Mother’s efforts to educate about synthetic drug dangers gaining ground

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (November 27, 2014) - A central Indiana mother is ramping up her efforts to educate teens and their parents about the dangers of synthetic drugs. Samuel Motsay, 16, died of an N-Bome overdose on Mother's Day.

His mother's turned her pain into passion to prevent more deaths.

This Thanksgiving, Jeanine Motsay has a message of strength, though her heart remains broken.

"We really are thankful. We don't want to be in this situation, but we really are thankful we've made it to this part," she said, "I'm thankful for my faith, and I still have hope for the future."

It's been six months since her 16-year-old son, honor student, and athlete Sam died of a drug overdose. N-bome is a synthetic substance the teen had taken with friends, a substance the Drug Enforcement Administration calls a hazard to public safety.

"I think about Sam. Sam was a smart kid. With information, he would never have made the decision he made, is my hope," Motsay said.

Passing information along is what got Jeanine going. She started telling her story, reaching out to teens and parents locally after Sam's death.

But she didn't stop there.

Sam's Watch is a nonprofit organization, built on awareness, with a website laying out information about designer drugs and emerging trends.

"Every time I take a step forward as it relates to Sam's Watch, I think about what I would have wanted to do," said Motsay.

And in the new year, Jeanine wants to get into Indiana schools even more. Sam's Watch will be working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of a program in late January, to hand out facts about drugs to teens.

"This is just a launching point for something that could become a drug facts network, so we could be convening on a regional basis, about what's happening in different areas of the state," Motsay said.

Signs of Sam are everywhere in his mother's office. And though the year's been tough, she said courage keeps her and her family moving forward, along with their love for Sam.

"We're going to make it," she said.

Schools can contact Sam's Watch directly by email at or by phone, 888-575-1015.

You can also like the Sam's Watch page on Facebook here or follow the organization on Twitter here.

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