Name: Michael Christopher Preite
Location: Austin, Texas
DOD: November 4, 2018
ichael Christopher Preite, 31 years old, died suddenly on November 4, 2018. He is survived by his mother Dawn Chyten, sisters Courtney Chyten and Katie Preite, his father Joe Preite, his stepmother Danette Preite his brother, Joey Preite, his maternal grandparents Jan and Ann Jensen, his paternal grandfather August Preite and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother Mary Patricia Preite.
Michael died from a drug overdose. He would be mortified to know that we are being so open about this, but since his secrets did not serve him well in life, it is our hope that our honesty about his death will help others who are struggling in their own journeys.
Michael struggled with addiction over the last 15 years, despite numerous drug treatment programs and assistance. While he used many drugs over these years – heroin was his drug of choice.
Anyone who knew Michael knew he was hard working, always willing to help anyone in need, had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Michael hid his addiction from everyone around him and his inability to stay clean made him feel like an outcast. He was so lonely, even though he was never alone and just wanted to be loved. We have now found that he was actively journaling about his life and feelings and about drugs, he said: “I just keep going back to what makes me feel good… something you hug and it hugs you back…”
As part of this addiction, becoming a good liar is part of the disease, and Michael was no different than any other addict. We all thought and felt he was doing better. He finally started working again, was showing interest in friends who were not into drugs, trying to reconnect with family and put on the show for all of us. But that is what it was, just a show. He was lying to us and we all so much wanted to believe he was doing better. It helped us to believe things were changing for him…we were busy, we had our own lives and we did not want to accept that this disease was killing him.
In the end, that is what this disease did… it killed him. Michael had so many secrets and he would hate that we are being so open about them now. But for the greater good, we hope that his situation can help others struggling with addiction. Two ways that you can help 1) learn about the opioid epidemic including that many addictions begin with just 5 days of a legal prescription ( link -https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline and 2) If you, a friend or a family member is struggling with addiction, please contact the national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Let’s all remember that smart, young, loving kid with the big smile and twinkle in his eye. Let’s remember the young man who was willing to help anyone in need. And during this difficult time, let’s remember the joy he brought to our lives.