Pubdate: Fri, 29 Dec 2017
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Maggie Macintosh
Page: A3


Grieving father warns kids about dangers of drugs after son's

SMOKE from a smudging stick and the warm breath of friends and family
of Jeremy Hobson filled the front yard of the house where the
21-year-old accidentally overdosed and died on the weekend, during a
ceremony held Thursday.

Jeremy died after taking a pill, which he thought was OxyContin, at a
gettogether with friends and cousins on Saturday night, according to
his father Larry Hobson. Hobson said he thinks the pill that killed
his son was laced with fentanyl.

Hobson and nine other community members, including three members from
the Bear Clan, gathered in a circle in the front yard of the house
where Jeremy died for the smudging.

"I know my son is in heaven, I know he's with the creator," Hobson
said during Thursday's ceremony. "I just want to wish him a safe
journey to get to where he's going and where he needs to be."

On Christmas Eve, Hobson said he received the worst phone call of his
life. He was told his son Jeremy had been found dead.

Jeremy never did drugs, not even marijuana, but was told a pill would
"give him a good vibe," said Hobson, adding he's always told his kids
to avoid the

Shome on Broadway where Jeremy died because he's not a fan of the
unsupervised parties that go on inside. Four people, including the
21-year-old ironworker apprentice, took the pills. They were all under
the impression it was OxyContin, Hobson said.

"I just don't think it was OxyContin," he said.

According to Joss Reimer, medical officer of health services for
Manitoba Health, fentanyl can be hidden "very easily" in other drugs.

She said most of Canada is experiencing a fentanyl crisis, and while
lots of people take the drug knowingly, many others take it thinking
they're consuming something else.

Fentanyl can be found in pill form and powder form - and it can be
mixed into other drugs, such as cocaine and crystal meth in its powder
form, according to the Manitoba Health website.

Reimer said the best way to be prepared for an overdose is to own a
naloxone kit, know how to use it and tell friends when you plan to use
drugs so they can check up on you.

Toxicology and blood tests are in progress to find out what caused the
death, but Hobson said the medical examiner told him his son most
likely went to sleep and "never woke up, because he had so much poison
in his body."

Hobson said it'll take six weeks to find out the test

After taking the drug and passing out on the couch, Hobson said some
friends moved Jeremy to the bed. A woman from the house later came
home, found Jeremy unresponsive, starting doing CPR and called 911.

The three other people who took the drug with Jeremy all went to the
hospital after he was found dead, Hobson said, but they are all OK.

"Jeremy's gone now, but I just want to be able to get a strong message
out here," he said. "All these kids out there trying drugs, it could
happen to any of them and none of their parents ever want to get the
call I received."

He said people need to be cautious of what they and their families are

"It only takes one mistake to end a life and the impact and the ripple
effect is unbelievable - it's so hurtful and painful," he said. "But
you know, we'll get through it."

Hobson said the family has become very close after struggling with him
being incarcerated for some time.

"We're going to try to live a better life and I'm going to try to be a
better influence on my children," he said.

Hobson prays the creator takes care of his son, because he was a good
boy who was lovable, outgoing, kind, generous and died too young. He
was the youngest boy of Hobson's eight children, of which six are
still alive.

Dillon Hobson, Jeremy's older brother, said Jeremy will be joining his
grandmother and another older brother, who died by suicide two years
ago, in the spirit world.

"My brother meant the world to me, and I'm going to miss him very
much," he said, adding that the ceremony was all for Jeremy.

The ceremony came to a close with Brittany Murdoch, one of Jeremy's
sisters, handing tobacco to the community members, who then sprinkled
the pieces across the front yard to remember Jeremy.

A wake will take place today and Jeremy's funeral is set for

"You always hear stuff, but you think it won't happen to your family -
until it really happens and then you realize how precious life is,"
said Taylor Hobson, one of Jeremy's other sisters.

"Don't take life for granted. Love your family and keep them

Larry Hobson said he'll be keeping both his family and reminders of
Jeremy close. He's going to wrap the Christmas presents he bought for
Jeremy - a Detroit Red Wings sweater and shirts - in plastic and leave
them in his closet "forever."
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