and his addiction completely changed her son: everything he had worked for no longer mattered to him, he had trouble sleeping, often did not come home at night, and became defensive and combative toward the people he loved. Ann Marie tried admitting him to various treatment facilities, but he was either rejected or kicked out for poor behavior. Without help, his addiction persisted and intensified. Within roughly two years of beginning to use prescription opioids, Christopher overdosed and died at just 22 years old.
Ann Marie has been passionate about sharing her loss in the hopes of saving others from this tragedy. She started Christopher’s Reason, a place where people suffering from opioid addiction can be directed to the treatment they need.