Sunny’s Story

A drug prevention storybook written by a mother who lost her son to a drug overdose from the viewpoint of the family beagle, Sunny. It's a great learning tool for kids, parents, teachers, and others.

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Get Sunny's Story

Educational Programs

Learn more about Courage to Speak® substance use prevention education programs for Elementary, Middle, and High School students.

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Press Articles

Connecticut Courage To Speak Foundation Founder Warns Parents About Signs Of Drug Use

October 27, 2019
By Donna Christopher | If you are a parent and worried your kids are saying yes to drugs you are not alone. But first. Do you know why kids use drugs? Stress, pain, peer pressure, fitting in, some say it's cool, to feel better and boredom, according to an expert in the field whose family tragedy turned into her mission to help kids say no to drugs. The good news: All parents have this in their arsenal: communication. The number one way for parents to prevent drug abuse is to talk to their kids, says Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder,...
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Starting the conversation, parenting through the opioid crisis

December 31, 2018
By Julia Werth | Kileen Doyle never spoke to her son about drugs while he was growing up. She wasn’t even aware that some of his classmates and friends in Norwalk were using. That changed abruptly when her son’s long-time friend, a boy who had been on his swimming team and in his martial arts classes, died of an overdose: heroine mixed with Valium, a prescription drug.
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We have to save lives: Program in Waterbury to helps parents prevent drug abuse and addiction

November 5, 2018
By Tracey O'Shaughnessy | Ginger Katz wants the demand to stop. “There are dealers who are targeting our children,” said Katz, whose son, Ian, died of an opioid addiction more than 20 years ago. “Prevention is key. We are focusing on treatment and that is imperative. We have to save lives. But if we don’t look at the other side of the problem, we are going to repeat this cycle.”
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With courage, mom speaks out about son’s deadly drug addiction

November 3, 2018
By Tatiana Flowers | NORWALK — At 4 a.m. on Sept. 10, 1996, Ginger Katz’s dog climbed four flights of stairs and jumped onto her bed. Sunny woke her up from the best night of sleep she’d had in five months. The night before, Katz’ son said, “Mom, I want to see a doctor in the morning. I need to take care of my problem.” Ian Eaccarino, 20, struggled with drug addiction for about seven years, and Katz said his desire to seek treatment is what helped her sleep that night.
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An anti-drug crusade that began in heartbreak

September 28, 2018
By Robert Sample | Were he alive today, Ian Eaccarino would be 41 — but his life was cut short by a drug overdose at the age of 20. Eaccarino’s death in 1997 gave his mom, Norwalk’s Ginger Katz, a new mission that involves keeping his memory alive and ensuring Eaccarino did not die in vain.
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Citing spike in weed usage among students, Palm Springs Unified wants to place focus on more counseling and prevention

August 13, 2018
By Joseph Hong | Citing a report that showed increased marijuana use by Colorado’s youth immediately following legalization in the state, the Palm Springs Unified School District wants to prevent similar outcomes for its students. In late May, the district announced a proposal to stifle potentially detrimental effects of cannabis legalization on students and campus climate. The district's three-pronged strategy includes reassessing school discipline, renewing counseling efforts and a prevention curriculum for parents and students across grade levels.
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Ian James Eaccarino

Ian James Eaccarino

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