Moving to the foothills was a smart move at the time; thinking I would keep my kids out of the gang and the drug loop that was on the other side of town.  Little did I realize that one of my kids would become a heroin user for 6 plus years.  What always amused me was the name itself…there is no hero in heroin.  My home was a coming and going of my sons other addict buds when I was at work. If I came home and found the kids at my home I would make a calm phone call to the other parents to let them know what was happening and they needed to be aware of the problem.  The names I was called for letting these parents know was absolutely horrific. The realization that they  were scared sh–less kept nagging at me. The defense mechanisms were in high mode. What parent wants to really hear that their kid is using a drug so debilitating?

The reality is I walked around like a zombie for about 2 years trying to find a way out of the nightmare my  family was in. I had an ex that was the classic addict mentality and an enabler undoing anything I did to try and get our kid to reach out for the help.   We buried 6 of his friends up here from OD’s.  Often the ones that died were fresh out of very expensive rehabs.   The point I am making is this…it is love and love alone that will help you and your family thru this nightmare. Tough love mostly.  The realization that this person you gave birth to is an addict, making very adult decisions about their life and that they are capable of doing anything and everything under the sun to feed that habit. My home was burglarized; jewelry gone, car gone, anything worth anything-Gone.

Keeping out of my life and giving him over to god to deal with was my only salvation. I realized that personal survival was the order of my day. He had made a decision to no longer survive.  One of our conversations was I would give him my gun with hollow points in it and drive him somewhere to end his life. I would have rather buried him one time than bury him daily in my head.  Nothing I could do ,  say or give him would matter except I told him I loved him. Then I let him go.  I knew I might one day get the call from the coroners office that he was dead.  He has had 8 double strapped US Marshals after him.  He spent time in jail both county and state.  He has a felony record which makes it tough to get real work. BUT, he is clean for almost 2 years. I saw him a couple months ago and said he and God were responsible for his life being where it is now. Most importantly, he was honest with me. We spoke openly about our feelings about the nightmare we all went thru.  I brought up something that possibly brought him to the place he is at now. He understood why I did what I had to do at the time.

My hope is that he will be able to help other people in the grips of addiction. He has counseled some but at this point feels it is also important to stay away from anyone involved with the lifestyle. He is working, playing in a band, has a nice girlfriend, is clean of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. He eats organic and lives as clean a lifestyle as possible.   As parents we need to love our kids enough to not be their friends but to be their parents.  They need that more than an I-phone or a car.   Parents need to be good to their own selves. An addict will bring wrack and ruin to even the best marriages.  I do not feel lucky to have a son that has beaten the addiction route.  We were blessed.  Faith and prayer were the only way to make it out the other side and the smile on my sons face is proof that it worked.  Maggie