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Apr 12, 2021

Tina Smarch shares her son Jacob’s story in an effort to erase the stigma of drug addiction. During this interview, Tina tells us about Jacob who passed away at the age of 18 from a drug overdose. Furthermore, Tina and her husband have turned their pain into passion as they reach out to other families and parents who are struggling. Also, Tina gets their message out through facebook account in Jacob’s name. These outreach activities give Tina’s new life purpose. Finally, Jacob’s life mattered. He wanted to be a counselor so helping others is Tina’s way of enabling Jacob to counsel others.  


Episode Highlights:

  • First, Emily and Tina talk about Tina's 35 year teaching career.
  • Then, Emily asks Tina to share Jacob's story.
  • Jacob passed away in 2016 at the age of 18 from a drug overdose.
  • He was the baby, the only boy, and the comedian of the family.
  • Around the age of 13 or 14, Jacob started smoking pot.
  • Jacob got into pills quickly after that.
  • Tina reflects on Jacob's choices and wonders if anxiety was one of the reasons he used drugs.
  • Furthermore, there was so much Tina did not know about drugs and she had to learn quickly.
  • Shame is common among parents of children addicted to drugs.
  • The tough love route doesn't always work.
  • Tina explains why she didn't reach out to friends initially.
  • Then, Emily asks Tina what she would recommend to parents going through this right now.
  • Tina talks about how she and her husband help other families and children struggling with drug use issues.
  • Finding the right support group is key.
  • Tina's husband works from home and had to deal with Jacob during the day.
  • Also, it's important to trust your friends so they can support you.
  • Next, Tina talks about how Jacob's sisters handled Jacob's drug use.
  • Jacob passed away over Thanksgiving break.
  • Tina talks about the last time she saw Jacob alive.
  • So many whys. Why us, why him, why now......
  • Emily asks how Tina is turning her pain into helping others.
  • Next Tina shares that Jacob wanted to be a counselor and Tina does that for him. 
  • There is a Drug Epidemic Awareness Walk Across America coming up soon.
  • Tina talks about what she's done to get through the pain of Jacob's death.
  • She's written a book about Jacob and is seeking a publisher.
  • Finally, Tina says she and her friends are thinking about starting a podcast soon!


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