CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Nineteen-year-old Brady Noonkester was a football player, baseball player, wrestler, and Indiana National Guard member. He was also an addict. It's something his family found out too late.
"Brady, one night, took too many pills," Brady's father, Dustin Noonkester, said. "They weren't his, and that's a common thing that happens with kids. They're taking pills that don't belong to them."
Noonkester said the mixture of pills, which included methadone, killed his son, a recent Carroll High School graduate, the night of June 9, 2012.
Unfortunately, Brady's death was one of thousands of prescription drug overdoses that year.
In a study by Trust for America's Health, it says prescription drug overdoses have quadrupled in ten years in Indiana. In 2010 about 14 out of every 100,000 people died of a pill overdose. That number was about three out of 100,000 in 1999.
Director of Tippecanoe County's Drug Free Coalition Kate Kerrigan said there needs to be more awareness about prescription drugs' addictiveness.
"It is safe for the purpose it is prescribed," Kerrigan said. "But I think a lot of people tend to think if it was prescribed for my sister, then I can use it safely too."
"When you're taking prescription drugs that aren't yours, you're just taking drugs," Noonkester said.
Kerrigan said lock up your medicine in the house, and never just throw away leftover pills.
West Lafayette Police and Indiana State Police hold frequent events where you can have them dispose of left over medications. Thursday October 10 WLPD will hold one at the station on Navajo Drive. For more information click here.
Noonkester is also trying to raise awareness about prescription drug addiction.
He created Brady's Hope Fighting for a Drug Free Community after his son's death. It raises money to bring speakers to schools, improve the community's D.A.R.E. program, and help with law enforcement agencies' K-9 units.
"Carroll County is sick and tired," Noonkester said. "We're fed up. We're going to fight for our kids' lives."
To learn more on Brady's Hope, click here.
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