Stories 2003-2004

I lost my 21 year old brother to heroin in September of 2000  Click here for more  24 Dec 2004
My 25 year old sister and her boyfriend are heroin addicts  Click here to read more12 Oct 2004
Hi my name is Jessica I used to be a heroin addict about 3 years ago  Click here for rest of story 11/27/2003
Hello. I am a 32 year old woman Click here for rest of story
I learned today that a young man Click here for rest of story
On August 11th, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. my son told me that for the last 3 years, he and his girlfriend are addicted Click here for rest of story  10-03-03
 K.'s  story  I've been encouraged to write my story and surprisingly find it to be quite a struggle.  You see,.........Click here for the rest of story
It was late at night but she wanted to talk. She wore a beige linen dress .......Click here for more of this story
Bumper sticker  While waiting for the stoplight to turn green, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. Click here for more of this story
A dads heart  It is still hard for me to believe that my daughter is a heroin addict. Click here for more of this story
I sunk down into the large, welcoming chair in that quiet upstairs room.  It was an older building   Click here for more of this story
I felt like a failure as a mother.I thought I had covered  Click here for more
boy where do i start!!i seen a lot of problems    Click here for more
My brother and boyfriend started to use heroin together and i thought nothing of it  Click here for more of story
as i read all the stories from parents and loved ones/i cant help be mad.   Click here for more
im a 19 yr old girl and an addict.  Click here for more
13 May 2004
More Drug Education Needed Itís a sad fact of life that this country    Click here for rest
25 Jun 2004
I am 18 (just about 19) and I have been a heroin addict  Click here for more
28 Jun 2004
I am a 24 year old college graduate going for my masters  Click here for more







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I've been encouraged to write my story and surprisingly find it to be quite a struggle.  You see, there have been a lot of changes.  I am not the person I use to be.  Neither is my son.  For that matter, no one in the family was left untouched.

I'm one of those instinctive types.  I knew something was deeply wrong. " Boys will be boys."   "It's just a stage" " Don't you remember some of the things you did when you were younger?"  Denial would have been easy, but the nagging persistence of the unrevealed problem was deeply troubling to me.  The star student -son was not shining anymore.  John, a courageous friend,  hinted to us that we should come up to the college.  I asked and probed but did not get the answer.  My son agreed to go to our physician who determined  it was all about his thyroid and the consequent depression.  OK.  Take the medicine, go back to school.   It will all be all right.    It wasn't.  I worried and fretted and made appointments with a highly paid psychiatrist who dispensed pills and said depression was the number one killer of teens and advised me to watch him carefully.  As it turned out, in this case, it was bad medicine and bad advice. 

Things did not get better for him or for me.  I was more and more isolated, as I sought more and more professional opinions only to be in greater despair.  My son was not getting better.   My husband was busy with his job and seemed to be growing impatient with my continuing worry.  My other children had their needs as well and clamored for more and more attention from me at a time when I felt I had less and less to give.

No one was home.  I went to my doctor's office and said I was going to go tear apart my son's room, a previously private place.  I suppose I just wanted someone to know.  I sensed I was heading into something and well aware that I might need help, given my current frame of mind.  I wish I had been wrong.

The next few hours were painful beyond belief.  Do I have to tell you what I found? The foil, the bags, the spoons, the needles . . . the blood.  I heard myself cry out desperately in an unfamiliar voice.  I felt betrayed by doctors who never had diagnosed the problem.  I was angry with my family and friends.  My own antennae had let me down.  Why didn't I know sooner? I was scared for my son.  I was alone with the startling reality that my son was a drug user.  I was the Mom of a drug user.

That was a beginning to what is now almost a decade long story.  Was it "the bottom?"  There were a few.  But I offer my story for your hope and encouragement.  Only God knows the ending, but I can tell you it's been quite a ride!

I'll write more, I promise.  You will not be left alone. There is help.  There is hope.


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It was late at night but she wanted to talk. She wore a beige linen dress and her hair was combed. Tears ran down her cheeks and she had a look in her eyes Ė what was it? A combination of fear, shame and confusion are what registered in my radar.

"I have something to tell you", she said.

My attention to her intensified as she began sobbing. Her body convulsed in cries so anguished it frightened me. What could possibly be this wrong? I knew things had been difficult for a while, but she convincingly explained her unreliability, occasional unkempt appearance, her shift in friends, and a lost look in her eyes. She had, after all, struggled with mild depression for quite a while, her self-esteem hadnít been solid and life hadnít been easy Ė but what could be this serious? My mind raced ahead; I braced myself.

"I have a drug problem".

Her cries came from a wounded place deep within. I began to ask her which drug, going down a list from least serious to more troublesome. As she shook her head to one after another, my heart sank. There was only one drug that I hadnít asked her about. No way, I thought. But when I finally asked her if it was heroin, she nodded and said, "Iím so sorry, Mom".

I wanted to pull her into my arms as I had done with other hurts and life disappointments, to assure her that weíd work it through and to convince her of our love. But the word "heroin" stopped me short. I was paralyzed in space and time. Motherly assurances stuck in my throat as I simply tried to breathe. I asked her what I could do but she didnít know. We were in foreign territory. Nothing in our past, as a family or in my personal experience, could have prepared me for this.

I comforted her as best I could, but it was hard. Not because of judgment or anger Ė there was no room for those emotions in that moment. I could only feel hopeless and helpless in that moment.

I sensed her exhaustion and her physical tremors. Medical help was needed, so I dialed hospitals, crisis lines and frantically sought help in uncharted waters while trying to maintain sanity. I found myself begging for resources and information - and someone, anyone who could suggest a course of action for my adult-daughter.

At 2 a.m. I took her to a hospital for detox, a term I had not been familiar with. It was the hardest thing Iíve ever had to witness. She subsequently entered a 28-day treatment program. We naively thought all was well after that; there was life in her eyes again and her conviction was sincere. And yet we would experience relapses, dashed hopes, sleepless nights, extreme worry, buckets of tears, and a sense of dread. What would happen to her?

Fast forward Ö our daughter has been clean & sober for 15 months now. I thought I would die of grief at several points or that if I survived, Iíd never recover from the sorrow that nearly killed my spirit. But recently my existence has become less dependent upon my daughterís success or failure. I still cry sometimes, but I now experience great joy too. Iíve been both humbled and blessed. Godís love, counseling, family programs, research, reflection and the support of key people have kept me from falling into a chasm of despair. Love for my daughter keeps me motivated to hope, but my heart is afraid to hope too much. Her intent was never to hurt us or herself Ė but it was a powerful, incremental process that was too much for her to handle.

I donít know what the end of our story will be. There are no guarantees, but thatís part of the lesson, too. We were good parents, she was and is delightful and bright, but life is full of hurdles, mistakes and the unexpected. Do I heal or do I fold? For a long time, I didnít know.

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While waiting for the stoplight to turn green, I read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. It was one of the "proud parent" ones. My heart sank as it often did when faced with the disparity between their child and mine, and the pride they felt vs. the pain I experienced. But my imagination kicked in that day. I began conceiving of bumper stickers for those of us parents whose children fit into "other" categories.

When our daughter came to us in a mess of tears 3 years ago with her heroin addiction, I never thought Iíd recover from the despair and anguish. There were new things I had to learn about in short order Ė detox, rehab, relapse Ė terms and scenarios that were foreign and unwelcome. I kept hoping Iíd awaken from that horrid dream, but with the light of morning, the pain rekindled and made itself at home again. I attended meetings and researched the topic, feeling profoundly sad and detached from everyone around me. I couldnít identify with parents whose adult offspring were brag-worthy, and labeled myself a supreme failure. Every flaw or misspoken word I had uttered flashed to mind and I flogged myself mercilessly over the smallest infraction.

I never thought life would be okay again, or that she would. This problem would surely color our lives with a heavy shade of gray, and weíd be reduced to living in fear, doubt, inadequacy and sadness.

But the day I found myself behind that bumper-stickered minivan, laughing as I began to contemplate bumper stickers to our situation, was the first day I knew Iíd recover. Certainly not because every problem had been solved or that our child had been inoculated to cure her addiction. But because I had crossed a line from death-of-spirit back to life Ė and from tears to laughter.

While I donít begrudge other parents their legitimate pride in their childrensí career advancements, upcoming marriages or academic achievements Ė I can feel proud too. For all the beauty that exists within our child that has nothing to do with her addiction. Itís not that Iíve lowered my standards, but Iíve had to adjust to reality.

Here are the bumper sticker ideas Iíve come up with so far:

Iím the Proud Parent of a Hazelden Graduate

Iím the Proud Parent of a Relapse Survivor

Iím the Proud Parent of a Convicted Felon

Iím the Proud Parent of a Daughter Whoís Clean & Sober

Iím the Proud Parent of a Child of God

This little exercise gets me through those difficult Stoplight Moments!

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It is still hard for me to believe that my daughter is a heroin addict. How could my little girl get mixed up in such a thing? When I think back on her growing up and all the wonderful memories she has given me, itís difficult to accept that she chose this. Why? What could I have done to prevent this? She has been drug-free for a while, but when will I feel that she is safe? Her actions due to her addiction have caused her and her family so much pain. Will I ever be able to be able to not worry about her? There has been such a pattern of dishonesty. Iím still proud to be her father and will always give her my support and love, but I live with some fear about her future. I hope and pray that someday I will feel confident about her life and well-being.

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I sunk down into the large, welcoming chair in that quiet upstairs room.  It was an older building with small, comfortable rooms. The sun beckoned from the front window warming me as I sat expectantly in that large chair.  I was a little nervous and a little hesitant, but I was ready.  It was a comfortable place.

I was at a counselor's office.  No one who knew me would have believed it.  I gave help, I didn't get it!  The man trying to engage me in conversation seemed nice enough.  Some of his questions puzzled me.  I hadn't let go yet.  I didn't even plan on doing that.  I didn't see this as me asking for help so much.  I was interviewing him for a place on my team, my agenda that would no doubt ultimately help my addicted son.

I had interviewed a few of these counselors.  I had good reason to be wary.  Perhaps you recall the psychiatrist I told you about who totally missed the fact that my son was doing drugs after weeks of "counseling."  Nonetheless, I needed some answers.  I think I made one really good decision at this point. 
No more gen-ed counselors for me.  I was dealing with an addicted son.  I didn't need someone who had read a chapter on addiction.  I need someone who could write the book.  If I had cancer, I reasoned, I would go to a cancer specialist. There was an addiction problem here so I sought out the skills of an addictions counselor. This proved to be a good decision, which benefited both my son and myself, my family, too.  At last, a professional worthy of
his charges and true to his calling.

What else do I remember from that day?  It seemed at the time that we didn't get a lot done-at least from my full speed ahead, get it off the list approach to life. In the past, my doing had always gotten me to the next step.  I had lots of energy.  I was resourceful.  I had had a full life to
this point with lots of events I thought I had fixed.  Retrospectively, this day was to be a real beginning for me.  There were miracles to come that only a small part of me dared hope for that afternoon.  I was comfortable in the place.  I had done my homework and found the right counselor.  I sensed that faith and trust could develop if only I would allow it.  I loosened my grip on my life-mess just a bit.  You've heard it at meetings.  Let Go, Let God.  Well, for me it started that day with "Let Go, Let Counselor."  After all, I had tried everything else for my son and nothing had brought the desired result, not yet.

Ah hour later, we parted.  Nice man, good conversation.  I felt good.  I didn't clearly see the small seeds that had been planted in my soul.  This wasn't going to be about what I could do.  This man, my counselor, didn't claim he could fix the whole problem either.  So why did I feel a bit more peaceful, a little less fearful?  I made an appointment for the next week.  This self-sufficient, yet suffering Mom of an addict had things to learn.  K.

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I felt like a failure as a mother.I thought I had covered it all with my children ya know sex,drugs,being a respected human being,growing up to be someone and then my son told me he was addicted to heroin.My world as I had known it was crashing in. I was ashamed to tell anyone about my son who should have been graduating from high school and making plans for his future. All the adults around me were bragging about there children What the future had in store for their children. I wanted to crawl in a hole. I had found out about rosecrance and my son agreed to go there He needed to stay for the 30 day program is what they told us and the insurance would cover alot of the bill(thank god for that).I thought this was the answer to our prayers my son was gonna get help and we could get back to "Normal".They tell you about the relapse but,I was in a denial I guess I kept saying my son is doing well in there participates in everything He was acting like himself again we were talking better instead of the yelling. My son is not going to relapse!! I think it took about 30 days after he was out for him to start using again.We sent him to detox and started an out pt program which helped again until he was doing well they said he could stop and here we go again. We had to hide money and the stress and fighting between My husband and I was increasing.My husband wanted to use tough love and boot him out I just cried and told him I cant sleep now If I dont know where he is how could I sleep then. I will do anything to save him I kept asking him why??I mean when I was growing up if someone would have ask me to try heroin i would have ran FAST!! kids now a days are looking for the best high at waht ever the cost.We have spent our life savings on him between hospital bills and of course lawyer fees.I have watch alot of the kids in mchenry struggle with this and it breaks my heart Good kids with a bad addiction How do I help them?? My son is in prison now not for long.I would wake up and go to his room and worry that I would find in dead for now he is safe sad to say I can sleep at night for now.I am scared to think of what will happen when he comes home He swears no more and doesnt want to see any of his old friends But,theres alot of trust lost I want to believe him this time so bad he says prison is tough but he has learned.I tell him I hope he has learned and I will love him always and I feel like I was the one struggling with a drug problem what the future holds for my son and his friends only God knows and hopefully with his love they can overcome this.

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boy where do i start!!i seen a lot of problems with my son having problems with school and he got kicked out he stayed home didnt work i just guessed it was a teen thing no one gave us a handbook on how to raise kids you know,well he had a girlfriend and i didnt like her very much my son would stay at her house i told him to come home and he didnt he sleeped at her house alot i didnt think it was right but he wouldnt listen to me.then i found out they were smoking pot i was very upset i would always tell himm i didnt approve if that was all i had to worry about i was lucky cause you see i never knew he went to all others kinds of drugs,well one day the bank called me up and asked me if i gave my son a check for $100.00 i said no they asked me to come in to the bank they had to talk to me i did and they said i have good and bad news for you so i found out my son the day before cashed a check for $200.00 my world just crushed on me.i didnt understand what was going on my son was 21 now and i couldnt stand it anymore. so when i got home i waited for him to comme hom when he did i said to him he had to leave my home and if he didnt i would press charges on him. i can still remember his words.he said mom i have no place to go! and i told him i didnt care.well i cant tell you how much i care now cause you see 2 days later he went to rob a women of her purse and she got cut on her hand he never got the purse someone chased him and he was aressted, today he swears he never cut the women as they clam he did. and i wasent sure if he was telling the truth and we didnt get him a lawyer so he went with the public defender he didnt want to do 20 years so he took a plea bargin so he could get 12or 10 years after he took the plea i found out there was no blood on the knife and he was telling the truth. but its too late we now have a lawyer and we are apealing it .ill never forgive myself for throwing him out and i never knew he was on the hard drugs heroin .i didnt know what he was going through.and i can never forgive myself .but most of all i can still hear his words MOM I HAVE NO PLACE TO GO! GOD FORGIVE US ALL FOR THE MISTAKES WE MAKE IN OUR LIVES SAD MOM I HOPE THIS CAN HELP SOMEONE ELSE OUT THERE GOOD LUCK

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I dont know where to begin. It first started out as i'am just gonna try it. My brother and boyfriend started to use heroin together and i thought nothing of it at first then my boyfriend started to change this wonderful person who i was in love with began to blow me off, only wanted to hang out with me when he was high, and if he did'nt have it then he was the meanist person in the world. my brother he was different he didnt care who knew that he was on it as long as he was high. he would steal money, jewerly, pawn off anything he could get his hands on. Then it hit McHenry bad, all my friends were doing it i felt like i didn't belong if i wasn't doing herion then one day i went up to my brother and asked him if i could try and he was mad, that i asked him and he said to me don't ever try this drug look at what it's done to all of us. My boyfriend cheated on me many of times with some of my closest friends just to get the drug but i kept telling myself its just the drug he didn't mean to do that with that girl or he wouldnt do that with this girl i stood by his side.i didnt trust anyone it was hard for me its now been a year and my brother in jail, friends that i no longer like because of the drug and my wonderful boyfriend i hve a kid with him now, and to be honest i dont know if he is doing it or not, his friends tell him he is but he tells me its all a lie. Now we have a beautiful son together and i'm scared to find out if he is still doing heroin because if he is i'll have to take his son away. So before you decide to do a drug think, and before you decide to hang out with people who do it even if you dont think, because of this drug it has ruined my life, socially, emotionlly, its so hard to say no, but after alot of thought i did.

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as i read all the stories from parents and loved ones/i cant help be mad. mad at god for not giving my son just one chance.mad that god for bid he didnt get arrested/so that maybe he could get help.not understanding why those kids left him there to die,when a cell phone was in reach.i lost part of me when my son died-i will never be the same/what about that law that was passed a few years ago/the one that makes a person responsible if someone dies?never again will i celebate another thanksgiving for you see that is the day he never came to dinner,i found him in his new apartment.i relive that day over and over-i still see him/black and blue allover/the blood the see he also was responsible for his actions/im also looking for someone to blame.i was the mom always seaching his room. always looking for something his eyes...there was never any thing exept the trust that i lost for being nosey.i love him.never will i have grandchildren'no graduations from college.and never will i ever hear him spin another record,for he wanted to be a d.j./imiss his beautiful smile that lit up a room.i miss his smell/and his hard hugs.sometimes i go into his room,and hold one of his hoodies-it takes the pain away,but only for a second.thank you all for listening/tell your children you love them every day of their life.and always be there for them no matter what.please keep my son in your prayers.i believe he is watching your children from heaven,please tell them of his story,so that he did not die in vain.thank you,and bless you,ill write more soon,love,mama p.

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im a 19 yr old girl and an addict. i dont know where to start but ive been using cocaine for 2 years. i was using 7 or 8 sometimes 10 grams a day. thats £350-£500 every day.i was using with my friends but slowly i started using alone at home and i became a differnt person. i hid it very well from my parents and they had no idea that i was using anything not even smoking cigeretts till one day my sister found out and told my parents and they searched my room and found : cocaine, mirrors, blades, sniffers and rolled papers with blood on it from my nose due to snorting for a long time. i was in a very bad state and they took me into rehab but i didnt want to stop i was forced into rehab. i stayed there for 2 and a half months and started using after that in rehab the last week i was there and left to aftercare. i started using heroin i dont know why knowing that ive never touched it before but anyway it was a different experience and i felt as if i was in a different world but it only lasted a couple of hours and then the withdrawl syptoms were very bad. my parents found out then that i was using something so i had to tell them i was on heroin and that i needed help. anyway i went into another rehab and stayed clean for 2 weeks then started using heroin,cocaine and ecstasy in rehab again and they kicked me out of the rehab and i had to come home and tell my parents the whole now feeling a bit better but my family dont trust me at all and im locked up at home they dont let me go out! life is terrible now but soon ill have my life back but i dont know if im going to use again although i had lots of cravings for injecting heroin which ive never did before but i really want to try it.i dont know how things are gonna end up but i hope those ideas leave my head in peace. if anyone needs help or has any feedback this is my email address: from: gege

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On August 11th, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. my son told me that for the last 3 years, he and his girlfriend are addicted to snorting heroin. My denial came came crashing down: the economy in Pittsburgh is bad, it's hard to hold onto jobs, Landlords are unforgiving in missing a month's rent, they moved often. The unkempt appearance, and absesses on his face was not from "poorer living" but from use. The thin frames and continued weight loss puzzled me, since so many times money was provided for food. Car repo's, creditors calling. These are only a few of struggles he had. The anguish was unbearable, I asked God to take me instead. But that was not meant to be, for 15 years ago I had my own demons with alcohol. I have been in recovery for 15 years in a 12 step program. It saved my life. I am a nurse, the last 5 years, and a recovering alcoholic, and have learned the disease and denial is bigger than I. Prayers for my son, helped him to hit a bottom, that I hope he never returns. He knew his next step was crime, to supply his addiction for he had run out of resources from his family. A moment of clarity was given to him, and he took the chance at recovery. As the train has wrecked in the mountain, there is the clearing of all the cars piled up behind. And at the end of the tunnel despite the wreckage, he sees light. I am grateful for that. Today we have life and happiness, despite the disease. I choose hope and light, instead of despair and anguish. I choose not to be sick by my addiction, nor my son's addiction. He is presently in a Methadone treatment, and is receiving counseling. Support from a 12 step program has let him know he is not alone, nor unique in his addiction. I know that as long as he has the willingness to seek recovery a small fraction that it took him to obtain drugs he will find the right path. I did. Regardless of what is down the road, I know that I will be okay. The design of life, like a kaleidescope changes in patterns. I believe there is still beauty and love in the world.

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Date: 15 Oct 2003
Time: 19:12:59
I learned today that a young man we know Jeff at the young age of 18 died from herion,I keep thinking how horrible his mother and the rest of his family must feel and what can I do to help them Its so close to home its scary. I Dont want another child to die.I dont want another child to try herion because they heard its a good high!! It must be the worst thing in the world to bury your child but even worse because it was a senseless death I hope all of his friends including my son who is locked up will learn and seek help!! look at the face of his mother at his wake and then think you dont want that to be your mother.Do something to stop dont think it wont happen to you!This drug spares noone. You all want the good high and dont stop to think of all the things your families will go thru from anger,hurt disappoinment etc..and all the possilble things that can happen to you fighting with your family,homeless,jobless,prison and death. I am scared for my son to come back here to this horriable addiction I wish I had a quick fix for all of you. Just know you are strong and life has alot to offer you just reach out.Start a new begginning Let jeffs death help you to do that.It might help his mom to know you turned your life around because of jeff. Rest in peace jeff God bless the Hocin family may god give you strength in this trying time.

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Date: 27 Oct 2003
Time: 13:04:48
Hello. I am a 32 year old woman who has a mean dope habit. Listen everyone...I finally kicked dope after 10 weeks of hell. I still crave every minute of every day, Its a constant struggle. I had to go to a different state to a rehab in Louisville KY where other addicts helped me through it. Im still at rehab fighting for my life, taking only one day at a time. My heart goes out to all fellow H addicts. Hang in there.

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Date: 27 Nov 2003

Hi my name is Jessica I used to be a heroin addict about 3 years ago,It was the best high that I ever had off of a drug and it was the cheapest.At first it was fun everyday me and my friends drove to Chicago to get it. It started only going once a day and then as months went on we started going 3 or 4 times a day. My mom had no clue what I was doing she worked mostly every night so she would let me drop her off at work and take the car,and about 1 hour after she started working I would call her and ask her for some money for gas or say that we are all going to the movies and I need some money and of course the nice mom that I had who never said no gave me money to go out.As months went on I started to get addicted and going through withdrawls, which was the worst feeling that you could have.When me and my friends had not enough money for all of us we would rob some of are own friends and even are own houses,we would even lie to people and say that someone was in jail and we didn't have enough money to get them out and they would give us the rest.One day me and my brother Jeff was the only ones home and I was going through withdrawls really bad I tried taking a bath, because sometimes that helped me and I also tried to overdose on tylenal PMs and my brother stopped me.So at about 9:00pm my mom came home and I had to tell her what was going on with me because I didn't want to live anymore,so she took me to the hospital and they took me to detox in Rockford where I was for 5 days and I cried everynight to my mom on the phone because I hated it. After the 5 days were over she came and got me, and the first thing I did when I got home is called my cousin and he said want to go to the city and said yes I will be there to pick you guys up in about 15 min. I finally met a different group of friends to hang out with and always yelled at me for doing heroin, and how dirty it was so I finally pushed myself away from it.2 months after I quit I got pregant with my daughter and that really made me think twice about doing heroin again.Everyone that I used to hang out with was still out there doing it so it was hard to stay away from it but I did my brother Jeff started doing it again and all I would do is yell at him for doing it, he also started shoting it. About one month ago on October 11 2003 my brother Jeff was found dead by his brother and sister on there bathroom floor after he did two bags. It was the worst feeling that my family went through escpically over the holidays. I just wish that my friends that are still doing it would learn from my brothers death and are past experiences. Jeff We all love you

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Date: 13 May 2004

More Drug Education Needed Itís a sad fact of life that this country cannot win the war against drugs. Itís a sadder fact that millions of people are addicted to one drug in particular. That drug is Heroin. I lost my 23-year-old sister to a Heroin overdose less than two weeks ago. Since then, I have made alarming discoveries. According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, which may actually underestimate illicit opiate (heroin) use, an estimated 2.4 million people had used heroin. Even more alarming is the fact that between 1991 and 1996, among youths aged 12 to 17, heroin-related episodes nearly quadrupled. That number has been on a steady increase. It continues in new, young users across the country who are being lured by inexpensive, high-purity heroin that can be sniffed or smoked instead of injected. Heroin has also been appearing in more affluent communities. What can we do about it? I have spoken to a number of addicts all of which started out by smoking marijuana on average of age 12-14. This is a gateway drug that may eventually lead to Heroin use. Currently, children receive drug and alcohol education starting in grammar school and continuing through high school years. Is it enough? The answer is no. Junior high school should offer increased education with workshops and seminars on a regular basis of at least once a marking period. In addition, parents need to get more involved in their childrenís social life. They need to know what they are doing in their social time and whom they are spending that time with. In a majority of cases, it is not a man in black standing on a street corner offering your child drugs. It is their best friend. It is the boy your daughter has a crush on. It is the popular crowd your child longs to hang out with. Parents, I urge you. Know your kids. Donít lecture them but involve yourself in their lives. Teachers, educate them. The Internet is a valuable learning tool. Get online and educate yourselves about Heroin and other drugs so you can know what to watch for and what to teach. Offer workshops so kids can see how drugs can wreck their lives and their family. My sisterís fight with drugs has ended. Donít let your childís fight begin! Learn more...

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Date: 25 Jun 2004
Time: 14:52:07

I am 18 (just about 19) and I have been a heroin addict for just about 6 and a half years (since I was 12). My best friend who was 11 at the time, discovered his father's stash and stole some for us to try, when he found out he thought that "it would be better for him to do it with us, in case anything bad happened". He really wanted to rip us off, and to get our money. Since that point on, I was caught. I've been through all the "horror stories" you read about, being homeless, selling drugs, getting raped, losing everything of importance to you, etc, etc... But I personally think (and this is only MY opinion- you don't have to agree), but the fact at having to deal with my emotions (i am a bad bi-polar and manic-depressive) frighten me the most. Besides the obvious fact that I love dope. I would just like to know, what do people fear the most about getting clean. I will be submitting my story soon.

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Date: 28 Jun 2004

I am a 24 year old college graduate going for my masters in psychology. I never expected the last year of my life take the turn it has. I met someone who is and always will be very special to me months back. To say we got a long great would be a lie. When we got along we got along wonderfully but when we argued we argued with the best of them. He was the only person in the world that I have ever known that was so similiar to me. When I met him I knew he was addicted to heroin in the past. He was honest and told me his story from day one. He had spent time in state prison for his addiction. He came from a good family and was raised well. His parents went through horrors with him and his addiction that started at the age of 13. He was so against drugs I believed he really had nicked the habit. Several months after knowing him he had relapsed. The relapse started simple and within a few weeks time became a tidal wave of addiction. He lost his job and everything else began to spiral downhill. I watched all his dreams he had built up since he got clean disappear in front of him. I became his mother. I took care of him when no one else could anymore. But taking care of him was a scary feat. I wanted him to get help but at the time that was not an option for him. Taking him to buy drugs so I didnt have to watch him suffer was a daily occurance. Taking him to detox centers only to watch him shoot a needle in his arm was becoming frequent. I wanted to call his mom, I wanted to call his parole officer but something always stopped me. I always thought that if i did who was I? Why would they believe me? So instead of him being homeless on the street i took care of him. I falsely thought he would be ok if he did it infront of me. If he OD'ed I would be able to call 911 because I was in the right state of mind. I spent nights cleaning up his blood, washing his clothes, and buying him drugs. When he no longer could afford to buy himself I went through my bank account and then more. When his parole officer was tipped off we fled for a weekend, only to return home because we had nowhere to go. Sleeping next to someone in the throws of withdrawl was horrible. I wanted him better so bad i couldnt see how bad things had gotten. The good news is he didnt die. However, he is back in prison now. He has spent the last 10 years of his life in and out of prison or rehabs. I keep hoping this is the last time but I dont know if it is. I dont know if it will ever be or if I will eventually be attending his funeral. All the movies in the world that depict heroin addiction dont even come close to real life.

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Date: 12 Oct 2004

My 25 year old sister and her boyfriend are heroin addicts.  When she met him he was already an addict and had been in and out of rehabs, detox's, and long term in-patient programs. Looking back- I don't think he was actually ever clean since she has known him.  When my sister was 6 months pregnant with their baby she went to the hospital b/c of an infection.  This is when we found out she was doing drugs.  She was sniffing heroin.  She said she stopped and we believed her. She went into to labor in June of 2002 and both her and the baby were drug free and healthy.  My sister lived with my mother and her boyfriend was frequently there.  He basically lived there.  They were both working- seemed to be doing good.  He had gained about 50 pounds and was an excellent father.  My sister began waitressing at a bar.  Everything went down hill from then.  They both began rapidly loosing weight.  The suddenly had no money.  The would leave their daughter with my mother and return way after expected.  My brother who also lived there began to "loose" money as did my mom.  At this point my sister was addicted to oxicotin while her bf was shooting H.  We took the baby away from her and told her she needed help.  She went into a 14 day program at the hospital only to check herself out 2 days later.  I must say- she seemed perfectly normal for months.  Her BF was no longer allowed at my mothers house or for that matter at his mothers house, although his mother continued to fund his drug habit.  She also rented him a room in the same town as my sister.  That's when my sister started dissapearing for days- and not alone, with her daughter.  Eventually they moved about a half hour away to an apartment that his mother got for them.  His mother also paid the rent and bought them everything they needed.  Little did she know the rent chesks were being shot into their veins.  We didn't hear from my sister for about a month.  I got the address to her apt. and my mother and I went to see her.  When we got there she was not there !
 and her
BF would not let us in.  I took my neice outside and palyed with her until my sister returned.  Wasn't she suprised when she saw us.  She ran back to the car and wrapped a shirt around her arms to cover her track marks.  She put socks on to cover the track marks on her feet.  She had a terrible rash all over her.  She must have weighed 90 pounds. She never went below 135.  He lost all the weight and more that he gained.  They looked like shit.  My sister was a full fledged addict.  My mother forced her to show her her arms.  We stood out in the streets screaming at each other trying to convince them to hand over their daughter.  We left without her or the baby.  Later on that night my brother and I returned and convnced them to let us take the baby out of that environment.  My sister ran off- but her bf finally agreed.  We went in to the dirty drug infested house and took my niece out of the full bathtub (that she was in while my sister was nodding off on the toilet and foaming at the mouth).  This happened in August of this year (2004).  Since then their addiction has only gotten worse.  They have begun shooting coke also and have been taking Methadone too.  They have no jobs, been cut off by all family members, been evicted (have to be out this week), but still manage to get the dope. When my sister was asked if she liked the way she was living she responded with- Why shouldn't I.  I get a welfare check, I get foodstamps, I get medicaid, the church brings me grocery shopping and brings me clothes, and I don't have to work for it.  The state is actually making it easier for them to be addicts.  Go figure.  My mother has custody of my niece and together we are raising her.  I have been to my sister's apt. several times to take her home and get her help but she has refused...Until 2 days ago.  She came home.  She had shot heroin earlier that day and was having withdrawl symptoms that night.  SHe broke down and tried to leave.  My brother brought her to the hospital. She explained her problem and said she !
 needed h
elp and they gave her a Xanax and released her and mind you- she had to walk to my mom's house at 12am by herself.  Thankfully she made it.  The next morning she called several places and tried to get a bed.  She had no success.  My mother was missing $100 and my siter was again gone.  She came back.  She stayed through the night.  She called the hospital again and they said they would have a bed for her tomorrow morning at 9am.  She had to stick it out for another 24 hours.  I guess it became too much for her to handle because she has not been seen or heard from since 11am this morning.  My guess is with her bf and has a needle in her arm as we speak.  We have been nothing but supportive, but I don't know what else to do.  It is destroying our family.  Her daughter adores her and wants her to get better.  It breaks my heart.  I guess all I can do now is pray and hope that she realizes that she needs help and actually gets it.  This is a terrible disease and I only hope that this helps at least one person decide not to touch this horrible drug.  I don't know what will happen with my sister....only time will tell.


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Date: 24 Dec 2004

I lost my 21 year old brother to heroin in September of 2000. I still pain everyday from this.  My story is a little different from other peoples though.  My little brother had been clean for years.  But his years before being clean caused him some trouble in the small Texas town he and grew up in and the small town Texas cops never forgot.  My brother was killed in his room at our mother's house with her just down stairs.  The person who killed him is the son of a well known drug lord in the area.  He was given a dose 4-20 times a lethal dose by this drug lord's son.  It was witnessed by another person in the room with them.  I have been told  by the person who killed him that he did it on purpose and I can't do anything about it.  I still fight for my brother's justice everyday.  I have numerous video tapes and audio tapes of the person in the room with them saying he was killed by the other.  I have told my story on local (Dallas/Fort Worth) area news stations but still I have not gotten what Adam deserved he deserves justice, he did not take his own life it was stolen from him.  But I will continue to fight for him to receive the justice he deserves until the day I die.


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