• 334

Debris littered a highway. A car sat split in two. A young man was dead. At first, the horrific crash that killed 20-year-old Harley Johnson seemed inexplicable. That night, he drove eastbound in the westbound lane for six miles on Highway 283 in Pennsylvania before crashing head-on into a tractor-trailer hauling cattle. Police suspected the young man was taking some sort of narcotic. Blood tests showed the presence of the prescription drug Adderall in Johnson's system. Now Johnson's mother, Sandi Zook, is speaking out to warn others of the drug that claimed her son's life.

Adderall is an amphetamine commonly prescribed for people with ADHD, and abused by some looking to stave off fatigue. Zook told WGAL 8 she thinks her son was taking the drug to cope with his busy schedule of work, college classes, and band practice.

"He had such a busy, active lifestyle that I really think that he was just trying to stay awake and try and keep up with everything that was going on."

When taken recreationally, Adderall can cause blood-pressure spikes, confusion and dizziness. Johnson's stepfather, Chip Zook, told WGAL 8 that though Johnson had recently lost a lot of weight, the family had no idea he might have a drug problem. Sandi Zook is on a mission to prevent more deaths from this drug.

"You got to know the consequences of taking this drug, because it's very dangerous," Zook told WGAL 8.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Healthcare depends on patients following doctors' orders. Any and all prescription drugs (as well as many over-the-counter drugs) are dangerous when used a wrong way. That's why they require a prescription. If Harley got this drug legally, he received printed instructions and warnings. The proper behavior should be obvious. Don't blame the drug. Don't say "He was just using the drug to cope..." If there's anything to teach, then teach your children the dangers of any drug abuse. This is just another in a long line of deaths and injuries related to substance abuse. Young people especially think they're invulnerable.
      • 1 Year Ago
      i had a overdose of adderall in my system as well when i had my head on collision. i was lucky to survive
      • 1 Year Ago
      People need to see the good in their own. So it is easy to blame the drug rather than the user. Everyones son or daughter is perfect.
      • 1 Year Ago
      My heart goes out to this mom. I was shocked to see a post on my son's facebook, that he uses it to focus & stay awake while working on his exams. Not prescribed and who knows in what dose they put in their system. Even prescribed medications are a dangerous spiral if you just stop taking them. I'm sure Adderall has the same reaction.
      • 1 Year Ago
      For some, that drug is a saving grace. It's so easy to just shift the blame on the drug most especially since it's labelled as a "controlled substance". Chances are there were underlying personal issues that this kid was plagued with on a consistent basis that probably should have been brought to light and that he should have been assisted with via support system.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Makes a lot of sense, your probably right on.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Adderall..I remember when I used to take that sh*t in college to stay up all night...that stuff is legal speed and no one should ever be prescribed that...it's a drug that should be taken in moderation for fun/college cram sessions or else taken off the market. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE DRUGS PEOPLE! JUST SAY NO!!!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't your son, blame the drugs blame the drugs.....all the these dugs when obtained LEGALLY come with a warnings. Many college student, particularly the weak-minded, look to drugs to help them through their busy busy schedules. Sounds as if he crashed before he actually crashed....I wonder about the truck driver who your son made a victim. I really doubt this drug was prescribed as the story does not say.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whatever happened to people picking up a box of NoDoz?
        • 1 Year Ago
        ROFLMAO... They drink Red Bull instead....
      • 1 Year Ago
      If he was not prescribed adderol, then he was taking it illegally. In that case his poor decision making was a factor in his death, not the drug. If he was burning the candle at both ends and several places in between that should have been a warning to his parents.
      • 1 Year Ago
      She should sue, it is Adderall's vault, not her son, he is a victim of this drug and the west bound lanes of all highways. Don't forget the cows, they too are to blame. Listen, I was on Adderall for years growing up, yes there are dangers but it is up to the individual to control them. It helped me pass high school.
      • 1 Year Ago
      her son is to blame and no one else. she is just looking for a payday
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is nothing wwrong with the drug Adderall. It is when it is used recreationally it is dangerous. I feel sorry for the family but the only postitive thing they can do is find out how he got the medicine and if it was illegally or from "friends" stop that. As a pharmacist I see plenty of young people that do much better psychologically and in school when on Adderall. Also recent literature shows that kids with ADD that take the drug for the right reason actually have more self esteem and as a result are less likely to "abuse" drugs.
    • Load More Comments