Chris Atwood was one hell of a person. As a young child he was always looking for ways to be helpful in his family. He was empathetic, sensitive and caring. As he matured he grew a zany sense of humor and was generous with his laughter, sharing it like medicine. His brilliant mind and depth of feeling gave him an uncanny ability to reach people on an emotionally deep level which made him a terrific listener and a wonderful friend. His profound sensitivity made him susceptible to the pain of the world and caused him to struggle with the tough questions of life which often led him to depression, anxiety and an inability to cope with his his emotional landscape.
Being introduced to substances at a young age he was highly susceptible to addiction. Substances had a harmful effect on his brain and his body. Thankfully he reached out to his family for help. Unfortunately the healthcare system had not evolved in ways that can help individuals and their families battling substance use disorder and the gaps in care were detrimental to Christophers health. During treatment and recovery, Christopher met many others who were also struggling with the challenges he faced. He was devoted to sharing his compassion, healing laughter and friendship with those who needed it. Many of the friends he made in mutual aid groups and the people he connected with in treatment have shared that Christopher was a bright light in a very dark place and some have described him as their literal life saver.
It is our mission to continue to shine his light make sure others do not experience the kind of dangerous gaps in care and treatment that our family did and in turn provide community care and resources for people and families impacted by substance use.
May his light shine on forever through our work.