Below Deck’s Captain Lee Rosbach Explains Why He Addressed Late Son’s Accidental Overdose Death on Show

Below Deck star Captain Lee Rosbach went through something no parent hopes to ever experience after he dealt with the death of his son — and he revealed why he chose to address the tragedy publicly.

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Rosbach’s youngest son, Joshua Rosbach, died in July 2019 from an accidental overdose at age 42. He had suffered a 20-year battle with addiction.

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday, February 5, he said that he chose to speak out about it his son’s addiction to raise awareness to the opioid crisis.

Why Below Deck’s Captain Lee Addressed Son’s Overdose Death on Show
Ellen DeGeneres and Captain Lee Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

“I don’t think enough people are paying attention to it. They don’t realize that addicts aren’t the dregs of society,” he explained to host Ellen DeGeneres. “It crosses all social boundaries, it doesn’t make any difference how much money you have or you don’t have. It affects everybody.”

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He continued, “I don’t believe in the last two years I’ve talked with anyone that doesn’t know of someone personally that has paid a steep price for this opioid crisis we have, and nobody says anything about it. It’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to confront. Somebody has to step up.”

The Bravo personality noted that he is taking it “one day at a time,” but that the healing process has been far from easy.

Why Below Deck’s Captain Lee Addressed Son’s Overdose Death on Show 1
Below Deck’s Captain Lee EllenTube

“The hole in you heart’s never going to go away. You can’t replace it with anything else,” he shared. “We’re not generally constructed to bury our children. From the time you’re born, you know you grow old and your parents pass away. It’s not the other way around. And when that happens, it’s completely devastating. So, you deal with it. You hope that you develop better coping skills to get through it.”

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Following his son’s passing, Captain Lee took to Instagram to mourn his child and speak out about addiction.

“[It’s] 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,” he captioned a photo of Joshua at the time. “We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems. There was no one I ever knew who gave more of himself to those in his life. He loved with all his being without expecting anything in return. We both feel a hole in our souls that will never be filled.”

The reality star continued, “My message to those of you who are fighting this disease, find a way to get help no matter what. For those of you who have a friend, family member, son, or daughter who’s struggling, do what ever it takes to get them the help they need. Be kind and loving, and try to enjoy every second you have with them. Do not pray for our son, but please take care of your children and friends who may need it, as it isn’t too late for them.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, please call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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