After the death of their 20-year-old son, a mother and father decided to reveal the cause of his death as a warning to others (video below).
Bill and Aimee Scannell spoke openly about their son Emmett’s battle with Substance Use Disorder at his funeral in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Emmett died of a heroin overdose a mere 18 months after he began using the substance.
In both Emmett’s obituary and eulogy, the struggles the young man faced were honestly discussed "so other parents can follow suit without shame or embarrassment," Bill said at the funeral, as reported by CBS.
"Emmett was a caring, funny, smart, young man with the potential for greatness," part of the obituary read. "He loved his brother and sister, biking and snowmobiling and had a smile and charm that could light up a room, but it won't ever again because he had and died from Substance Use Disorder."
In the obituary, which can be seen on Chapman, Cole & Gleason's page, parents and loved ones of those suffering from substance abuse are pleaded to take action against their addictions.
"You see Substance Use Disorder is not something to be ashamed of or hidden," the obituary continued. "It is a DISEASE that has to be brought out into the light and fought by everyone. It continues to cut down our loved ones everyday."
At the funeral, Bill urged parents to fight against their children’s addiction, and to "not be naive to the point that your child does not or never will use drugs or alcohol." He showed a series of photos of his son, asking what they saw when they looked at his face.
When you look at his picture, do you see his innocence? When you look at his picture, do you see an athlete, scholar, writer, inventor, musician, straight 'A' student, or maybe even someone your daughter could date? […] When you look at this picture, do you see a junkie? Do you see a desperate young man who is addicted to heroin? Do you see someone that is so sad and depressed he had become a prisoner of his own life?
The family’s openness has already made an impact.
"A close friend of mine came up and hugged me and whispered in our ear that because her daughter who had been a heroin addict and substance abuse sufferer saw Emmett's story," Bill recalled, "they were leaving right here from the funeral to check her into detox immediately."