Below Deck star Captain Lee Rosbach spoke out for the first time about his son’s tragic overdose in July. Rosbach told Page Six that his son Josh, 42, had been off painkillers and heroin for roughly six months when he died.
“He’d been doing well,” Rosbach told the New York Post column. “We thought this time was the time we turned the corner. He had a DUI conviction about 12 or 13 years ago that he finally got off his record. He’d got himself a car. He was working. We thought we might have hit a milestone.”
In the interview Rosbach reveals that he was the one who found his son after he’d died, saying he went to Josh’s house “to check on” him only to find that he’d already passed away. “I walked in and he was sitting on the sofa with his head in his hands,” Rosbach said. “I thought he had passed out. I felt relieved. I thought he was fine. Then I went over to give him a hug, and he was cold. He’d gone.”
Video: Captain Rosbach's Son Dies of Accidental Drug Overdose
Medical examiners told Rosbach and his wife Mary Anne that Josh had taken what he likely believed to be opioid pills but had actually been laced with numerous other substances including heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.
Rosbach first announced his son’s death on Instagram on July 29, writing: “This past Saturday, my beloved wife Mary Anne and I laid our youngest son, Joshua Lee Rosbach to rest. After a 20-year struggle, he finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard. Addiction is an insidious disease that knows no social status or geographic boundaries. Whether you live in a 10,000-sq. ft. mansion or a double-wide trailer, the path of death, destruction and devastation it leaves remains the same.”
According to the CDC, nearly 400,000 Americans from opioid overdoses between 1999-2017, and nearly 130 Americans die from opioid overdoses every day. Rosbach says he plans to work toward helping fight the opioid epidemic but he wants to wait until he’s feeling a little stronger.
Rosbach also touched on the feelings of helplessness that afflict those close to people with addiction. “You’ll have them at a family function and all of a sudden, they’ve gone missing and you don’t see them for 10 or 15, 20 minutes, and all of a sudden they reappear. ‘Where did you go?’ ‘Oh, I had a phone call to make.’ And you know what they were doing. You’re just powerless to stop it,” he told Page Six.
On Saturday, Rosbach announced on his Instagram that he and his wife will be participating Sallarulo's race for Champions 5K for Special Olympics in Josh’s memory.
“There wasn’t anybody that knew him that didn’t realize he had an unconditional love for life,” Rosbach told Page Six about Josh. “He took a beating from a world that he never intended any harm to whatsoever, as most addicts do.”
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