Greg’s Story

The story of who Greg was, and the story of what happened to Greg are not the same thing. Who Greg was did not lead to what happened to him. 

Greg, 27, was an athlete, animal lover and talented artist with a deep passion for learning with a fun loving and calming spirit. He was a thoughtful man who asked questions - the big existential questions that most people don't think about. At the same time, he loved life and lived it to the fullest.

Greg played football at Lake Forest High School and then attending Tulane University as a presidential academic scholar and running back. Subsequently, he worked in Chicago, New York, and lastly Los Angeles where he lived with his girlfriend, and enjoyed a rewarding career and all the outdoor activities west coast living had to offer.

Greg had everything to look forward to, but his promising young life was tragically and unexpectedly cut short. After spontaneously taking a seemingly contaminated dose of the drug ecstasy/molly provided by a childhood friend at a concert in San Francisco, Greg had an immediate and extremely negative reaction. Subsequently, Greg informed a few peers and his doctor that he “wakes to a broken reality” and that he felt like he was “living in a parallel universe with a portal to hell”. Unfortunately, they did not understand the gravity of his situation. One week later he abruptly got up from his desk at work, leaving his ever-present puppy behind, never to return.

On their search for answers, his stunned and grieving parents talked to medical doctors and leading researchers who told them that Greg’s experience was much more common than they knew. Although not widely-known or studied, there are serious dangers associated with these drugs.

The GPFF was established to support education, appropriate treatment and overall awareness of the dangers related to recreational drugs. In October 2018, the Foundation held its official launch event, an informational fundraiser attended by more than 300 people with presentations by leading experts, which raised in excess of $200,000 of initial support. GPF stands for Gregory Paul Friedman as well as our tagline, Greg’s Path Forward.

Based on review of the records provided, it is clear that Greg’s death can be directly related to his ingestion of MDMA. Greg was suffering from intermittent psychotic symptoms that ultimately led to a psychotic break. There is no evidence that Greg was suffering from a pre-existing mood or anxiety disorder. MDMA has been associated with multiple adverse psychiatric symptomatology including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, paranoia and psychosis, even after a single ingestion.
— Dr. Jennifer Payne, Johns Hopkins University