Erik Blom’s addiction began in seventh grade when he was bullied in school for being sensitive. Determined to never be picked on again, he began hanging out with a tougher group of friends. Pills were the choice with Erik and his friends because of how easily accessible they were. They would steal pills from their parents’ medicine cabinets to take on the school bus.
In 2003, Erik was admitted to rehab after getting caught taking Xanax while in high school.
By his freshman year of college, Erik was clean. However, he still relied on self-medication to manage the depression and anxiety he had suffered from since adolescence. Unfortunately, this led to relapses. Nevertheless, Erik completed his coursework and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in graphic design.
After graduation in 2009, Erik found himself trying to find employment in a tough job market. In 2010, a long-term relationship come to an end. These circumstances were further fueled by his lifelong battle with mental illnesses, including depression. It was at this point in his life that Erik was first introduced to heroin. A friend who owed Erik money offered him heroin in place of cash payment. Erik accepted.
Over the next few years, Erik went through cycles of addiction and seasons of sobriety all intensified by his depression and anxiety. He would get clean, only to relapse a few months later. From November 2013 to April 2014, it seemed that things were looking up for Erik. His mother described him as being the best he had ever been. Then it all came crashing down.
On April 30, Erik was experiencing a lack of sleep and emotional instability. His mother described him as being “out of control.” During the night, Erik begged a friend for heroin.
Early the next morning, Erik, who was described by his family as a loving son, brother, friend and gifted artist, lost his life to an accidental overdose.
The Blom family is dedicated to sharing Erik’s story to help eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health disorders. They share his story, in part, through their family business, E.B. Rooster Guitars. The guitars feature artwork from Erik, and profits are given to those facing struggles similar to what their own family went through.
A medicine cabinet was one of the ways Erik got his pills when he was a kid. Count It! Lock It! Drop It!® recommends the following easy steps to help keep medications out of the wrong hands and protect loved ones.
- Count your pills at least every two weeks to monitor theft and help ensure medications are taken properly;
- Lock and store medications in a secure place where others would not think to look; and
- Drop off unused or expired medications at drop boxes or during take-back events.
Find a permanent drop box near you to dispose of your old or unused medications.