MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida resident John Daley got hooked on prescription pills when he was 14 years old. The problem escalated so out of control he eventually became a drug dealer.
“I’ve totaled eight cars, been shot at twice and I’ve been stabbed five times, I should be dead.”
His addiction lasted 13 years until he got help at a rehabilitation facility.
“Once you are open enough to try one thing you will pretty much try anything else, it was easy to admit I’m a failure and this is what I’m going to do,” said Daley.
Daley has turned his life around. He now drives around the streets of Broward and Palm Beach Counties looking for addicts. He works for South Florida Intervention and was recently was part of a symposium at Broward General teaching parents what to look for to determine if their children are on drugs.
He said if parents notice cigarette burns on their children’s clothes, they should investigate.
“It’s cause I’m passing out while I’m smoking because I’m so high I can’t sit up straight and smoke at the same time. I’m just lighting myself on fire,” Daley said.
He also said parents should look for stains on the bottom of your kids’ shirts.
“When I would take pills, I would suck off the time release coating and use bottom of my shirt to wipe them on,” Daley said. By taking off the coating, he could crush the pill and snort them.
Another sign is finding kitchen items in your child’s bedroom, like spoons, foil, straws as well as marble trays.
First and foremost, parents should not live in denial.
“They didn’t want to look at the fact I may be using drugs this whole time,” Daley said.
Dr. Nabil El Sanadi is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Broward General and said of the top 100 prescribing doctors in the U.S. 98 of them are in Broward County.
“People like me in white coats are prescribing these in abundance and that is hurting the public,” Dr. El Sanadi said.
El Sanad organized the symposium where the task force made up of the DEA, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office and local officials spoke to concerned parents.
Parents learned if something seems off it probably is and there is nothing wrong with putting a program on your child’s computer to monitor exactly which sites they are going to.
Daley warns the downward spiral is a fast one so following through on a hunch is just good parenting.