PHOENIX 3TV/CBS 5) -- October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and a Phoenix teen and his parents are hoping their story will help others who may spiraling out of control get help.
According to a recent survey by Arizona nonprofit The Pathway House, more than 50 percent of teens say they use drugs for fun, and that’s how it was for high school junior Zachery Stein.
He said he started with marijuana and when he built up a tolerance to that and said he went looking for something harder. By the fall of last year, he was full on addicted to prescription medication and opioids to the point where he tried harming himself.
“At the time I wasn’t really wanting help, I didn’t think I needed it, which is everyone’s mindset when they’re going through that, like I’m fine,” said Stein.
His parents, Edel and Adam Stein, said their son was demonstrating some of the classic signs of drug abuse: Mood swings, losing interest in hobbies, failing in school, and acting secretive with his actions and new friends.
With long term rehab costly thousands of dollars, they turned to a newly formed Valley nonprofit called Fingerprints Foundation. The foundation helps families, like the Steins’ pay for treatment in young people.
“It changed our lives, it made it where I didn’t have to bury my son. We work really hard for everything, we want to make sure our kids don’t want for anything, we are in a spot if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be able to come here Fingerprints saved his life."
The Fingerprints Foundation was started by a group of Valley parents who had gone through similar situations with their kids and realizing how much long-term drug abuse treatment can cost. Zachery Stein is now five months sober.
If you’d like to donate to Fingerprints foundation click here.