“My 21 year old son died of a heroin overdose on 12/15/15 while in treatment at Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul, MN. He was doing exceptionally well in treatment we were told and he was. He was happy, working, etc. In spite of excellent treatment, the pull of heroine was greater than anything. He was a brilliant, kind and motivated person. I wrote a very direct and honest obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle (Maxwell Galbraith Walker was our son). His addiction started when he was prescribed a pain killer by his pediatrician. More parents need to be open about this problem before any solutions can be identified. Physicians need to be aware of factors, such as ADHD (which our son had) that studies show predispose people to substance abuse. I know that many other factors play into this epidemic, but shame and obfuscation by parents and loved ones only serves to maintain the problem. We are a very educated and successful family who have afforded our children every opportunity, including lots of treatment for Max over the years. I want to do whatever I can to be part of finding a collective solution. I am heartbroken about losing Max as are my husband and his two brothers. Please take a look at the obituary. Good work on this article-I had sent it to all of my family just before Max died.”

– Words of Bridget Walker in her correspondence with New York Times writer, Katherine Seelye.