Murphy fights for addiction awareness after brother’s death

Senior+Blane+Murphy+spends+time+with+his+brother%2C+Jason+Murphy.+Jason+died+of+a+fentanyl+overdose%2C+leading+to+Blane+to+fight+the+stigma+associated+with+drug+addiction.
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Murphy fights for addiction awareness after brother’s death

Senior Blane Murphy spends time with his brother, Jason Murphy. Jason died of a fentanyl overdose, leading to Blane to fight the stigma associated with drug addiction.

Senior Blane Murphy spends time with his brother, Jason Murphy. Jason died of a fentanyl overdose, leading to Blane to fight the stigma associated with drug addiction.

Photo courtesy of Blane Murphy

Senior Blane Murphy spends time with his brother, Jason Murphy. Jason died of a fentanyl overdose, leading to Blane to fight the stigma associated with drug addiction.

Photo courtesy of Blane Murphy

Photo courtesy of Blane Murphy

Senior Blane Murphy spends time with his brother, Jason Murphy. Jason died of a fentanyl overdose, leading to Blane to fight the stigma associated with drug addiction.

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“I somehow wish I could’ve reversed it,” senior Blane Murphy said.

According to the Center on Addiction, twenty-three million Americans are battling a drug addiction, and Blane Murphy’s brother, Jason Murphy, was a victim of this epidemic. Just starting to bond with his brother, Murphy reflects on the days before his brother’s death.

“One day he was real skinny, strung out and he was talking to me, and he said, ‘Blane I want to give you some advice,’ and at that time he was messed up. He just wanted someone to talk to. He said, ‘I want to give you some advice: don’t do what I do,’” Murphy said.

For years, Murphy’s brother had been in and out of rehabilitation centers and different groups. However, it was hard to fit into those groups due to an ongoing stigma about addicts.

“There’s this stigma out there that the only people that are getting addicted are like the lower class people, but it can be from everywhere. I’m from the middle class. I got a lot of good things going for me, [and] then I got this brother that’s addicted to all this other stuff. People don’t really know what’s going on behind the curtain for these families,” Murphy said.

Addiction can affect anyone. On average, 100 people die everyday from drug overdoses. The rate, though, has tripled in the last 20 years, based on statistics by Addiction Center. Murphy lost his brother due to an overdose on fentanyl and has since then tried to spread awareness.

“[Our family] didn’t want to hide the fact that he overdosed because [of] the stigma out there with addiction, people thinking addiction comes from the lower end of the lower end. We really wanted to be open about it and change the stigma because it is an epidemic, and we really wanted to make that important,” Murphy said.

Memories of Murphy’s brother were not defined by his addiction. Murphy spent the last two years of his brother’s life trying to become closer to his brother.

“[My best memory of him was when] we needed to get over these train tracks, and a train came by, and we climbed on the train, and we rode on top of the train for a little bit. Then we hopped off around Keister [Elementary School]. It was pretty funny,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s only wish now is to continue to spread awareness. He advises those who see others struggling to help, too.

“If you see someone struggling, if you hear about it or get a feeling about it, try and talk to them. Try to stop it. You don’t know if the next day they’ll be gone. [You will be left] questioning your actions the rest of your life,” Murphy said.

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