Hate is an awful word, but I really HATE heroin.

Hate is an awful word, but I really HATE heroin.

And I’ve never even used it, but I’ve loved many people who have. Addiction has such a large ripple effect, the collateral damage is immense. I’ve watched many break free, but yet again, heroin is holding another person I love hostage. And this is absolutely devastating, not only for myself but for our whole family. Having been through this before, I’ve come to understand the process of recovery and all of the heartache it entails, however others in my family don’t necessarily have that luxury.

The roller coaster ride of emotions is unbelievable, the pain is unimaginable. Yet the world expects us to go on like nothing has happened. As a parent, a sister or brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, you pray for your families happiness and health. Parents usually pray that their children will do all the right things. They make sure their children are fed, clothed, loved and protected, but no one ever tells us about the one predator that is more silent then all the others. The one that can take a child’s life from you without you even knowing it — the disease of addiction.  It creeps into your life and destroys your entire family and leaves you with pain and loss.

I have no doubt that you hated every day you were using drugs. I can see how your life was out of control, spiraling into a pit of hurt and despair. You became so lost that the helping hands of others could not even be grasped. It was a time in your life where the scales are not balanced-you were working so hard to survive but everyone was saying, no.  There were so many frustrations.  But can I just say, there is one place where no one will say no. There is one life that will accept you. The life of drug use that you have known over the past several months. That is the easy path to take. But the pain WILL fade. Your old life must die. I’m sure you don’t doubt you are powerless over the drug necessarily. Each day you will want to use just once more. You will become stronger each time you choose to steer away from that dangerous turn at the fork in the road. It may be hard to see, I understand…because the path to recovery is difficult. And I also understand that societies bitter attitudes and opinions about being a “heroin addict” hurts-a lot. They create the stigma that people in addiction don’t deserve compassion or treatment. But there’s no need to keep this a secret. You deserve to get back what was once yours.

THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT HEROIN ADDICTION THAT SHOULD BE KEPT PRIVATE.

It is a terrible disease. Why should we keep secret a loved one who is seeking help?  So they wont be judged if they pull through this awful illness? Are we protecting them or our own reputation and fear of judgement? On numerous occasions I have come close to losing someone I know or love because of this horrible drug. Heroin addictions are epidemic. If you live through this as a loved one, or especially if you were an addict who found your way through, you are a survivor. Let people know how hard it is to love people through this ordeal. Make them understand they are not alone.

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