To help raise awareness about addiction, when some families lose a loved one to drugs they often allow the newspaper obituary to be brutally honest about how they died, hoping it will scare some who suffer from addiction straight. Now a funeral director is trying a similar approach as a tool to help fight against opioids.
As The Guardian reports, Staten Island funeral director Kevin Moran spoke at a local boys school, where he told the parents in attendance, “I am the one you never want to meet.” Moran spoke at a “scared straight” event for families, and he was one of a number of people to speak out about the horrors of addiction.
In Staten Island, where Moran is based, opioids have hit hard. In 2016, the area reportedly had “the highest per capita rate of opioid deaths in New York City at 32 per 100,000 people.” To hammer the point home, Moran let a large number of death certificates scroll out in front of him, and they were only the death certificates from the last four months.
Moran became a public speaker against addiction when he was approached by a nurse four years ago. The nurse wanted her speaking engagements to have more impact, and she told him, “We have to step it up a notch. We have to scare the crap out of them.” And by speaking out now, hopefully, he can save lives down the road. “There’s nothing I can do for the person who died,” Moran says. “My job is to help the living.”