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I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sleeping in my apartment on a chilly evening in San Francisco in late April 2016. It was around 5 am or so when I got woken up by a series of calls from my sister. Half-asleep, I finally answer the 12th or so call she had made. Nothing could have prepared me for what I heard next.
“Its Adam. He’s dead. Our brother is dead.”
That’s how I learned the awful news that my younger brother had overdosed on opioids at age 26.
We all knew this could eventually happen, but none of us expected it so soon. You see, my brother was addicted to prescription painkillers for many years. It all started with one simple prescription, which led to countless days, months and years of dependency. He couldn’t stop. His body needed it, craved it, and he’d do anything to get his hands on more to maintain the feeling that one initially gets when becoming addicted to pills.
After attending my brother’s funeral in St. Louis, my hometown, I headed back to San Francisco. I was sad, confused and mostly just... numb. I didn’t know how to process losing my only brother. What made it worse was that fact that I had been in San Francisco, and he in St. Louis. I saw him rarely and hadn’t in many months before his passing. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, as one rarely does with a sudden and unexpected loss.
Around this time, I had been exploring my next career move. I was really interested in getting into the legal cannabis industry after exploring the medicinal and wellness benefits of the cannabis plant. I quickly discovered that cannabis was being used by many people all over the country to help combat their use of opioids, and states that legalized cannabis were seeing a huge decrease in opioid overdose rates.
Often times you don’t realize the gravity of something until you experience a loss. Once my brother passed, I felt compelled and motivated to do something about the opioid crisis. The evidence of cannabis as a therapeutic was there and I thought to myself, this just might be the solution that society needs right now. You could say that this is when I found my true purpose.
Channeling the pain of my loss into passion, I set out on a mission to elevate cannabis therapy as a healthier alternative to pills. I thought the best way for me to honor the memory of my brother was to do something about the epidemic that has ravaged our nation and claims the lives of 115 people every single day. I decided to start a cannabis brand that stood for something. That measured its success by its ability to give back and make a real difference in the ongoing fight against painkillers.
In helping us realize this vision, we donate a portion of every single product sold to nonprofits and community groups working to end the opioid crisis. Whether its offering cannabis as an exit drug when patients leave rehabilitation from an addiction to empowering people with knowledge of the dangers of opioids and the solution that cannabis offers, we promise to do everything we can to end this crisis once and for all. Together, we can affect real change and we’re here to do just that.
Let’s make the world a healthier place with cannabis, together.
Founder & CEO, Silk Road
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