Siouxlander, who lost daughter to overdose, talks about fighting against addiction
Tuesday morning, a Siouxland father shared how substance abuse and addiction led to his daughter's death.
His appearance was part of a day-long seminar at Northwestern College in Orange aimed at better understanding and better fighting the problem.
"About 1:00 that afternoon, here comes the preacher, and patrolman. Sorry to say, your daughter passed away yesterday morning, Saturday morning... from an overdose."
Scott Vreeman stood in front of dozens of people at Northwestern College in Orange City and told the story of Ashley, his beloved daughter who couldn't overcome her addictions.
"It really did kind of help me free myself, lets help, we do have an epidemic out here, big epidemic, lets start doing something about it, and if I could help through my daughter's words she would want me to help and that's what I'm going to do," Vreeman said.
Relaying his words to people and professionals alike, Vreeman started from the beginning, when he first noticed Ashley starting to struggle in school and her getting caught with alcohol for the first time.
From there, Ashley's addictions quickly grew much more dangerous.
She started taking prescription pills and was in and out of jail and rehab centers a number of times.
"When she'd be in jail, I'd actually be relieved a lot of the times, I'm not going to get the phone call at midnight tonight, she's safe, she's being watched, she's getting fed, time for me to think what's the next step?"
Throughout her struggle, Vreeman never gave up on his daughter, always the first to come to her aid, but sadly he realized it wasn't up to him to keep fighting, it was up to his daughter.
"If you're not mentally ready yourself, I don't care what you're doing, it's not going to help. You can go through the motions, she was a straight A student, smart individual, she could go through all these programs but if she didn't want to stop, she's not going to stop," he said.
It was that mindset that lead to Ashley's death in 2016, she could never break free the grip her addiction had on her.
Now using his story, Ashley's father will do his part in helping put an end to the disease that took his daughter from him.
"There's people hurting out there, people that don't want to talk about addiction, it's kind of like the cancer word of the 60's and 70's, we really need to open up talk freely about it, lets not let our, it can happen to anyone. If we can save one life, that's the name of the game. One person may not save the whole world but if we can save the world for one person then it's all worth it," he told me.
Vreeman has started a fund entitled "Ashley Cares," encouraging people to reach out for help in their battles with addiction.
Vreeman says he'll continue to talk at seminars, hoping his words can make a difference in somebody's life.