Queensbury teacher who lost brother and sister to overdoses is fighting back

January 25, 2018 06:35 PM

QUEENSBURY - A teacher for 16 years, Bob Dean knows about being prepared, but nothing could have gotten him ready for the hand he's been dealt in the past 18 months.

"I didn't want to be in this role. I never thought I would be," said Dean.

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In August 2016, he lost his 30-year-old brother brother, Shawn, to a heroin overdose.

Five months after his brother died, Bob's father died of cancer, and according to Bob, "a broken heart” over his brother’s death.

Then earlier this month, Bob Dean went to a local hotel to see that this little sister, Angie, had passed away from a heroin overdose.

"I had to see for myself, Angie one last time."

With two siblings dead from heroin in 18 months, Dean knew had to do something. He's starting by sharing his story.

"I have to. I mean what person has these type of circumstances," he said.

Dean plans to work with his colleagues at Queensbury High School to put together a lesson or presentation about the dangers of opiates.

"Has to be one of the best lessons they've ever heard. They have to be engaged. They have to know this is real."

He's also a coach, so he's working with other coaches to monitor athletes who get injured, to see what pain meds they're on and to find out if they really need a 30-day prescription.

Dean is meeting with Assemblyman Dan Stec and wants to meet with Governor Cuomo about funding and the need for more treatment and more beds for addicts who want to get better. He says Glens Falls was named Hometown, USA because it was a model for life during World War II. He says he'd like the Glens Falls-area to provide a blueprint for the war on opioid abuse.

"My sisters and I are going to use this to save others. We need our voices to echo across this entire country."


WNYT Staff

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