HOLLADAY — Former Weber State lineman Derek Johnson sat in the parking lot of the hospital where he’d just become a father and decided that his struggle with pain would end that night.

“I probably had three or four rock bottoms,” said the former nose guard, who became addicted to prescription pain medication as a college football player. “Every time you relapse, it gets a little bit worse. …I relapse after my daughter was born, and I was in the parking lot where she was born, and I was sitting in my car. I’d been living on the streets, doing drugs, and just in the worst state I’d ever been in. I don’t know why, but I decided, I’d die or I’d get caught by police.”

Johnson shared his story with the media Wednesday as his former coach Ron McBride and McBride’s foundation have joined the fight against the opioid addiction. McBride said he sees some of his former players struggling with addiction, but that it was also listening to educators that convinced him to make the fight his own.

“We kind of fell into it,” said McBride, whose foundation has supported a number of educational related causes, including rebuilding libraries and offering grants to teachers and schools for reading programs. “The more you talk to education people, talk to principals, talk to teachers, and then deal with some of the parents, well, you see this is part of our (responsibility).”

“When I was in school it was the ‘Just say no’ kind of approach. The truth is, kids are going to be offered drugs. They’re going to take them, and they’re going to make mistakes.”

He said meeting parents who’d lost children and teachers who were struggling with how to help their students, convinced him, and then his foundation board, to support education …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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