Alamance Co. parents who lost son speak out about danger of prescription drug misuse

BURLINGTON, N.C. — A Burlington family is teaming up with Alamance County to help make sure no family goes through what they’ve been through.

This month is three years since Harry Cohen passed away. He was 17 years old, a senior at Williams High and an all-star athlete.

“Of the thousands of good choices, he made one mistake and he paid for it,” says Richard Kaffenberger, Harry’s stepdad.

Harry died a few days after one of his best games at quarterback. He died from misusing prescription drugs. It’s believed he took his grandmother’s pain medicine.

“Harry took the prescription the way it was written. He took one to two pills every six hours as needed for pain, so he took it the way it was written. It just wasn’t written for him,” explains Jennifer Kaffenberger, Harry’s mom.

Harry’s family is telling their story as medicine drop boxes are being set up throughout Alamance County. These are spots where people can get rid of their unwanted or expired medicine.

“It is a loaded gun in your purse. I know that’s a hard analogy for people to swallow but it is like having a loaded gun out there for anyone to grab a hold of,” explains Mr. Kaffenberger.

Later on this week there will be a drop box set up at the Burlington Police Department. Last week a drop box was set up in Mebane.

 

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