PHOENIX - “My phone rings and I’m like, ‘oh is that Zack?’” said Roxane Jueckstock, whose son, Zack, died of an overdose in January.
“That’s not something that you plan for, you know your 23-year-old child, you’re like, 'what do you do?'” Jueckstock said. “That’s one night I hadn’t relived.”
Zach was just 16 years old when he started smoking marijuana and sneaking prescription drugs from his parents and others.
“They’re able to take other people’s medications,” she said. “That’s what happened with my son and all his friends, that’s where they got it.”
It’s a scenario becoming more common at Scottsdale Recovery Center and one Program Director David Larimer says doesn’t discriminate.
“Any one of us, given the right circumstances, could develop an addiction,” said Larimer. “The U.S. is the number one consumer of Hydrocodone in the world. We consume almost 100 percent and that’s Vicodin. We consume about 80 percent of the Percocet, there is a tremendous amount of availability.”
Looking back, Jueckstock says the signs were there.
“There was money missing from my accounts,” Jueckstock said. "He would make fun saying they were going to the dance, Molly was going to be there -- and being the naive mom that I was I thought 'Molly' was just this girl that he was interested in.”
Opioids eventually progressed to heroin.
“His bathing habits changed, he told me about the inserts in his shoes, he would take out the inserts and put the heroin in there. He would sleep in the middle of a conversation,” she said.
They tried several treatment options but in the end, addiction was just too strong.
“He was in sober living when he made that final choice,” Jueckstock said.
Now, she’s warning other parents to take action before it’s too late.
“Be diligent, go to your kid’s room... that’s your house,” she said. “Pay attention, you know, go through their room...search it. I miss my little guy.”