Do you ever think that anything good could come of the death of one of your children? That's a question Paul Ressler faced in 2001 when his son, Corey, died. This was the last and worst blow of a long chain of unfortunate events, including a divorce from his wife, mounting tension over his son's drug addiction, and losing his eyesight in a surgery accident. But when his son Cory Resler died, Paul knew that he had a new mission in life: preventing drug overdose.
What Could Have Saved Corey?
Right now, Paul Ressler is the head of The Overdose Prevention Agency Corporation, which he founded to prevent overdoses in Mercer County. And he's working to spread awareness about a bill that Ressler believes could have saved his son Cory. The key is that somebody in the apartment called 911 while Corey was overdosing. But they hung up during the call. Paul Ressler believes that's because they were afraid of getting arrested. If that person hadn't been afraid of spending time in jail, then Corey might've been saved.
The Overdose Prevention Act
Fortunately, New Jersey has since passed a law that could've helped Corey and his fellow drug addicts. That's the Overdose Prevention Act, signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in 2013. This overdose prevention act has two parts. The first one is that it guarantees immunity for someone calling 911 during the middle of an overdose. It wasn't easy to get this part of the bill passed. Politicians kept questioning if this would let drug dealers or junkies off the hook. And the second part of the bill authorizes police in New Jersey to carry around Narcan. This is an easy-to-use nasal spray that's designed to prevent overdose as it's occurring.
“I don't want him to die in vain”
Who knows? Maybe neither one of these measures would have kept Corey alive. Either way, Paul Ressler is committed to getting the word out about stopping overdoses. For Corey's death may have been a tragedy, but Paul Ressler is working courageously to make sure that that's not all that it will ever be. "I don't want him to die in vain," said Ressler. "I just don't. I couldn't walk away from this. I just have this burning passion to help people with addiction, and it's what I'm going to do the rest of my life."