There is a Drug Epidemic!

Last week my son celebrated his second anniversary of being clean and sober.  He was a hardcore heroin/crack user for over 10 years.  There is still a stigma associated with drug addicts.  People who don’t have an addict in the family think addicts are scumbags.  One of the big problems is that most people have no idea that drug addiction is rampant through every part of our society.  People have no idea that there is an actual drug epidemic. People don’t realize that new drugs are being designed very day to sell to our children.  Spice, bath salts and K2 are being sold to kids who have no clue of the danger these drugs present.  Spice also known as Genie, K3, Bliss, Nice, Black Mamba, Incense, and even fake weed, are being sold in gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco shops, head shops and of course online.  Spice is a mixture of plant leaves and stems that have been laced with synthetic chemicals. Smoke it, you get high.  Some kids smoke it and die.

 

The following was on the news today.

Coroner: Death possibly related to synthetic drug

Updated: Saturday, 10 Aug 2013, 6:44 PM CDT
Published : Saturday, 10 Aug 2013, 6:44 PM CDT

CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – According to the Clarke County coroner, a seventh death in the county could be linked to “puff puff,” a type of synthetic marijuana.

“It’s very shocking that as much information as we have on this stuff and the dangers of it that people continue to use it,” said coroner Mitch Finney.

Since noticing the drug spread throughout the county, Finney has been asking medical professionals to alert his office to people showing symptoms of synthetics, chest pain, psychosis, even full on cardiac arrest, so he can send tests back to Montgomery for analysis.

The seventh case happened just this week, a man found exhibiting those symptoms.

spice

If you have children and don’t know about this you better get online and start doing your research.  The biggest problem with these drugs is that kids assume they are OK because they are legal.  Many states are now making them illegal but kids will still buy them.

Also many people have a hard time believing drug addiction is a disease.  If you don’t believe it you better start because this epidemic is only going to get worse because parents are wearing blinders and don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

addcit

When I was in high school there was not one kid who I went to school with who would have thought to shoot up heroin.  That is a whole different story now.  Kids start out by popping a few Percocets to get high.  They think they will never become an addict.  After doing this a few times they need more pills to get high and then they turn to Oxycontin a much stronger version of Percs. The price of these drugs, which are of the opiate family, is high.  So what do kids do?   They turn to heroin which is also an opiate but is much cheaper. This is a fact:  Kids can become addicted after using heroin just once or any opiate for that matter.

I am a member of “The Addicts Mom”.  We have about 3800 members now.  Moms join this group so they can rant about their addicted child because no one else wants to hear it.  I have met hundreds of Moms who have lost their kids to this disease.  I have met hundreds of Moms who have more than one kid who uses.  I have met thousands of Moms who are at their wit’s end.

There are no answers to this problem yet  Heroin use is out of control.  A friend of mine has a daughter who started using opiates to lose weight.

This is a before and after pic of my son.  Yeah, he lost weight alright.

Damon Before and after

 

I feel like I am starting to ramble so I will get off my bandwagon for now.  I will be back.  I have a lot more to say.

 

 

To The Moms: When Your Child Is Not Done With Drugs

My son went to another funeral this week. I say another because many of his friends have died. I asked him about this girl who had over dosed. He told me she was in recovery and attended meetings. I asked how could she go back and use again. His answer was simple. “She wasn’t done yet.”‘ Until a drug addict is “done” there is nothing you can do to help them. All you can do is wait. I waited 10 years. For all of you who are waiting you need to start thinking about yourselves. You need to take care of yourselves. You need to take care of the rest of your family.

I learned that lesson the hard way.  My son has been sober for over 20 months after 10 years of drug use, mostly heroin.

 Damon Before and after

The photo on the left is my son when he was using heroin.  The photo on the right is my son now.  He is with his niece, Lilah.  He wasn’t allowed to see her the first few years of her life but now they are building a relationship.  The photo below is Damon with his nephew, Silas.

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So, to anyone who reads this,  please don’t enable your child.  Let your child go.  I know it is a hard thing to do but an addict has a better chance of surviving if you don’t give them money, shelter or food.   Yes, your child may overdose but there is also a good chance your child will finally seek help when he finally has no place to go.

 

 

Are You Really That Happy?

I always wonder about overly happy people.  You know the ones I mean.  When you see them they are literally gushing sweetness all over you.  Honey drips from their mouths.  You ask them how their day is and their day is the most wonderful day anyone has ever had.  They are so optimistic that you want a boulder to flatten their sugary bodies all over the landscape.

The question is: Are they truly that happy?  or:  Is it all bullshit?  Are these overly happy folk hanging around Disney World too much?

At this point in  my life I consider myself a fairly happy and optimistic person.  Actually, it’s practically a miracle that I ended up in the position that I am in.  A few years ago, maybe 6 or 7 years ago, I was extremely depressed and looking at becoming a bag lady.  Walking the streets searching for redeemable soda cans.  Watching TV at the local appliance store.  Dumpster diving.  Fortunately my daughter stepped up and took me in and forced me to take antidepressants which I am happy pleased to say I am still taking.

My Dad had the habit of letting out a short laugh whenever I told him bad news.   It took me a long time to realize it was just a knee jerk reaction and had nothing to do with how he felt about the news he was hearing.  Everyone is different from the next person and we all react differently to everything and to each other but I will always wonder if these people who always appear to be overly happy are really hiding something.

funny-pictures-kitten-is-too-happy

Procrastinator

I am a terrible procrastinator.  I even put off doing the things I want to do for fun. I must really try to change.

List of things I have been putting off:

1.  Losing weight.  I lost 90 lbs and gained back half of it.  Need I say more?

2.  Writing posts for my blog.  I really enjoyed writing on my blog but then the grandchildren were born and that seemed to take over my life but lets’ face it:  My grandchildren are just an excuse.

3.  I want to start mixed media journaling.  I got most of the supplies I will need for Christmas.  I am waiting for a couple more things from Amazon which should arrive this week.  Time will tell if I really do it.

4.  Organize my photos which are contained in about 7 giant plastic bins in the basement.

5.  Slow down on watching my Korean soaps.  I think this subject needs a whole post to be written.

Those are the main things I have been procrastinating about.

Next, here a the few things I DID accomplish.

1.  Quit watching TV.  Yes I actually have not watched any TV in the last 7 or 8 months.  Granted, I started watching Korean soaps on my computer.

2.  I quit Facebook games a year ago.  Granted I just started playing Farmville 2.

So where does all this lead me.  Up Shit Creek is what I think.  I spend way too much time up Shit Creek.

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I guess now I can sit back and see what I do next. I hope I do something.  Time is catching up to me.

Lisa at http://stormkatshaven.blogspot.com/ just paid it forward.  Thanks my dear friend.

I’m Guilty

Yes, I am guilty of not writing any posts since August.  I am planning on writing one this week as I want to write about my daughter who at 33 years old has recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The last post I wrote was about my son celebrating his 1 year of sobriety.  The good news is 4 months has passed and he is still sober.

It is 1:30 AM and I should be asleep because I am going off island tomorrow with my daughter and granddaughter to do some Christmas shopping.  We always go off to do some shopping once before Christmas.  This will be Lilah’s first time to come with us for our Christmas shopping trip.  At 3 1/2 years old she is very excited to come with us.

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The above photo is Lilah baking chocolate chip cookies today with her Mom.

From Drugs to Dreams

I remember the day my son walked into my little health food store and announced that he was addicted to pain killers. It’s been a while since that day.  Such a long time that I am not even sure of the year it happened.  I think it was January of 2002.  Some time after that day my son became a hard-core heroin addict.

As I look back on the progression of his addiction I see all the bad choices I made when, at the time, I tried to believe I was helping him.  Some things I did without even thinking of him or my family.  I thought only of myself.  I thought of what I could do to make things easier for myself.  Enabling a drug addict hurts the people around you as much as the drug addict hurts his family.

Back in 2002 I had been divorced from my children’s Dad for many years.  My daughter was living with her boyfriend not too far from home.  This left my son and I alone to start a co-dependent relationship.  I was a great enabler and my son accepted my enabling gratefully.

Many terrible things happened during those ten years.  The worst being the death of my son’s ex-girlfriend from an overdose.  My son also lost many other friends to addiction.  My house was robbed quite a few times.  They always came when we weren’t home except for one time when my son was home alone.  Two masked men came to the door and somehow my son scared them off before they could get into the house.  Another time when he was home alone two of his supposed friends visited him.  One of them pulled out a gun demanding all the money my son had. I don’t think that I recognized the real danger we were in at the time.  Also during this time I was suffering from severe depression and didn’t recognize that either.

I still write about these things trying to understand the reality of what transpired hoping at the same time to understand more about myself.

My son tried many times over the 10 years to become clean and sober.  He was in detox many times and always walked out of rehab with good intentions,  sometimes staying clean for a few months at a time.  Unfortunately, his addiction always followed him around waiting to pounce on him when he was depressed and upset.

My son’s dream as a boy was to be a fisherman and even through those years of addiction he would travel to Florida for the winters to get jobs on boats.  He had attended The New England Maritime Academy before he became a heroin addict.  At that time he smoked pot and quit so he could take the drug test after he graduated so he could get his Captain’s license.  He never got the license though he graduated with flying colors.  During the times he was sober he became a great fisherman and First Mate on various charter boats though his addiction always took hold of him at some point.

My son finally hit rock bottom last summer.  Both his Dad and I had agreed not to help him with anything including food.  I had moved into my daughter’s house so I couldn’t provide him with shelter any more.  I also gave my daughter all my income, what little there was. It was the only way, it seemed, to stop me from helping him.   I had lost everything and gotten into debt giving my son all my money over the years.  My daughter was stronger than me and never enabled him to her credit.    It was a big concession on my daughter’s part to let me move in with her and her husband.  She was hurt and angry because of the unhealthy relationship between my son and I and she had cause to be but being the generous daughter that she is she saved me.  She saved me from myself and for that I will always be in her debt.  It was a selfless act on her part.

On Friday, July 29th 2011 my son took something that wasn’t his and sold it.  He took the money, about $600, and bought drugs. I’m surprised he survived that weekend with all the heroin he shot up.  I got a call the following Monday.  He was in detox.  I got another call about 5 days later and he told me he was going to go to a long-term facility.  He had never done this before.  He had never wanted to invest the time into getting well.  He always insisted he could do it by himself.   8 months later he left  North Cottage Treatment Center.

It was a long 8 months for him but he gave it all he had.  He was almost unrecognizable when he left there.  He had put on weight and looked the healthiest I had seen him in such a long time.  The biggest change was his attitude.  He was 30 years old and had finally become a man.

Yesterday my daughter and I went to an AA meeting with Damon. He had asked her if she would present him with his 1 year sober medallion.   After listening to some speakers she was told to go to the podium.  She managed to get a few words out of her mouth when the tears started flowing which, of course, made me cry too.  It was a dream come true to see them together and hear her tell him “I love you”.

Me, Damon and Kirsten (Damon’s wonderful girlfriend) at dinner before the meeting

My daughter, Sarah,  and her Dad who also came to the meeting

10 Months Clean and Sober

After 10 years of drug use my son celebrated 10 months of sobriety.   It doesn’t sound like a long time but to a heroin addict I can imagine that it is. Every day is a challenge to remain clean and sober.

I am a member of a Facebook group called Mothers of Addicts.  My heart breaks when I read some of the posts from Moms who have lost their sons and daughters to drugs.  Most find it so hard to separate themselves from their drug addicted child.  It took me a long time to use tough love on my son.  I was in therapy for 1  1/2 years because I couldn’t let go.

This is my son today.  He has his own place, a beautiful, wonderful girlfriend, a job and a family who has accepted him back into the fold.

To see him smile and be happy, well, there aren’t words for how that makes me feel.  He and I both know how fragile sobriety is so we both take one day at a time. For today I have my son back.

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