Our daughter Timberly had a boyfriend before she had passed away. His name was Justin. He was a bright young man with a lot of potential to really make a good life for himself and her. He cared for Timberly better than most boys his age treat their girlfriends. He was there for her when she needed treatment, when she was in pain and there for her both emotionally and physically. He really cared for her. I did and always will appreciate that fact about him. He also had a wonderful sense of humor and a good heart that truly cared for people.
After Timbers passing he struggled a bit but eventually found his way. He like most 20ish boys do, dabbled in alcohol and that made his mother and father worried at times. But it was when she received a phone call from an anonymous caller who said that Justin was doing Heroin….that’s when the parents put their foot down. Now, try and put yourself in their position. You just found out that your child is doing heroin….it’s just frightening isn’t it? What would you do? I just couldn’t imagine what I would do if I was in their shoes. It’s embarrassing as a parent…because some how you feel like you did something wrong. And since I know both parents well, I can tell you that their home is as loving a home as you can get. They are just a great family to be around. They ended up admitting Justin to a rehab facility and gave him all the love and support he needed to get through it.
He finished and came out doing pretty well. He started his own business with his cousin, and was doing quite well for himself….that was until he started hanging out with his old friends again. He started using again and the downslide starts all over again. He is currently back in rehab. However this time, the mother and father did something different. They stopped being embarrassed and discovered that this is not the result of something that they did. It is something that the drug does. They joined a group called Family against Narcotics(FAN) and learned more about this drug and what it does to the body. They also learned about enabling, and what they can do to stop it. They also realized how lucky they are that their son is still alive. So many kids who do this drug wind up dying from an overdose from a mixture of other drugs and alcohol while doing heroin. This drug is nothing but a dead end road.
I was so proud that they stepped up to this and faced it head on…without the embarrassment that causes most parents to just turn the cheek. They helped out with putting on an awareness rally last Sunday that Kim and I went on with them. We marched with our signs and posters and many people honked their horn in support. It was just a good thing to do. We walked to the down town park and had lunch. It was also very interesting to hear the stories of some recovering addicts and also some very sad stories from people who have lost friends and family members from this most wicked drug. The rally was to raise awareness about the heroin epidemic that is reaching so many towns and cities. It is killing so many good kids. That message cannot be said loud enough.
I was really amazed at what I learned at this rally. I just could not imagine what it would be like for not only the parent of an addict but also the addict themselves. I can only compare the addiction to cigarettes and the additive habit that it has on somebody….but from what I learned….heroin is 100 times more addictive. One usage of heroin you will be wanting more…and more…and more. These kids don’t want to be addicts….they don’t want to die….they don’t want to hurt and embarrass their families. But they made a mistake of trying it just once…and the struggle starts there. A kid with so much potential can go straight down the heroin ally with so much as one toke of this drug. It’s very sad and yes…it needs to be heard and a rally is only a starting point. It needs to be taught in the young schools that HEROIN IS BAD. IT WILL KILL YOU, so the kids grow up knowing this fact and they don’t have to learn the hard way. Dealers of this drug should be put in jail for a very very very long time.
I would like to think that if Timber was still alive, I really don’t think this would have happened to Justin. She kept him out of harm’s way for the most part and I know she would have no part in that drug. But the reality of it is, it can happen to anyone’s child, even your own.