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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Heroin Epidemic....

I write this post strictly as a mom...

Not someone one with a medical degree, or years of experience and knowledge on this subject, or as anyone who's ever traveled down this dark road.  I'm just a mom.

This weekend, I learned of yet ANOTHER lost life due to a heroin over dose.  A young man I only knew as a ten year old child on my son's ball team.  A young man that as a teenager occasionally came by our home to hang out with my son.  A young man who was always polite to me.  Someone I didn't know well, but knew of.

Yet his death has hit me in a way that makes my heart ache.
The heart ache of another young life LOST.  Snuffed out by addiction.
I don't know if it was his first go round or his 100th.
I do know it was his last.

20 years old and GONE.
What a damn shame!

He's not the first, nor will he be the last.  There have been many heroin related deaths in my town.  I live in a nice suburban town.  I don't live in the big city.  Apparently that doesn't matter.  There are no rules with this stuff!  It's everywhere.

I made a statement on my personal Facebook page that when I was younger, I don't remember this drug being something that was around.  I remember pot and pills.  I remember drug busts on that scale.  I also remembered that kids (at least the kids I was around) were scared of needles/shooting up scenario and scared of the notion that "once you start, you can never stop."  I may have been naive.  I don't know.  I just don't remember.

What I do know is that this particular killer is $3 a postage stamp sized bag.  It's cheap.  Very cheap!  Kids don't shoot it up.  They smoke it, they snort it.  They get caught up in the endless cycle of the cheap high.

It's terrifying.


“I’LL JUST TRY IT ONCE.”

Warning: Even a single dose of heroin can start a person on the road to addiction.

Many people experiment with heroin thinking, “I’ll try it once or twice. I can always stop.” But those who start down that road find it nearly impossible to turn back. Consider the words of Sam, a 15-year-old addict: “When you first shoot up, you will most likely puke and feel repelled, but soon you’ll try it again. It will cling to you like an obsessed lover. The rush of the hit and the way you’ll want more, as if you were being deprived of air—that’s how it will trap you.”

The threat of addiction is not the worst consequence of experimenting with heroin. Jim was 21 years old and usually spent his evenings drinking beer with friends. He had already experimented with heroin so when friends offered him a line to sniff, he accepted. Fifteen minutes after inhaling, he passed out, then dropped into a deep coma which lasted more than two months. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair, unable to write, barely able to read. Whatever dreams and aspirations he once had are gone.

There is no "trying it once."  It's a slippery slope that leads down an incredibly dark path.

According to the National Center for Disease Control's February 20, 2013 posting, drug overdose deaths have increased for the 11th consecutive year.

"38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999."

The former median age for over dose addiction had been 32-35 years of age.  That age has decreased to 20.2 years of age.

These are frightening statistics, and quite frankly - not something I can even wrap my head around or think of a way to "fix."

As a mom, a fixer, I feel helpless.  I don't know what to do.  I don't know how to help.  I don't know what more can be done.  I just don't.  Maybe I'm over emotional - but is that bad?

I can only thank God that my son is not around this right now, and I continue to pray that he stays away and that his other friends STAY AWAY from this stuff.

So that I don't need to attend another unnecessary funeral.

A funeral for a 20 year old young man, who didn't have to die.

Thank you for reading my blog.

~Jenn

If you are someone you love are suffering from addiction, please visit The Partnership at Drugfree.org

Get educated...  Get Help... 

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3 comments:

  1. Sometimes I think we try and scare our children to behave when they are young..."Your face will stay like that," "Eat your veggies or you'll be sick," "Put on a jacket or catch your death."

    When it comes to the big stuff they are immune to "dire warnings."
    Smoking will "stunt your growth"...gee, not really
    Pot will make you "crazy"...no, it didn't.
    Heroin is "extremely addictive"...how bad can it be?...OH...damn!

    We need to be more truthful with our children at an early age. You may lose a short-cut with a toddler, but it will pay off with a teen.

    Thoughtful post on a sad and serious issue!

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    Replies
    1. Great point, Cranky! Honesty is key!! ALWAYS!!!

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  2. I can tell you as a mom of young boys nothing scares me more than the state of heroin in this country. When I was a kid there was a certain image we had of people who did heroin...this does not hold true any more. The star quarter back, the math wiz, the girl next door they can all be taken in by this growing epidemic. I feel helpless as well. I can only hope that open communication and complete honesty with my boys about what this drug can do will help. I am willing to join you in this fight. I think it's time for the small towns to step up and say heroin is no longer welcome! I'm so sorry to hear about this young man passing. Thank you for taking on such an important topic though.

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