by Kirby Gibbs
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Drugs can kill... its lesson one East Texas family is learning after the death of a loved one. Trey Morgan, died last week at the at the hands of drugs. He was driving under the influence when his vehicle hit a tree and caught fire. Now relatives are reaching out to others who share Trey's problem and want help.
We've shown you the faces of meth and how drugs can affect you and loved ones, but there's a face of a person whose life was shattered by drugs that's closer to home.
In a written statement, close friend Melanie Pina told KTRE, "Trey was a great person and friend. He was the sweetest person I had ever met. He would do anything for any one at any time and it did not matter what it was. He loved kids and my kids loved him. He would play and joke with us all. He always had a smile on his face and good words to say. Trey was a great friend and he really is a great loss to us all".
But Trey also had a problem.
"It doesn't mean they're not good people when they're using. About 77% of the people who are addicted or chemically dependent work at a job. They are usually successful taxpayers in the community, but they're beginning to change and you can see those changes" says Phyllis Grandgeorge, the Executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council.
According to Trey's family, he had a night job to try to keep his mind off drugs, but realizing he couldn't fight his problem alone, he sought out the police department for help. For Trey, however, help didn't come fast enough.
"I know the jails face that on a daily basis where people will go and they want to get in jail or be locked up so they're not using", says Grandgeorge. "Jails just don't have the capacity to do that because their job is to lock up criminals and keep people safe".
Police often refer those that want help to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas. They have a 24 hour 7 days a week hotline people can call if they need help fast.
Counselors say early intervention is key to saving your loved one's life and recognizing the signs of drug dependency is equally as important. According to Grandgeorge, if you notice changes in your loved one's behavior, including irritability; significant change in his outside appearance; bloodshot eyes; if they are tired all the time or never tired; or even if they're friends change, begin gathering information for that individual. Many times intervening calmly with information is more successful than approaching him aggressively and demanding them to quit drugs.