Gregg’s Gift is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to positively impacting the lives of addicted young adults, their families, and the community at large.
Gregg’s Gift was established in loving memory of Gregg Grossman. When Gregg was in rehab, he spoke about becoming an addiction counselor in order to help other people battling addiction. Sadly, at the age of 26, Gregg’s future was cut short when he overdosed on a combination of Opioids and cocaine. On what should have been his 27th birthday, Gregg’s friends and family were asked to donate money to treatment scholarships at Caron Treatment Centers in memory of Gregg. We were amazed by people’s generosity.
What we did not expect, but were greatly moved by, were the messages we received from people on Gregg’s Gift’s Facebook page. People wrote about their own struggles with addiction and the struggles of people they loved. We knew that our lives had been forever changed by addiction, but we did not realize how many other people were affected as well. This led us to think, “What can be done that isn’t being done?” This is how Gregg’s Gift began to evolve.
Our mission focuses on helping young adults facing issues of alcohol and drug use, abuse, and addiction. We recognize the specialized needs of young adults, particularly between the ages of 18-30, and the unique difficulties they face in treatment and sustained recovery. Young adults may struggle as they move between adolescence and adulthood, while working to establish their own identities. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol can quickly turn into dependency, abuse, and addiction at this vulnerable stage. Laws that apply to children over the age of 18 may further complicate treatment and recovery.
The way in which we have traditionally viewed drug experimentation, use, abuse, and addiction has changed.
Prescription pill abuse and addiction has become an epidemic in this country, especially amongst adolescents and young adults. Teens are turning away from street drugs. Next to marijuana, the most common illegal drugs teens are using to get high are prescription medications and new users of prescription drugs have caught up with new users of marijuana. For many adolescents, accessing prescription drugs can be free or inexpensive. Teens are often getting prescription medications from a parent’s or family member’s medicine cabinet, drawer, or kitchen cupboard. A recent study also found that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs say that they can get them from friends or relatives.
The problem of prescription drugs is compounded by the lines of illegal access to controlled prescription drugs via the Internet. Rogue online pharmacies sell a wide range of highly addictive and potentially dangerous medicationswithout a legitimate prescription. The increasing availability on the Internet of highly addictive prescription drugs has enormous implications, including potential adverse reactions from inappropriately prescribed medications, dangerous drug interactions, use of counterfeit or tainted products, addiction to habit-forming substances, and deaths due to accidental drug overdose. Drug overdoses are now leading cause of accidental death, greater than motor vehicle accidents. The rapid rise in drug overdoses is due to the increasing number of deaths from prescription drugs, rather than from illicit drugs. This is largely due to the rising use of Opioids.
Gregg’s Gift is dedicated to helping Gregg to carry out his wishes. We are working to provide financial assistance to young adults in need of substance abuse and addiction treatment. Through education and outreach, we are working to promote prevention and raise awareness about drug experimentation, use, abuse, and addiction among adolescents and young adults. Our advocacy will help to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the illegal sale of prescription pills on the Internet.
Lastly, we at Gregg’s Gift have made a conscious decision to publicize our story in an effort to help break down the tremendous stigma faced by addicts and their loved ones. Stigma leads to social and legal discrimination against people with addictions. In addition, stigma can impede addiction treatment and recovery and make it difficult for family members to reach out for support. Help us break down the stigma of addiction by spreading awareness about Gregg’s Gift!
NEW Blog Post! Gregg’s sister talks about Gregg’s Gift, addiction, and stigma on Caron’s Chit Chat Blog!