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“As an admiral I helped run the most powerful military on Earth, but I couldn’t save my son from the scourge of opioid addiction.”

Retired Navy Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld once had the ability to project military power anywhere on Earth. But when it came to finding help to pull his son Jonathan back from the depths of drug addiction, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serving President Barack Obama was at a loss.

Many people have a simple understanding of addiction. They think it happens only to dysfunctional people from dysfunctional families, or to hopeless people living on the street. But our addicted population is spread across every segment of society: rich and poor, white and black, male and female, old and young.

CONNECT is proud to host Admiral James Winnefeld and his wife Mary for a sensitive discussion about the loss of their 19-year old son Jonathan to an opiate overdose in September 2017, their experience with the U.S. insurance system, limited addiction-care resources, and the creation of their new not-for-profit SAFE (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic), which seeks to eradicate opioid addiction through research, awareness campaigns, and a push to expand treatment resources in the U.S.




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