Former Fox News anchor Eric Bolling and his wife Adrienne were driving home from a nice dinner out last September when Eric got a phone call from a hysterical young man telling him to call one of his son Eric Chase’s friends. The Bollings are from New Jersey, but Eric Chase was away at school in Colorado, having just started his sophomore year in college.
That phone call, and Bolling’s subsequent call to the friend, changed his life forever. Bolling explains in a video testimonial he did for the White House’s Opioid Summit that his parental intuition led him to assume the worst. “Is he alive?” he asked his son’s friend. It was then that he was told that Eric Chase, just 19, was dead. The cause, which was not immediately apparent, was later determined to be an accidental overdose of opioids.
Bolling’s video testimony about how opioids took his son’s life is real, raw, and hard to watch. However, it’s extremely important that all parents DO watch it, if only for ONE reason: in it, Bolling talks about he thinks he and his wife, who had NO idea that Eric was using drugs, could have done differently. He makes a bold statement that I truly believe all parents need to hear. He says most of today’s parents have “Not-my-kid syndrome,” and that this is an underlying killer for kids who THINK they can “handle” getting into opioids and other drugs recreationally. He says,
“Not-my-kid syndrome is terrible. Not-my-kid syndrome is a killer because you just don’t know. It could very well be your kid. So do us all a favor. Do yourselves a favor. Do your family a favor, do your children a favor. Have the discussion with them. Do it again and again. Get involved in their lives.”
I will confess, before I saw this video, I had never heard of Eric Bolling. After some research, I discovered he is rather on the conservative side of politics, and so a lot of people don’t care for him. But, I think this is an issue where parents just need to put politics aside and realize that opioids and the opioid crisis are NOT partisan issues; they can and do affect ALL of us, they can come for ANY of our kids, and none of us are immune to the Bollings’ situation or their grief.
So, moms and dads, I am going to URGE you, as Eric Bolling does here, to HAVE THAT CONVERSATION with your kids. My oldest son is only 14 and we’ve already had it twice. It’s not a “one and done” conversation, but rather a dialogue that needs to be continued as he grows up. Because, like Eric Chase Bolling, one day he will be at college, maybe thousands of miles away from my supervision, and maybe he will have the opportunity to try opioids. But if we’ve talked and talked and talked about it, and the consequences, and what addiction does to your brain, maybe, just maybe, he will say NO.
Today I make a vow to NEVER say “not my kid” — because as much as I’d love to believe that my precious three aren’t capable of giving and losing their lives to drugs, I’m not doing them any favors by putting them in a class of their own.
Moms and dads, talk to your kids about opioids. Be open, and let them know they can come to you ANY time, with ANYthing.
Thank you, Eric Bolling, for sharing your grief, and your insight, with all of us.
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