When you get to a certain age in life it’s not an uncommon event to have someone close to you pass away. And in some circles, it is not uncommon to have someone close to you pass away from drugs. I have lost four friends to heroin overdoses. It is the only thing I’ve ever lost a friend to. Not car crashes, not suicide, not even risky backwoods stunts. Just heroin. This drug has taken the love of my young and talented friends away from their families and placed them into cold cemeteries. This drug has affected my life in such terrible ways that even hearing, seeing, saying or even typing the word “heroin” right now has become like an arresting icy trigger to my physical being. The thought of even a perfect stranger using this drug breaks my heart.
I recently found out from a friend that one of our mutual friends is using right now. I never would have considered he would fall into such a trap. Denial. “You’re smarter than this” mentality kicks in. Anger. I instantly and aggressively insisted that we do something right now. What’s the plan? What are we going to do? Is our friend alone right now? Someone needs to go to _______, you can’t leave _______ alone. Why is no one doing anything? We have to go right now. Right now. Right now. I brought myself to such a state of panic I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stand to loose another friend to this. It felt like _______ was dying in my arms and no one could help me save _______. My friend calmed me down saying that they had a plan. They are going to stage an intervention. That the plan was in motion and not to worry, which soothed next to nothing but I would have to place my trust. in. this. plan.
Every minute that passes, I feel is time lost. Every second that passes, I feel is a second closer to ______ ‘s grave. Since I’ve never had a friend in recovery from heroin, I didn’t see an end to this kind of drug abuse. I’ve never seen a solution, only death. In my mind there is no experimenting with heroin, this drug will only kill. That’s why when I was alerted to my friend’s battle, I became obsessed with getting ______ clean. I began researching like never before on drug abuse, ways to stage an intervention, medications for assisting with withdrawals from narcotics, stories upon stories from people that have suffered through this darkness themselves or have experienced the scene of it’s damaging hand on their friends and loved ones. The more I exposed and educated myself to all sides of drug abuse, I began to feel more in control over my own trauma as well as feeling like I could be an asset in this situation. In the short amount of days since I’ve heard this news, I know in my mind now that there are options, people can recover and never look back. But they seldom can do it alone. No matter what you do or who you are in this world, you are not meant to walk alone. When it comes to drug abuse there are local crisis clinics you can contact. There are anonymous 1-800 numbers you can call if you are in a mental state where you think you might turn to drugs. They are on the other end of the line for advice, an attentive ear, for support. Reach out to your community or even religious counsel, there are so many open hearts willing to help.
I intend on being there for my friend in any and all ways possible to ensure they know they are loved without judgment and supported. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse find support in your community, it is there. Educate yourself upon the issue. There are no simple solutions, it is a highly complicated and sensitive subject. Please reach out and know that you’re not alone.
Washington Recovery Help line: 206-461-3219
Teen Link: 866-TEENLINK
Seattle/King County Crisis Clinic: 206-461-3222
Narcotics Anonymous: 206-790-8888