"All Adam wanted was a normal life, free from the chains of addiction."
Unfortunately, the 25-year-old from Akron died way too soon.
As the nation deals with an opioid epidemic, Adam Bear's family is sharing his story to inform people about the resources available to those who are addicted to drugs.
In his obituary, his mother wrote:
Adam enjoyed going to the gym, snowboarding, four wheeling, jet skiing, bonfires on the beach, reading – especially Harry Potter – and will always be remembered for his charming personality, disarming good looks and welcoming smile.
Unfortunately, he will also be remembered as a statistic.
His addiction started with prescription drugs and then escalated to heroin.
"Once heroin got ahold of Adam it never let him go," his family says.
Read the full obituary below:
Our beloved, Adam Richard Bear, died April 27, 2017 as the result of an overdose. He was 25 years old. Because Adam wanted to give back and help others, we share his story.
Adam was born in Akron, OH on August 23, 1991, the son of Jeff Bear and Michelle (Taylor) Benson. Adam attended West Port High School in Ocala FL. Most recently, he was employed as a salesman for Delray Nissan in Delray Beach, FL. Adam enjoyed going to the gym, snowboarding, four wheeling, jet skiing, bonfires on the beach, reading – especially Harry Potter – and will always be remembered for his charming personality, disarming good looks and welcoming smile.
Unfortunately, he will also be remembered as a statistic. When Adam graduated from high school his only goal was to be wealthy and he pursued the trappings of success with a passion. Along Adam's journey, he made a bad decision to experiment with prescription opioids. This eventually led him to the world of heroin. Once heroin got ahold of Adam it never let him go. Adam's family truly loved him and tried to be supportive as he struggled with addiction. He fiercely fought for years.
All Adam wanted was a normal life, free from the chains of addiction. Even though his story came to a sad end much too soon, if a life can be saved because his was lost, his goal of helping others will carry on.
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, be assured that there are resources that can help. Please don’t be afraid of risking a friendship by keeping silent – you may end up losing a friend. Local resources include Nar-Anon Family Groups, The Addicts Mom and Breaking Barriers-Hope Is Alive.
Adam was preceded in death by his Grandmothers, Sandy Taylor and Barbara Bear.
He is survived by his parents – Michelle (David) Benson, Jeff (Nancy) Bear, brothers Connor and Kevin Bear, sister Lauren Benson, maternal grandfather Denny Taylor; paternal grandparents Dick and Sandy Bear, Uncle Chad Taylor, cousins Brooklyn and Chase Taylor, Aunt Jody and Uncle Terry Petitt, cousins Jessica and Jennifer.
Calling hours will be held Friday May 5th from 9-11am at Grace Church, 754 Ghent Road, Fairlawn, OH. Services will be immediately following at 11:00AM.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to Breaking Barriers, PO Box 534, Uniontown, OH 44685.
Benson told News 5 her 25 year old son Adam Bear, an Akron native, loved sports, jet skiing and snowboarding.
But after getting addicted to opiates, he started using heroin.
And his life spiraled out of control.
"Once he started heroin, like so many other people suffering from addiction, he struggled with it, he never stopped fighting, but he certainly didn't win the battle," said Adam’s mom Michelle Benson.
After her son died from a heroin overdose April 27, Benson wrote her son's obituary on line.
Instead of dodging how Adam died, she confronted his death with frankness.
Writing that Adam made a "bad decision" to experiment with prescription "opiates".
Which led him to a "world of heroin".
She also wrote that Adam sought help, but battled addiction for years.
"What we've learned is that there are so many families struggling and they just keep it quiet because it's shameful and they're ashamed and there's a real stigma attached to that and we have to break that cycle if we're going to do something about that suffering in addiction," said Benson.
She hopes her candid obituary might save a life, somehow encouraging an addict to get help.
"For our family at least we know Adam is finally at peace, but we want to be part of helping other families, sharing resources and just talking about addiction to try and erase that stigma," Benson said.
Benson said she has heard from addicts inspired by the obituary to get counseling, and many families of addicts have reached out to her.
"We are excited about the things we can do to turn our family's grief into something positive," Benson said.