A year ago on April 2nd I answered the phone at 6am to a nightmare that has haunted me ever since.
As a father and husband for 24 years, four years ago, I gave up on that, and went through a divorce. After 7 years of struggling with my wifeís (pain pill) addiction I had had enough of the ups and downs of addiction. I met and married again a year later. My new wife had a daughter who was also fighting addiction. She started, like most do, with a prescription for wisdom teeth removal, then somehow ended up with a needle in her arm. We tried and tried to help her but she just couldnít seem to give it up. A year later after much stress and an overdose that almost killed her, she decided she would go for help. We made arrangements for her to travel to Maine for treatment at a Christian based rehab center. For this to happen we wanted her to stay with us for a month to get her ready to go.
She isnít the kind of girl you think about when you thing about an addict. Sheís beautiful, smart, outgoing, and loved by everyone that knew her. One of those girls that you would think could have anything she wanted, but addiction doesnít discriminate. Itís an equal opportunity destroyer. She had a DR appointment in Chattanooga the week before her flight and insisted that she go to that appointment. I pleaded with her to come back as soon as the appointment was over and if somehow she ended up with a needle in her hand, to please at least call me before using. She left in the middle of the night, we never heard from her again. She passed away two days later from drug overdose at 3am April 2 2016 at the age of 28.
At her viewing, there was a line of friends and loved ones that extended all the way out the door and around the building. Her facebook page was nonstop for weeks. During the funeral, the mother of the young man who owned the house where she died, came to me crying and shaking uncontrollably. She was there asking us for forgiveness. Her son wasnít the dealer, he was also a user, and had just provided the place to do it. I took her outside and told her that her sonís life depended on her getting him in treatment ASAP. I told her to drag him if she had to. I told her tough love doesnít work here. TOUGH HELP is the only hope he had. Today heís been through treatment, and is living clean.
On the last day of her funeral another girl her age came to me crying. She said she was friends with our daughter and that she too needed help. She was the prettiest young girl with curly blond hair and the most beautiful big blue eyes. I kept asking myself, how are these girls getting involved in this!!! I took her to the Minister that we had asked to come specifically to help anyone who came forward wanting to break the cycle. We later learned that she went that day to the program. A year later I was just thinking about her and how she was looking so much better in the facebook pics of her and her daughter playing. Maybe some good did come from this devastating event I thought.
Today I learned that she had a heroin overdose, and passed away on Easter Sunday.
My point here is to tell you all that this drug is coming to a neighborhood like yours and that it knows no bounds. Itís killing the poor, the prominent, Men, women, children. If you know anyone suffering from addiction, donít be afraid, or too good, to help them. You might just be the one that saves their life.