Jeremy’s Story: Jeremy Michael Farrell 8/4/77-11/11/2019
My name is Cindy Farrell, I was a teen mother to 3 children. Jeremy was my middle child. By the time he was 1, he was unstoppable always on the move and always impulsive. When Jeremy went to Kindergarten his chair was taken away from him and he stood, he was made to feel very badly about himself. In 1st grade we had moved to my childhood home with my father and sister. Jeremy again had trouble at school, he took someone’s money, his teacher told the other children they should not play with him because he was a liar and thief. I tried to get him removed from that class, but was told his problems were bad parenting, a divorced teen mother; there was nothing wrong with my son. Jeremy’s next several school years were the same, when he was in 5th grade, his teacher said that Jeremy should be tested. He was diagnosed with ADHD, which later manifested with a conduct disorder. He was moved to a sub-separate classroom. The damage to his self esteem was quite evident by this point. During 7th grade he was being bullied by other students and was afraid to walk home. He would call me to leave work and come get him. One day he was abused so badly that he had a foot print across his chest. I removed him, took him to the Dr’s to document it and threatened to sue the school if they did not send him to another school that had an ADHD classroom, I also requested he be guaranteed a spot at Keefe Tech for 9th grade. Jeremy did have outside help for his problems; he began at a physical sports based counseling program in 5th grade. He had a good relationship with his counselor, it deteriorated. However, he continued to struggle. He had a talking counselor as well. After he was 15 or 16 he stopped taking Ritalin and stopped seeing counselors. He was in and out of trouble in high school and our home became a frequent police stop whenever something happened in town. I even joked that I needed new pajamas because the police knew all the ones I owned, but I was not really laughing. Much of Jeremy’s life continued in that fashion in and out of troubles, believing he was a failure and he would never succeed at anything. I tried everything I could do to help him. His relationships and jobs always ended in failure.
Jeremy was arrested with drugs and was sentenced to 4 years probation and entered a methadone day program, he entered the program before it was court ordered. He was pleased with his success at the program and very proud that he completed the program. He died one week later he had overdosed and was found, a dear friend his aunt and myself. Jeremy died at the age of 42 of acute fentanyl intoxication. Jeremy’s life was full of mental health disorders the right help he needed was never available to him. Jeremy was diagnosed with ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and Substance Use Disorder. The world and he believed he was a loser and a junkie, to me he was my little boy. I hope to bring awareness to the fact that Substance Use Disorder is a Mental Health Issue by telling my son’s story.