The Solace Foundation of Orange County was established in 2015 in response to the opioid epidemic, which is claiming a life in the US every 24 minutes. Solace OC was created by two mothers who have each lost a child to an accidental overdose. Their sons, Ben and Mitch, could have been saved by the timely administration of the opioid antagonist drug naloxone, which is used to counter the effects of opioid overdose.
Ben was a key inspiration behind the formation Secure Base which came into being as he lay in a coma following an accidental overdose from which he died on 18th October 2012. He was then 20 years old.
Ben left a lasting impression on everyone he met and his impact continues to echo strongly to this day in the hearts and minds of many who he encountered. Those who spent time with Ben, and particularly those he met in the various addiction treatment facilities he attended in the last months of his life, invariably use the same words when talking about him – calming, caring, compassionate, funny, generous and strong.
Despite his own struggles, Ben was, and is, an inspiration to many. His inspiration continues in the crucial work undertaken by Solace OC in combatting the opioid epidemic currently sweeping the world.
To date Solace OC is able to report over 300 overdose reversals; over 300 people are living today because of Ben and Mitch. In one of Solace OC’s recent training sessions, run by Ben’s mother Aimée, one of the young attendees broke down and told her that he had known her son as he had been in the same treatment facility as Ben at the time of his death. He said that everyone at the facility loved Ben and the way he would always make people laugh during meetings; how everyone was devastated that someone so special could have died, and how many in the facility who were contemplating leaving stayed in treatment directly because of him.
Secure Base supports Solace OC by highlighting their important work in saving the lives of young people, who are victims of the opioid epidemic currently sweeping the world, and providing them with the chance to choose. It is also working closely with Solace OC to find ways of creating a sense of hope, possibility and purpose in those suffering from substance use disorders.