Great life, until addiction
Jason was extremely outgoing, able to talk to anyone about anything; people were drawn to him. He loved helping others and would often give money, food, or a coat to those who needed it. He went on youth mission trips with his church building houses in Honduras and restoring homes in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.
He started playing soccer when he was eight and played until he was sixteen. One year he served as Captain of his traveling challenge team, Wake Forest United. He also liked to fish anywhere he could; ponds, lakes and especially deep-sea fishing. He loved his older brother and his dog, Harlow. He graduated from high school and attended East Carolina University.
He was a hard worker and preferred physical labor over office-type jobs. When he was younger he would mow grass and detail cars. Later his interest in cars led him to obtain his buyer’s license and work for used car dealerships. He had dreams of opening his own dealership one day with the help of his dad.
His mother, Joan, has fond memories of family times at the beach and his smile, laughter and hugs. She especially misses him saying “I love you, Mom.” But after he became addicted he was a different person. He would lie and steal even from his parents. His family was constantly nervous and wondering where he was sleeping and if he was even alive.
Jason attended six rehab programs; some he ran away from, some he stayed, one he successfully completed after 120 days staying clean for nine months. His mother spent a great deal of time researching what else could be done to help him. She had a “strong vision that he would get clean and help many people get sober.” Jason did not want to be an addict; he was tormented and often cried about it. At the time of his death, his family was trying to get him into an outdoor based program they thought might help.
As a result of Jason’s addiction, Joan attended Naranon meetings for four years. She says she is now less judgmental of other people and their children who have substance abuse issues. “I used to think that people who became alcoholics or addicts were from a home where there was no love.” She knows differently now as Jason had as much love in his home as anyone could have. “I will forever be heart-broken but I must accept we did everything we could, but this horrible disease won due to a Fentanyl-laced drug. Now, our family will put our trust in God, that Jason found the peace that he was so desperately seeking.”
Jason’s mother, Joan Stutts provided the information for this narrative.
May 17,1993- May 11, 2018
Age 24- Lived with addiction 6 years