Monday, October 5, 2009

My son's life then and now-- CONTINUED TO PART 2

I left off last night with--

April Fool's Day, I remember leaving our home at 5am and picking up my son from his dad's house. His cousin came with us, for moral support. My son was a mess, and he kept popping pills. I prayed the whole way there.

My son was admitted, after his intake. We prayed over him, and we drove away. B spent 30 days in detox. About 10 days into it, my son freaked out when they stopped all meds and the withdrawals really hit. My son was sick, vomiting, diahrrea, panic attacks-- you name it. Still, C and I drove up each Saturday morning to sit through 4 hours of classes on addiction. I didn't know that my son had finally resorted to smoking black tar heroin. He was freebasing, and I didn't even know people did that! I was so naive.

C and I also went to NA and AA meetings and I began to read everything that I could.

My synopsis is getting longer than I had planned. I will try, tomorrow, to finish up the story-- share what my son has told me about the horrible things that have happened to him. He's been robbed, many times. He's overdosed, he tells me. He has relapsed more times than I can count.

Let me fill in some of the stories of my son's addiction. I am hoping that someone who is new to the world of addiction will read this. Many followers of my blog are already familiar with this story-- it might match their own...different names, different gender, different dates:

My son tells me that it was a 16 year old girl who handed my son his first Norco pills. B says that she did this to "impress guys". She stole them from her mother and grandmother. Eventually, that girl started to give B Oxycontin. He was hoooked in no time at all. By the way, B didn't pop them. He snorted them. At the time, I didn't recognize the telltale yellow stain on his white T-shirts. B tells me that comes from rubbing off the time-release coating on the Oxy pills. He would chop them up and snort it. Nice, huh?

B's addiction grew to the point that he was taking 80's (green oxies). I don't remember how much, per day. He tells me that he OD'd several times. His friends seemed to know what to do. I discovered a vial of something. When asked, my son said it was used for overdoses. I forgot the name of
it-- probably because I want to.

In our area, Oxy cost anywhere froom $25-$50.00 per pill. My son resorted to dealing oxy in order to support his habit. Now that I look back, I can see where I missed a lot of signs. B was always at "J's" house. I though the had a crush on her. It turns out she supplied the pills, B sold them and they were partners. I suspect they eventually became lovers, but I don't know for sure. Those are things I don't like to think about.

Let me stop here-- I am speaking to parents who are at the beginning of this stage. I am speaking to parents who think that their son/daughter is a good kid and that they would never do drugs. My son is a good kid! He's a great kid! He's handsome (of course I feel that way), charming, polite and very intelligent. He doesn't look like a drug addict. Still he IS a drug addict.

Oxycontin kills. It's serious stuff. It's an epidemic in this country that is out of control. It's legal, unlike heroin-- if prescribed and used the way it's prescribed. But, it's out of control and doctors prescribe it all too easily.

Parents, if you have painkillers in your house-- lock them up! Count them!
Parents, pay attention to your student's grades. If they begin to plummet, don't ask your kid why? If your kid uses the typical excuse "oh, that's an old grade, I made up the work"-- don't believe them! Contact your studen'ts teacher, and ask THEM why!. Email them. Kids lie. It's just the way it is.

(I'm getting worked up now...bear with me). I have lost count of how many parents say to me (working at a high school) that "my kid doesn't lie". Really? Does your kid have lips? Are they moving? They're lying. I see how these kids behave on campus, when they're parents aren't watching them. I see who they associate with and I think...oh boy. Sure enough, trouble comes. I see parents who are in denial, every single day!

My son's plummeting grades and high attendance problems were loud cries for help. His father simply excused them. I see this where I work all the time, too. While I'm ranting-- what's up with parents who take in their kids' friends because they got kicked out of the house? Hello? Do you believe the kid's sad story, or do you really investigate. Call Child Protective Services, for crying out loud!  Right now, a nice kid is living with his girlfriend-- he's 17 and the girl is 18. Her mom is letting them shack up! The girl is a drug dealer. Mom? Anybody home? Hello?

My son was always on his cellphone. I didn't allow it at the dinner table. I hated that stupid cellphone, but his father paid for it. Parents, if you are paying their cellphone bill take a look at the statement. Had I looked my son's cellphone, I would have seen over 100 names in it. These were B's customers. I hate text messaging. I really do. What happened to a real conversation? Kids text for drugs all the time. Read the texts! Learn how! Parents, if you suspect your kid could be using drugs, then disconnect the text messaging. I didn't have text messaging as a kid!

Another sign-- my son always had nice clothes. Lots of CDs. He had video games and he was eating in places I couldn't afford. B always had a lame excuse-- that he traded in his games for new ones. That his dad bought him shoes...that a friend gave him his new brand name shirts. My son made THOUSANDS of dollars dealing drugs. He has nothing to show for it.

My son says that a friend introduced him to smoking heroin. Oxy was too expensive for him, and heroin is cheaper to buy. B quit selling oxycontin because the police had him on their radar. It's a miracle that B never got busted. He got pulled over, several times. He got searched. But the police never found his stash. B says he had dozens of oxy pills in his possession when he got pulled over. He'd probably still be in jail, by now. B said it scared him so bad that he got out of the business.

He says that he liked smoking heroin from the first time he smoked it. There aren't any telltale signs. Not really. Sure, my son got skinny but he's always been tall and lean. I noticed that my son couldn't sleep at night, so his father got him prescription sleeping pills. My son started having panic attacks, so his dad got him klonopin. My son was, literally, a zombie.

With that came lots of drama. I will continue with that tomorrow.

Today, my heart goes out to parents and loved ones who are so new to this.
Please, learn about oxycontin! Please. I have links on my blog. Take it seriously. Please, parents, find a support group in your area. Talk to other parents. Look at links on my blog and visit other bloggers. Follow their links...the path will lead you to people who have been there, done that and are still doing it.

I'm so thankful that I was prompted (I believe, by God) to start my own blog. It first started out as a way to keep my family updated on my son's progress. Now, this is beginning to evolve in my ministry.

Yes, I am a Christian. I'm not perfect. I'm just a believer and follower in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus.. If you aren't, I still care about you. Addiction takes hostages of all socio-economic and religions or non-religions. Addiction steals our loved ones soul and they are fighting a battle that has a very strong opponent.

Parents, please educate yourself. B's father never did take the time to attend classes, let alone an NA meeting. I'm not an expert, by any means. I read and I GOOGLE as much as I can.

I know this-- my son and I have restored our relationship. I think that I finally got the message to be a "safe place" for him to come to. That is, I have learned to listen to my son's stories. They horrify me, and they break my heart. Still, my son isn't asking me for answers, most of the time. He is pouring out his heart to me, and I can only listen and pray for him. I try and give advice, but a little at a time and in 10 seconds or less. Otherwise, he'll tune me out. No lectures. Kids hate it. Watch your tone of voice. I have had to work on that. I try to keep compassion in my voice. If B senses I'm angry, he tunes me out.

Part 3-- Tales of horror from my son on gangs, robberies, overdosing and all the horrible drama that comes with addiction.  Tomorrow...

Still-- I cannot blame myself. Yes, I missed things but that's in the past. If I can reach ONE parent's heart today...tomorrow... in the future...then I am paying forward the blessings and protect that God has given me.

I must go now. It's the end of my lunch. I have typed this in the HS library, surrounded by lots of kids. Forgive any typos, grammatical mistakes. No time to proof-- and I am hitting SEND with love and prayers.


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Every now and then I read a post that is "MUST READ!" for EVERY parent out there! I heard the first story like ours (yours, mine, all the others we know) when I was sitting in a meeting for parents of kids in a Drug Diversion Program because Keven got busted for drinking at age 15 and I was TOTALLY NAIVE. I thought how sad for those parents whose kids did hard drugs and was glad that my kid was "not dumb enough to try them". I am going to link here. What your wrote is long overdue and needs to be broadcast to ALL PARENTS who think their kids don't lie or are "above" this type of behavior or that it will "never happen to my kid". Thank you Debby.

Cheri said...

Debby, Barbara, you are so right on with this information. So many parents are deluded into thinking that their precious babies would never do "those" things. Wake up! That's all I have to say. Wake up!

I was one of those parents, and I had two sons do "those" things. Both those boys were brought up in Christian homes; they went to church; we taught them to say no to drugs and premarital sex. We did miss things as parents, but we also took our job seriously and tried to do it right. If we must be condemned, it would be the condemnation of being naive. Again I say, "Wake up!"

Debby, you certainly do have a ministry here, and God will bless your honesty and transparency as you share your story and help other parents to deal with tough issues. Wayne and I are praying for your outreach and your strength.

Every single thing you have shared here I can attest to from my own experience:

1) Lock up the pain killers. My son got his first taste of oxycontin from a friend who had his wisdom teeth pulled and shared his meds! Later, when all was out in the open, he admitted to buying them on the street just as Debby described.

2) Watch their academic performance. We homeschooled. Yes, it can happen to homeschoolers too! My son was always a good student with little effort. But the signs came when he stopped showing his work on the math problems and in physics. Where did you do the work. "Oh, I can do that stuff in my head." Actually, he was stealing my teacher's manuals and cheating. How'd that happen? Again, I say, "Please wake up."

3) Cell phones and texting, say no more. Late night walks to talk on the cell phone outside, because of poor reception in the house. Why not use the land line/house phone? Well, because Mom might intercept or overhear a call she's not supposed to hear.

4)Unexplained video games, clothes, possessions... my son worked at EB Games for a time and had me believing that he traded in old game systems and games for brand new ones. And though he worked (many different jobs because he couldn't keep one single one), he never had any money. Never. How many thousands of dollars did he waste on drugs? I have no idea. And then he stole money; got held at gunpoint one night by someone who wanted his money back.

5) And parents who take in other people's children without ever thinking to call and talk to the other parents first. Don't even get me started. Where do you think our oldest went when he left in the middle of the night? And when we called to discuss the situation with him, his girlfriend intercepted our calls. When we asked to speak with her parents, who took him in, she refused.

But I must thank you for sharing how God has helped you to restore relationship with your son. He has done the same for us and our two sons. Again, He is faithful.

Sorry for writing a book,
Cheri and Wayne