Jeffrey Veatch speaks to the senior class about drug abuse


Claire Lewin, Associate Managing Editor

Jeffrey Veatch, founder of the Justin Veatch Fund, spoke on Oct. 7  to the senior class in the Staples auditorium at 8:30 am regarding the dangers of substance abuse. Veatch has a personal connection with the topic as his son Justin passed away about six years ago due to an accidental overdose.

“Justin died from a drug overdose just ten feet away from our bed in the neighboring bedroom,” Veatch said. “Can you imagine that?”

Veatch decided to honor his son’s death by trying to make a difference in peoples’ lives. By the end of this month, he will have spoken to more than 20,000 young people regarding Justin’s story.

Veatch and his wife have also created the Justin Veatch Fund, an organization that awards scholarships to students who want to pursue music, in honor of Justin’s love of music.

The Teen Awareness Group (TAG) sponsored Veatch’s presentation because they thought that his message was an important one.

“[Veatch] had a personal attachment to such an important cause, and he offered a different perspective,” Co-President of TAG Isabel Perry ’15 said. “I hope the senior class learned that drug abuse doesn’t just affect the person taking the drug.”

Staples students were strongly affected by the assembly, especially because of the interesting perspective presented.

“The assembly was a great way to inform students of the dangers of drugs because it came from a new perspective,” Megan Nuzzo ’15 said. “Often times in school there are speakers who used to use drugs, but today’s assembly came from a family member directly affected by drug abuse. ”