Mother Mourns the Loss of Her Talented Son
He was a gifted wide-receiver, and excelled in math and engineering, but in the end Blake Meier lost a long battle with drug addiction, leaving his grieving mother with heartache and many unanswered questions.
On Aug. 10, 2016, Blake overdosed in a West Palm Beach motel room. Police told his mother, Dawn Camarda, that her 26-year-old son had enough fentanyl in his system to kill a rhino. Unfortunately, the knock on the door was not a total surprise, as Blake had been in and out of rehab several times over the years.
Camarda’s fears that drugs would one day kill Blake had come to pass, and she felt helpless. “It’s like watching your child drown,” she said.
Camarda is not sure when Blake’s addiction started, but wonders if his brain chemistry had been altered somehow, making him more susceptible to addiction, because of medicine he started taking at age 11, when he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. He also smoked marijuana when he was 13 or 14. High school friends say pills were easy to find at parties.
Then Blake’s senior year in high school, he underwent surgery for the first of several bone grafts stemming from the BB-gun accident years earlier. His dentist prescribed Vicodin to ease the pain.
Camarda doesn’t think the dentist over-prescribed the drug, which contains the opioid hydrocodone. She does think that perhaps her son started to like the feeling he got from it.
“Honestly, back then, no one thought about opioid addiction or that prescription painkillers could be addictive,” she said. “He was under a doctor’s care, and the doctor always knows best. I didn’t think it would cause harm to my son.”
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To learn more about how Dawn Camarda is coping with the loss of her son in Alpharetta, GA, please visit MyAJC.com.