Blount Press Row

Please, Never Again

AD Foundation renews push to warn of dangers of prescription drug abuse
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As the anniversary of Aaron Douglas’ death nears, AD Foundation events coordinator Steve Oliveira is driven to ensure former Maryville star’s tragic passing is not in vain. Photo of Douglas by Brandon Shinn/Shinn Photography, Photo illustration by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

First, read the following:

“Every day in the US, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time” – the nonprofit Foundation for a Drug-Free World

And this:

“In 2007, approximately 27,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, one death every 19 minutes” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you believe Aaron Douglas was simply a star athlete who took it too far, Steve Oliveira begs you to alter your thinking.

Aaron Douglas Foundation events coordinator Steve Oliveira talks about the former Maryville football star at DynaBody Fitness on Broadway.

Aaron Douglas Foundation events coordinator Steve Oliveira talks about the former Maryville football star at DynaBody Fitness on Broadway. Photo by Jolanda Jansma

Oliveira, a sales executive with EcoWater Systems of Louisville, recently joined forces with the Aaron Douglas Foundation, a nonprofit begun by Douglas’ parents, Karla and David, after the former Maryville High School, Tennessee and Alabama football player succumbed to a cocktail of prescription painkillers on a Jacksonville, Fla., balcony on May 12, 2011.

Aaron was 21.

The AD Foundation awards art and music scholarships each year at Maryville. Along with successes on the football field and basketball court, Aaron was an accomplished musician and writer.

A foundation fundraiser barbeque and car wash is scheduled for Saturday at DynaBody Fitness on East Broadway in Maryville. The “Lead Lap” will broadcast live, the event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oliveira, whose son, Blake, is a student at Maryville and player on the football team, never met Douglas. Never saw him play. Douglas’ story just touched him, Oliveira said, on personal level. Karla and David have been painfully forthcoming on Aaron’s addiction and the circumstances surrounding his death.

Please see: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20140524/NEWS/140529852?p=1&tc=pg

If his work as events coordinator for the foundation can save one child, save one family the heartbreak of picking up the pieces, it’s more than worth the time, Oliveira said.

“I just couldn’t think of a reason for me not to get involved,” he said.

Douglas often trained at DynaBody during the offseason and worked there during the summer of 2010 prior to transferring to Arizona Western College, en route to Alabama in 2011.

To learn more about the AD Foundation, please visit:http://theadfoundation.org/test/aarons-story/

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