Fathers turn pain into healing solutions.
 
A father’s concern and fear propelled sleepless Ben Lowry, an attorney in Portland, Maine, out into the streets one evening searching for his eldest son.

Just a year earlier, his son had been in college studying engineering when he began using drugs, including opioids. Lowry’s family spent more than $100,000 on treatment and recovery programs before Lowry gave his son an ultimatum: stop using or move out. His son moved out.

Now, hearing the wail of sirens on this cold fall night, Lowry feared the worst.

“Someone said there was an overdose nearby, and I hurried over, thinking it was my son,” Lowry said, his voice cracking with emotion. “There was a young woman dead in the street, probably in her 20s. It’s a very difficult thing to see, especially when your son is living out there.”
 
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine and New Hampshire recorded nearly 800 opioid overdose deaths in 2017 – a terrible toll, but a small fraction of the 47,600 opioid deaths across the United States that year.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Portland, Lowry decided to do more than just address his own situation. He joined a group of Rotary members in the New England area who have come together to prevent overdose deaths.