Consider this an open letter to all the addicts, dabblers, weekend users of percs, oxy and the needle. To users of narcotics of any kind. To casual users, and those of you who may think you are developing a problem, or know someone who may be.

I know something about your life, and what you are going through. I know of the pain you are in, almost constantly.

I am an officer on the Quincy Fire Department, a paramedic of over 25 years and the father of an addict who lost his battle with narcotics this past October. So, all you users out there, I know of what I speak.

Humble beginnings. Usually not the reference you’d make on your start to using.

Popping a few 5s you took from your mom’s medicine chest. Chewing up some 10s on a Friday night with the rest of the crew. With a few beers, it seemed probably one of the best nights ever. Or so you thought.