A mother’s love (Aimee Dunkle Interview Part 1 of 4)

more difficult in school.” According to Dunkle, her efforts to fight for more services for Ben made her son “feel different in school, which definitely made life harder for him.”

Ben’s first overdose was from benzodiazepines, which he received from a friend while still in high-school. According to Dunkle, the overdose made her a lot more involved in her son’s life.

“I was the mom who drove him and the rest of his friends to surf team,” she said. “We got him a great deal of help at that point. He had a psychiatrist. He had psychologists. Any intervention that we could get for him, he had.”

Things improved for Ben. “He met a girl, he fell in love,” Dunkle said. He also took up photography and film, until he broke his arm and “opioids came into play.”

Both Dunkle and her husband were told to take a tough-love approach to their son. “There was always that underlying pressure that we had to get tough with him,” she said. The family also had a minor child in the house — their son Joe — and “we did it for the right reasons,” Dunkle said.

“I did what I did out of the deepest of love without thinking. The biggest flaw in my philosophy was that love could stop it.”