Aaron Selchow of Los Gatos, California, lost his best friend to a car accident during his senior year of high school. Over the next three years, Selchow self-medicated his grief with drugs and alcohol until July, 2010, when, according to Mercury News, he overdosed on methadone and died at the age of 20.[i] His friends were devastated, just as he had been when he lost his own best friend years earlier. But rather than succumb to drugs and alcohol to treat their depression, they have chosen a different route.

Fighting Drug Addiction and Drug Overdose with Organization and Hope

Melissa Barnes, 19, is a friend of Selchow’s. “We lost Aaron because of drugs,” said Barnes. “Now we want to go out there and tell his story.” Barnes is president of Rally for Addiction. She and five other friends of Selchow started the organization in the hopes that they can speak to young people in a way that other organizations aimed at teen drug abuse but that are run by adults cannot.

Jessica Snee, 17, is vice president of Rally. “We have to figure out how to get into people’s heads,” she commented. “They need to realize what they’re doing and want to stop for themselves, not for us.”

On October 28, the group will hold a candlelight vigil at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos. The goal of the vigil is to promote awareness and to give others in the community an opportunity to remember loved ones lost to drug addiction.[ii] “We want people to understand that drug addiction has to be out in the open,” said Barnes. “You don’t need to be ashamed. This is something that is killing our youth, and we need to unite to fight it.”

Support the Fight Against Teen Drug Addiction and Overdose

Vigils like this one cost money, and Rally members are working hard to raise the $5000 they need to hold the vigil by the date of the event. Because Selchow was a skateboarder, Rally members approached Jimbo Phillips, a Santa Cruz skateboard artist, who offered to design a board in memory of Selchow well below cost so that they can raise money for the event. Their website, RallyForAddiction.com, makes these boards available to anyone who would like to support their cause. The design features a skull with dog tags rising from a grave with Selchow’s name, and the words “Remember Our Fallen Brother” and “You only get one chance at life.”

Get Help for Those You Love: Drug Addiction Intervention

If someone you love is addicted to drugs and alcohol, don’t let another day pass without trying to get him the help he needs. Drug intervention is one way to communicate to your loved one that his drug and alcohol abuse is deadly and reaching a crisis point.[iii] By holding an intervention, you can help your loved one understand that drug and alcohol rehab is the only way to begin the journey to recovery.

If you need help finding a professional interventionist or a place for your loved one in drug rehab, contact us at Michael’s House today.


[i] Patty Fisher. “Fisher: Remembering Their Friends by Trying to Save Others,” Mercury News, October 3, 2010. Accessed March 29, 2017. http://www.mercurynews.com/2010/10/03/fisher-remembering-their-friend-by-trying-to-save-others/

[ii] The Mayo Clinic. “Drug Addiction,” December 5, 2015. Accessed March 29, 2017.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/definition/con-20020970

[iii] The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. “Intervention- Tips and Guidelines,” July 25, 2015. Accessed March 29, 2017. https://www.ncadd.org/family-friends/there-is-help/intervention-tips-and-guidelines