Chesterton Tribune

Drugs' toll: Another mother's story

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By KEVIN NEVERS

As the Chesterton Town Council continues to pursue its anti-drug campaign, a new awareness of the severity of the drug problem appears to have been reached in Duneland and a new willingness among the parents of addicts to discuss their nightmare has emerged.

One mother, the wife of a law enforcement officer in Porter County, agreed to provide the Chesterton Tribune with her own story on the condition of anonymity.

Since she wrote this account, her son has entered a rehab facility under court order.

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On July 30, 2003, I heard the worst news of my life at the time: I am the mother of a heroin addict.

This was a child who hated the sight of a needle, and it would sometimes take six people to hold him down for a lab test.

On Aug. 1, 2003, the day of my deceased fatherís birthday, my son signed himself out of the hospital against medical advice. I ran away from the hospital and from my son, heartbroken and hysterical. My response to this was what did I do that was so wrong as a parent to turn my baby into a heroin addict?

Then I became very angry, I changed our phone number, and I had no contact with him.

On Aug. 15, 2003, he was arrested and spent five months in jail. At this point I knew he would be safe and away from heroin. But I still didnít speak with him. His older sister would speak with him and relay messages, though I pretended I didnít care that it was breaking my heart. I sent him a card letting him know that his Dad and I loved him very much. But I was not ready to talk or see him.

One day I gave in and went to see him at the jail. I could not touch him or smell his hair.

All I could do was talk into a phone and look at a screen. It was a very sad experience, but Iím glad I went and I started going as often as I could.

I also attended his court dates, so that I knew what was going on. His younger sister would drive in from Chicago on her only day off to see him and also attend his court dates.

On Jan. 9, 2004, he was released from jail. His Dad and I let him back into the family home. We had the no-contact list of people he had hung around with previously and who knew he was addicted, even his girlfriend at the time.

Granted some of these people didnít do heroin, but they didnít come to us and tell us that he had a serious problem and needed help. Maybe someday I will forgive these people.

I hope the Lord has forgiven the one who stuck the needle in his arm for the first time. That person has passed on from his own addiction problem.

I really thought we had a handle on the addiction. We made sure he was making the appointments and meetings, filling out job applications. We were so happy for him and so scared for him all at the same time.

Then it started all over again, three short weeks out of jail. The first time I tried very hard to convince myself that no, heís not stoned, heís just tired. Then my medication was gone and so was he. He had to ring the doorbell to get in. We had bolt-locked the front door and made sure everything was locked. I waited until the next day to confront him, and of course he continued to deny that he took anything.

The first thing the following morning I called his probation officer and even though everyone was aware of what he was doing, he still continued to stick that damn needle in his arm. Since the meeting with his probation officer, she has put long hours into getting him into a drug rehab center.

As of March 14, 2004, he is now back in jail for revocation of probation. So as of now his Dad and I know that he is once again safe and will be alive awhile longer.

He states that he wants to go to drug rehab. But I truly do not believe that he is ready to be clean. This feeling comes from listening to what he has said during a visit and a phone conversation. I know that he is going through withdrawal again and is pissed off because heís in jail.

I am begging every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and sibling to get involved to put a stop once and for all to this Devil Drug that is killing our children.

Our police departments and drug task unit canít do this without our help. Start the steps now to tell your children about these horrible drugs. Turn your child in to the police or get them to a rehab facility.

 

Posted 4/9/2004