Lawrence (Larry) McNeill
Jamaica Queens, New York
My twin brother, Larry, was amazing, charming, funny, popular and the most talented drummer you’ve ever heard. We were very close. We planned out our lives together. When we were very little and said our prayers at night, we used to ask God if we could “go to heaven at the same time” because we couldn’t stand the thought of either one of us having to live without the other.
I received a phone call the night he overdosed and was told that he wasn’t going to make it. When Larry died, a big part of me died with him.
All of our hopes, our dreams…I lost my best friend. He struggled with drugs for many years but it was our family secret. We had nowhere to go to for help and we didn’t know what to do. We lived in fear--knowing that he was going to die and there wasn’t anything we could do about it.
My twin had a son, (he was one year old when Larry died) who I adopted and raised. At the age of fourteen, his son started smoking marijuana and couldn’t stop. I wasn’t going to let this happen again. I was able to get help and he went into a residential treatment program. Today he is clean and sober and I am proud of him.
Because of everything that my family and I have been through, I share my story with as many families as possible--they need to know that they are not alone in this. Families need to know that they can get help for their loved one who is struggling with a disease. I work in advertising and have created anti-drug commercials for ONDCP and The Partnership for Drug Free Kids. I have also been a Parent Coach for the Partnership, helping families that call their hotline. I want to do whatever I can to ensure that no family goes through what my family did.
Thank you for letting me share.