Lindale Family Speaks Out About Teen's Overdose Death - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/25/04-Lindale

Lindale Family Speaks Out About Teen's Overdose Death

  The family of a Lindale teenager that overdosed last weekend is talking about that tragedy and the dangers of drug use.
  Rhonda Mcintyre grieves the death of her youngest son, Justin, but for her, the pain of losing a son began long before his death on Sunday night.
"Justin had battled drugs for about the past 3 years," said Rhonda. "When he was16, which is almost exactly 3 years ago, he overdosed on Soma, a muscle relaxer."
After his first overdose Rhonda says Justin was given a second chance at life.
  "He had some really good times when he was working so hard to stay clean and there would be times when you could tell. His whole personality would change and he could become hateful when he was on drugs."
  The family tried to intervene, but when Justin turned 18 they said they had no legal ability to put him into rehabilitation facility.  "A kid on drugs is not going to say I need help, because they think that they can control it."
  In May, Justin returned home and to Rhonda's knowledge, stayed clean for over a month.
It was on Sunday night she believes, he tried a combination of Oxycontin and Xanax, something too strong for his clean system.
  "You can't undo things," Rhonda said. "If Justin could undo it he would. He didn't mean to hurt us, but he can't undo it. It's finished and death is the reality."
In their pain, the family's attention is turning from "why" this happened to "how."  Rhonda believes she knows who supplied her son with the drug's that ultimately took his life.
  "It was friends that he hung out with and I'm not sure if you call those friends because a friend would never let you do something that would kill you. "
  The McIntyre's shared their story out of concern for rise in illegal use of prescription drugs.
  "If you've done it and you know what it feels like, if you've seen anybody on it, it's scary it really is," said Justin's older brother, Jason. "Me and my brother were really close. We did a lot of things together and I wouldn't want anybody to have to go through this, you know, like lose a brother, a companion."
  Rhonda wants others to learn from her son's story.  "There has to be a message from his life. I do not want his death to be in vain. I don't ever want another mother to sit where I'm sitting right now or to feel what I feel. I don't ever want a family to go through what we've been through. It's not fair, I want my baby back but it's not going to happen and I want to save somebody else."

Story by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com

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