By Seth Daniel
Just last year at this time, Michael Cain II – son of the Town’s notable DJ Smokey Cain – was celebrating his 24th birthday.
As he tried to maintain his sobriety, family members said he struggled – and so much so that after a brief hospital stay in late June 2015, he was found dead of an opiate overdose on July 2. The sadness has ripped at the heartstrings of family and friends, particularly his father, Smokey.
“In the spring of 2013, with 18 months of sobriety, Michael was eager to be able to drink socially with his friends,” said Smokey. “He was 22 and struggled with the idea of not being able to do ‘normal’ things like other people in their early 20s. He was able to maintain drinking socially without consuming other substances for awhile, but eventually did get hooked back on opioids…From December 2014 to June of 2015 he was in and out of treatment facilities. He always kept trying. In April 2015 he was hospitalized for (a heart condition directly related to drug use). His final stay in treatment was in June 2015. He left Monday, June 29, 2015 and was found dead on Thursday, July 2, 2015.”
Smokey and family members said they wanted to keep Michael’s life remembered by having a time at the Knights of Columbus on July 2, from 7 p.m. to midnight, to support the Charlestown Recovery House. Last December, the family was able to donate gift bags with socks, thermals, toiletries and other necessities to the 26 men residing in the Recovery House. On July 2, they hope to continue raising money for the Recovery House – which benefitted Michael Cain – and collecting donations at the time to be delivered in full to the House.
A collection will also be taken up for essentials like socks, underwear and toiletries.
“We are looking to make their road to recovery even just a little bit easier,” said Smokey Cain.
Michael Cain began his addiction through a serious injury suffered during high school football.
Michael was a star athlete for Northeast Voke in Wakefield and played wingback on the football team. He also studied plumbing there at the Voke.
During his junior year of football, Michael suffered a spinal cord injury that took him off the playing field forever and left him in excruciating pain. For that, he was prescribed painkillers. That is where his struggles started.
“While recovering from his injury, Michael became addicted to his pain medications,” said Smokey. “He did not return to school that year as he spent this time struggling with his addiction.”
That set him on a familiar path to recovery that was successful until 2014.
“As many may know, recovering from opioid addiction is no easy task,” he said. “It was especially difficult for Michael as both of his parents struggled with opioid addiction for most of his life. Additionally, he was facing chronic homelessness.”
With help, he did get into recovery and was able to play football his senior year – graduating on track in 2010. However, the addiction eventually came back to haunt him.
The suggested donation will be $20 and the family invites the community to celebrate Michael’s life and contribute to a cause that helps many young men in the Town who, like Michael, fell victim to the disaster of opiates.