Samuel's drug addiction story: video
Transcript - Samuel's story
A photo of a baby
Nathalie: Samuel was always a cheerful, playful little boy.
A photo of a young boy
Nathalie: He was able to get anyone's love right away. He was affectionate. He truly had charisma.
A school photo follows a photograph of Samuel on a fishing boat.
Samuel: I was always top of the class. My mom put a lot of emphasis on studying, getting good grades, and having a healthy lifestyle.
A family photo
Nathalie: As a child, Samuel was always in a good mood, always had many projects. He was always smiling. He was interested in everything. And then, he was no longer interested in anything. His only goal for the day when he got up, was to go and do drugs until he went to bed at night.
A title: Samuel's Story
The young man sits alone in a kitchen.
Nathalie: He started skipping classes. Anything related to school no longer interested him. His grades dropped dramatically.
Samuel: After junior high, I started to drink. That's when I tried poly-drug use for the first time. I mixed two depressants together.
He sits by a lake.
Nathalie: It was obvious he wasn't eating, he had gotten terribly skinny.
The sun sets in front of him.
Nathalie: He was so skinny that his skin was blueish.
Light falls on his face.
Nathalie: For a mother, it's really hard.
His mother turns her head away.
Nathalie: It is extremely difficult to see your child go down into a state of self-destruction.
Samuel gets up and walks away from the shoreline.
Samuel: Because I was using a lot of substances, it started to get expensive, and I wasn't always working back then. So I had to steal; I would take money from my mom. My mom had had surgery for her shoulder and she had an opioid prescription.
With his mom
Samuel: I would take it, abusively, so as to always have a bigger effect. I started stealing medications from her.
Nathalie: I was really, really afraid that he might die. He had been playing with chemicals too and he had quite an accident that caused an explosion and burns. He got scared. He told me that he was really scared when that happened. I said to myself, well, this must have taught him a lesson. But a few weeks later, I realized that he was starting all over again.
Samuel: So my mom saw that I had started doing that again. She took drastic measures; she said, "I won't let my son die doing what he's doing."
Mother and son walk together on a sidewalk.
Nathalie: This is where it ends; to either send him into therapy, the hospital, a youth centre, or whatever. But when a kid is stuck in this situation, he doesn't even realize it, and he thinks everything's fine. As a parent, it's your job to act.
Samuel drives a car by himself on a highway.
Samuel: I did my therapy for myself, but also for my mom. My mom took the initiative and she saved my life. I owe her my life because she brought me into this world, but also because she decided to bring me back, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to.
He throws his fishing line into the water.
Nathalie: It's so wonderful to see him now. We can see that he's strong, that he's got a good foundation and that he's come to understand many many many things.
By the water
Nathalie: He's become more mature. It's incredible.
Outside, Samuel operates an electric saw.
Samuel: I still have a hard time realizing it, but I'm going to finish my carpentry training in a month.
Samuel: I'm there. I swim, I jog, I keep myself in good shape, I work a lot.
In running gear, he runs alone across an old bridge. He walks with his mom.
Nathalie: I'm sure he has a beautiful life in front of him and he'll go very, very far. He's got talent. He's got potential and he's got all the tools to develop it. I've always said, "You've got everything it takes to succeed in life. All you have to do is use it."
On the sidewalk, mother and son hug each other.
NARRATOR: Get the facts and talk with your kids about prescription drug abuse.
A message from the Government of Canada.
An end credit with thanks to: Portage au Québec
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