Red Wings Broadcaster Opens Up About Son's Overdose Death

A man known best as a hockey broadcaster is using his high profile to get the message out about addictions.

The face and voice of the Red Wings, Ken Daniels, spoke at a health care symposium at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.

His son Jamie died of a fentanyl overdose over two years ago on December 7, 2016.

He has formed the Jamie Daniels Foundation to raise money to build a residential treatment centre in Michigan.

Daniels says the first and most important thing is for people to be open about opioid addiction.


Red Wings broadcaster speaks with reporters, St. Clair Centre for the Arts, February 8, 2019 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

"It's the shame and stigma that precludes recovery. Because you're so quiet about it, you want to believe your kid can stop and you want to shake him and go, just stop.  They can't.  And then we need to talk about it and you need support.  You need to get your kid into therapy."

He says parents have to spot the symptoms of addiction and remain vigilant.

"If you see they're addicted you need that 30-day intensive detox to get clean.  But it's not just coming out and you think OK I'm good now.  I'm clean you're not.  It's years and years, it's every day, it's continuation, it's testing for drugs constantly."

He believes a residential treatment centre is the best way to break the cycle of addiction.

Daniels admits he felt shame about his son's death and it took him some time to be able to speak about it.

Many Windsor Essex health professionals listened to the powerful message as part of the symposium.

Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare CEO Janice Kaffer says it opened her eyes to some issues in the U.S she wasn't aware of.

She says the story demonstrates that every community is struggling with the opioid crisis.