WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- September marks the 25th anniversary of National Recovery Month. One person dies every 19 minutes from prescription drug abuse in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help combat addictions, locals in Waterville shared their stories of how drugs have impacted their lives. Leading the discussion was Skip Gates who spoke about his son, William Gates who died from a heroin overdose in 2009. Skip began sharing his personal story by showing a film, "The Opiate Effect." He hopes to bring awareness of how drugs and alcohol can cause kids and teenagers to take a deadly turn. Skip has a message for all parents.
"If you love your kids verify. Trust them, but verify. Will lied to me, right to my face and if I had questioned him after I looked closer he might be alive today. Again, I can never forgive myself for not taking that extra step."
To have Skip Gates speak at your school or organization, you can contact the U.S. Attorney's Office in Portland and ask for Heather Putnam. Or e-mail Heather directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her by phone at 207-780-3257.
Also, there is a Recovery Fair on September 14th at Deering Oaks Park in Portland. The event is from noon to 4:00pm and everyone is welcome to come. There will be face painting, tie dye and lots of food vendors.