Just over a week ago in early November 2014, Mike Stollings from Englewood, Ohio, voiced his tragic story over Facebook. He uploaded a chilling photograph of his 20-year-old son Jeramie Ratliff just a few hours after his son arrived to the funeral home. Why has Mike been so brave? He tells the world that nobody should go through the horror he is suffering now and hopes to save lives with his message. 


It turns out that Mike's son Jeramie (pictured above) had overdosed over drugs and had been struggling with drug addiction for quite some time, despite having gone through treatment. In this case, the overdose was from dextromethorphan (DXM), a cough suppressant drug. Just a year ago, Jeramie's drug problems got him in a coma at the hospital. Today, Jeramie leaves behind a 10-month-old son. 
The following was what Mike posted to his Facebook: 


lets take another look at how fun drugs are............... this is my son about an hour after the funeral home got him late monday afternoon. when he died he had been bleeding out of his ears and had blood in his hair and foam in his mouth. they were kind enough to clean him before we got there. his body was ice cold from being kept in a refrigerator. my cold dead son. father of a 10 month boy. grandson to 3 living grand parents. step-brother to 2. half brother to 3 son to 2 living parents and a step parent that helped raise him since he was a young child. all completely devastated. well little asher is too young to know what is going on but will live his life wondering what it would be like to know his dad. as many of you know jeramie was pretty open about his relationship with LSD. he was a little more quiet about his love for Dextromethorphan. despite the begging and pleading from me and many others in his family he craved the trip and was obsessed about it............look i know that not everybody that takes drugs is going to die from it. but many do. jeramie thought he had it under control. he thought he was smarter than the drug and had more control than the drug. now he is in a refrigerator in a funeral home in englewood. now people are in transit from all across this country to say their final goodbye's. now my family has to spend over $5000 in funeral expenses. now i will never be able to hike with him or ride dirt bikes with him. he will never be able to take his son camping.............those of you that use just for a little fun here and there. you don't have to use but you like to party a little. think for a second about how there are those around you with larger mental issues. like jeramie, he was carrying some mental baggage that even i can't comprehend. by partying with these people you encourage them and enable them to do it to use drugs as an escape. that is the every last thing people like this need. these people need actual help. these people need encouragement to heal in healthy ways. they need to feel genuine love and uplifting encouragement not encouragement to get high again. think about the influence you have on these people. think about the path of destruction being left behind.......people, learn from this. help make something positive from this tragedy. walk away from this lifestyle. find someone that loves you and ask them for help. don't let this become you. don't do this to your family. use our pain and anguish. learn from it. turn to someone you love. get help. if you do not have some you think you can turn to message me. i'll do all in my power to help you. it's not too late to save yourself and your family from repeating this horror. believe me when i say you do not want to experience this and you do not want your loved ones to have to experience this anguish.  

Mike tells local news officials, "How is this not my fault? .... I'll spend the rest of my days on this earth racking my brain trying to figure out what I should have done differently." 

From our conversations with Mike, he warns us and parents of how easy it is for children to get access to a drug like DXM, being both cheap and easy to hide. "Nobody thinks anything of someone buying cold pills. It's not like walking around with heroin needles in your arms or walking through Walmart smoking a crack pipe." Mike believes that perhaps regulations ought to be in place to restrict the number of boxes any individual can buy. 

We were inspired by Mike's bravery in sharing such a tragic, but very real, story with us and the world. We only hope that others can learn from such an incident.