I enjoy the humorous side of life so much more than the tragic side, but honestly who doesn’t. I have put off writing this one for about a year, but can no longer put it on hold. During the past year, we have been touched in different ways by friends/acquaintances who are trapped in the Heroin nightmare that exists in many parts of our country. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I am not sure that I have any answers. What I do know is that there are many families in crisis right now because of it. One friend has asked me to use what is happening to her to try to touch the others we know, or help anyone if it is possible.
One family is dealing with a child who has been hooked on Heroin and has been in and out of jail and is now missing. Another family is dealing with a child who has committed robbery to sustain this addiction and is now in jail. The third, is dealing with a child who has committed robbery and murder to sustain the addiction and is also currently in jail. Each family has dealt with it differently. Each family is still dealing with it.
As families, some have tried to get help for the child through law enforcement, the courts, and private as well as state rehab facilities. What they have found, is that help is not always readily available. The system is overrun with new cases and the flow of drugs is growing. The battle to stop the availability is being lost. A major drug bust only puts a temporary fix on the problem until the drug flow finds a different route.
Law enforcement is overwhelmed with the supply source and the dealers. The dealers are VERY skilled at their job. They know that there is a demand for their product. Addiction to heroin might just be one of the worst there is. A single exposure will result in addiction. The craving for more and more does not go away. The drug changes the person using it and turns him/her into liars, manipulators, thieves and worse. The child that these families have raised, no longer exists. The memory of the sweet little boy or girl on the grade school playground or celebrating a birthday is just that. Clearly there is no limit to what a heroin addict is willing to do to support the addiction.
The families are devastated and fight to find that lost child…. Sometimes they convince themselves that things are better, only to be shocked back to reality by another crime, another apology, remorse and then the next drive to feed the addiction. It is a vicious circle. The odds of beating it are not encouraging. But they never give up….
The court system is also overwhelmed with the legal cases that present themselves due to collateral damage of thefts, overdoses, etc. They work hard to help the victims of the crimes committed. They try to help the addicts with court ordered rehab. Attorneys negotiate. Some bargain their clients out of trouble, only to have them commit the next crime. Prosecutors who used to see three cases a year, now see four of five a week come through their offices.
I don’t know what the answer is. I am sure it covers multiple levels. We were victims of a theft. It destroyed friendships, it tested our character and values as we wrestled with the “right” thing to do, not knowing what the ultimate outcome would be. There has been a lot of blame thrown at people, and a lot of bitterness and hurt.
I don’t know what the answer to the problem is. I do know that help can be offered to an addict, much as you lead a horse to water. I also know that you cannot force an addict to work towards recovery any more than you can force that horse to drink the water. I do know that doing nothing is not an option. Parents sometimes have to be tough with their children. They must stay involved in their children’s lives. They must take the time to know what their children are doing and who they are with. And even then, sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes parents have to realize that the problem is more than they can handle and they need to seek help. Help needs to be available…real help, not a temporary fix. We cannot bury our heads in the sand on this one folks. Heroin is affecting average families. It is attacking families just like yours and mine. It is an addiction that is a secret in homes where you would never guess that it exists. That kid/addict that you see in the newspaper could be yours, or your neighbor’s or your best friend’s or your relative.
The families of the addicts and the victims that the addicts create need support, love, help, and forgiveness. They addicts themselves need that too. We all need prayers and support from those who care.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!