Misty Fetko, a mother of two teenagers, got up early to walk the dog before she roused her boys from bed one summer day in 2003. Her eldest, Carl, a gifted guitar player and award-winning artist at his Ohio high school, never woke up.
“His friends told me his smile made their day,” Fetko said of her 18-year-old, who had just been accepted to Memphis College of Art.
In the past, she had found empty bottles of Robitussin in their suburban New Albany home, but she had no idea Carl had a 2Â½ year drug habit. Fetko’s skills as an emergency room nurse were of no use when she entered Carl’s bedroom and administered CPR. She discovered he had died in his sleep of an accidental overdose of the cough syrup Robitussin.
“There were no other signs,” said Fetko, who since then has helped others as a spokeswoman for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. “I think Carl and his friends were under the impression that it was harmless because it was not illegal. There is a false sense of security, and it’s so subtle: no smell, no needles, no drug dealers, you don’t need a lot of money to buy it and you can use it after mom and dad go to bed.” Read more