Why I Participate
By Jeanine Motsay, Indianapolis, Indiana
My son, Sam, was a sophomore honors student at Center Grove High School with a GPA over 4.0 and extracurricular interests including a love for basketball, playing school and Amateur Athletic Union ball, and playing tenor sax first chair in school bands.
On Mother’s Day weekend 2014, Sam and two of his basketball friends took the chance of their lives. They tried what they thought was LSD or acid and would pass quickly through their system, avoiding detection from random drug testing for athletes. I woke up Mother’s Day morning to learn that my 16-year-old son had lost his life; later, I learned Sam was the victim of a synthetic drug called 25I-NBOMe or N-Bomb, a synthetic poison targeted at teens as LSD. At that time, even law enforcement was not familiar with what had killed Sam.
In the following months, our family realized there was a need to share Sam’s message to help prevent harm and save others. We formed a nonprofit, Sam’s Watch, to get the word out about the drug dangers threatening young people, especially synthetic drugs, which are constantly evolving and extremely dangerous.
Sam’s Watch is collaborating with NIDA to encourage Indiana schools to participate in the 5th annual National Drug Facts Week. Schools registering via Sam’s Watch will get participation assistance and be entered into $1,000 school donation drawing. There will also be a student contest for Sam’s Watch schools, with prizes for best entries to “Shatter the Myths” about drug use and addiction.
“National Drug Facts Week provides an opportunity for young people to get science-based information about drugs and their effect on the body. But that can happen only if schools participate. I urge students and parents to encourage their school leaders to participate in National Drug Facts Week. It will save lives.”
– Jeanine Motsay, Sam’s Mom