Brent Shapiro Foundation

From Dan Abrams' blog (scroll down):

As some of you may know, the son of famed attorney Robert Shapiro died last week from a drug over-dose in California. I consider Bob a good friend.

His son Brent was a graduate of the University of Southern California who spent several semesters on the Deans list. Bob tells us Brent had turned his life around. He was engaged to be married and he had been sober for a one year and a half before he died last week.

I wrote Bob telling him how sorry I was for his loss and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He informed me that his family is starting a foundation to educate children and parents about drug awareness. It’s an effort to eliminate the stigma associated with drug abuse. Their goal is to change perceptions and to get parents and kids talking about it.

If you would like more information, or to contribute to the Brent Shapiro Foundation for drug awareness, you can write to:

10250 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca 90067

Bob, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Well said, Dan. My thoughts on the tragic loss of Brent Shapiro are here.

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    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:16 PM EST
    I was devastated last night to see the Shapiro's with the same haunted, paralyzed expression that my family and I have exhibited since the end of June. The grief is so profound that I can only describe the feeling as animal. It is such a base, raw emotion - just unthinkable. I have never written a message like this before, but I had to respond to the interview I saw on Larry King. My sister died, reportedly from cocaine and other drugs. There is much more to the story, but that's not why I am writing. I would like to dedicate the rest of my life to trying to prevent this from happening to other families. I think I have a lot to offer. I am an RN and a teacher with a Master's degree, currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing. However, I want to do something to help other families, prevent further personal destruction, and ensure that my sister leaves a positive legacy. That is what she would have wanted. I cannot afford to quit work, I have a family counting on me. But, if there is anything that I can do to work with Mr. Shapiro's memorial foundation to impact the lives of young people, I want to be first in line. Nothing else seems important now, except to protect others from the same fate. My soul hurts. I have to do something. Please offer my condolences to the Shapiro family and let them know that there is someone in Missouri ready to help in whatever way I can. Kathy

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:16 PM EST
    I too am saddened and shocked that this young mans life has been lost. My sincere sympathy to the family. I did not see the Lary King show, but I understand there was some mention that Brent had been prescribed medication for ADD or ADHD earlier, and the use of the ADD/ADHD medication led to other drug use. I would like more info on that subject if possible or a link to the transcript of the Lary King Show. My grandson has been prescribed Aderal for ADHD. I am totally against it and desperately looking for all the info I can find to support my decision. This medication has been recalled in Canada because of deaths in young children. Thanks for whatever help is available.

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:17 PM EST
    To the grandparent concerned about Adderal: You will be able to find information to support both the use of Adderal and against it. The best thing to do is to understand why it is being prescribed. Are there other factors that make you question your grandchilds hyperactivty? Sometime children who are bipolar are treated as ADHD. Do you have a family history of Bipolar disorder? Has your grandchild been thoroughly tested? This is probably hard for Mom and Dad too. In my opinion the best thing is to intervene before the child feels so far out of synch with the rest of the world that he tries to medicate himself. If that intervention is medicine, so be it. Good luck.

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:26 PM EST
    The Shapiro family are now in a club that none of us want to join, but find ourselves members. My husband, children and I joined two years ago on October 25, 2003 when we were called to the hospital because, "something terrible has happened." Our oldest son, Chris, had accidently overdosed on oxycontin. Chris was 22 years old and had struggled with drugs since he was 12. He began with experimenting, then using and progressed to abuse. We always extended our unconditional love to him and tryed everything to help him overcome the powerful persuasion that drugs can have on some individuals. Our last words between us were, "I love you," as he headed out the door to a party on Friday, October 24, 2003. He always said, "don't worry about me, Mom. I will be alright." Our children do not understand how powerful drugs are and the capacity they have to hijack our personalities and freedom of choice. The drugs make choices for the individual and the choice is the drug. Ultimately, this choice can lead to death. And our children do not understand how much their absence will be felt. I have felt the Medical Examiner wrote two death certificates on October 25, 2003 - one for my son and one for me. My sincerest condolences to you, Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro and to Brent's sisters and brothers. Your pain is felt among the rest of us in this wretched club.

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:48 PM EST
    My heart goes out to all of you. I have a step-son who is really into drugs and we, his family who love him, see no easy way through this. He has to want help and he has to admit his problem, neither of which he is willing to do. He has admitted to me that he loves oxycontin. The entire situation has become a huge stress on the family. Some want to commit the boy and others do whatever they can to keep him off the street, meaning giving him shelter for his activities and money. Meanwhile the author of all this misery goes his own way experimenting with a wider variety of substances. I keep expecting to get that call. This boy has been in county rehab, but it has not worked. I am looking for further answers or at least others to whom I can communicate in an effort to understand this terrible affliction. Mr. Shapiro's loss tells us that those who suffer this condition can come from even happy homes. My step-son suffered abuse at the hands of his mother until the rest of the family learned of it. At that time he was removed from her custody and given to his father, but she was still allowed unsupervised visitations. My husband told me he had on several occasions taken his son to the emergency room for "accidents" while with the mother. If the courts cannot protect our children from parental abuse, how can they adequately keep our children who suffer these evils away from the false comfort of drugs? I am a Christian, an artist, a writer and a compassionate human being. I will use my talents however I can to increase public awareness to this problem, and to encourage parents to address this problem with their own children.

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:48 PM EST
    It is the 1st drink or drug that gets u DRUNK. u pick up the drink..then the drink takes a drink and the drink takes you! 12 step meetings dont fail. Fact: alcohol is a cunning baffling and powerful. read if u dare! The 1st to 164 pages of alcoholics anonymous (big book) www.alcholicsanonymous.com. The Big Book online. If you truly care 2 keepbrentalive. God bless you all. and remember 2 kepbrentalive.remember if you cant help a person, Dont hurt one.

    Re: Brent Shapiro Foundation (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:58 PM EST
    I have received one email from a mother in Caracas, Venezuela who wrote me and thanked me for posting my message on drug and alcohol addiction. Again I'm commtted to helping anyone struggling with addiction. Write me at caronet19@hotmail.com Love will find a way!

    A Step in the Right Direction (none / 0) (#8)
    by uberveritas on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 11:20:16 AM EST
    I look forward to seeing the fruits of the continuing efforts of the Foundation for Drug Awareness / Brent Shapiro Foundation.  So much heart-felt but ultimately ineffective efforts has been made by many organizations to deal with issues of chemical dependence in our society.  It is my opinion that such efforts that focus heavily on legal and "moral" issues are ultimately inefficient.  This Foundation appears to understand this fact in that the stated approach centers more on education and reducing the stigmata attached to this ultra-sensitive topic.  

    While I applaud the efforts of any organization to help people deal with problems of chemical addiction, it is the education that is not based on particular moral views that will ultimately be far more effective.

    The Continuing Work of the Brent Shapiro Foundatio (none / 0) (#9)
    by uberveritas on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 07:37:54 PM EST
    I thought some might be interested in update a little over a year later.  The Brent Shapiro Foundation continues its work to bring awareness to the issue of drug and alcohol dependence.  And tomorrow  is the start of their second annual charity campaign at ebay.com/brentshapirofoundation