Akron Librarian Shares Son's Addiction Story

Akron librarian Bob Ethington says it was a slow realization for his family to recognize their son, Dylan, had become a drug addict.

And Dylan’s use of heroin was surprising, as Bob associated the drug with big cities like New York and Los Angeles.

“Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” by Sam Quinones, helped Bob and his wife, Ricki, understand how heroin from Mexico made its way into the hands of young adults in Midwest suburbs and rural areas.

The Ethington’s arranged for Quinones to speak at Akron’s main library, hoping he could help bring his knowledge of the situation to the community with his appearance.

“Part of the answer is to be more open and to talk about it,” Bob said.

Dylan, died of an overdose in December.

Author and journalist Sam Quiones said he found initially families were reluctant to talk about opiate addiction due to the stigma, but more parents are speaking out and listing the cause of death in obituaries.

"So many of these parents when it happened didn't know who to turn to," Sam said. 

Bob hopes sharing his son’s story can help others.

“I can talk about it and people who are in this situation can talk about it to me, and they know I’m not going to judge them,” Bob said. “What we need is a lot more people that are in this situation is to be able to do that.”

Author Sam Quinones speaks at Akron’s Main Library, 60 S. High St., at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The event is free and doors open to the public at 6 p.m.

Hear an interview with Sam Quinones Monday at 1:30 p.m. during Here and Now fetauring the Sound of Applause. 

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