CHARLESTON- It's been more than three years since Ryan Brown died of a heroin overdose. Since his death, Ryan's parents have been advocating for more treatment and resources for addicts and their family. Wednesday they fly to Washington D.C. to meet President Donald Trump and share their story.
Cece and Bobby Brown say they miss their son Ryan every day, but they've chosen to speak up, hoping to break the stigma about drug abuse, and get help to addicts who need it the most. The couple first visited the White House back in September for an opioid roundtable hosted by First Lady Melania Trump.
"Our message is always about hope- that there's hope in recovery. So it's important, I think it's important particularly at a national level to have people talking about it and paying attention," Cece told 13 News.
The Browns have already made a big impact in West Virginia, speaking at opioid meetings, hosting overdose awareness events and helping pass the Ryan Brown Addiction and Recovery Fund bill.
"We didn't want one more person to die, and that's really what lead us to this," Cece explained.
The law takes money from drug settlements to pay for additional treatment beds. Cece said if more beds had been available, Ryan might still be here today.
"When he died, he was on the waiting list for 2 programs and he had just received his Medicaid card 3 days before, due to the Affordable Care Act. In fact, I'm not saying that would have saved him, but it certainly would have given him opportunities," Cece told 13 News.
Now, the Browns are taking their message to the national level, hoping to share thoughts and concerns with the White House after President Trump's speech Thursday.
"We need to start getting this under control, and getting this off the street and getting our kids back, because we're going to lose a generation," Bobby explained.
If you would like to get involved, the Browns will be at the Light Up the Night event on November 4th at 6:00 in the Hurricane city park. Several advocates and leaders from across the state will be speaking and booths will be set up with resources.
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