I used to not care about illegal drugs. If you were free, white and 21, you could do whatever you wanted in the privacy of your own abode. Didn’t matter to me.
Now I hate them. I’ve suffered at their death-dealing hands. Not my physical body, personally. But something personal, just the same…my kid. I’ve lain awake at night scared half to death my son was going to die from an overdose of coke, meth, oxycontin…whatever his drug du jour happened to be. I’ve felt the drenched sheets on his bed from night sweats. I’ve been taken out, down for the count, with worry, fear and guilt.
You might think I’m over-reacting. A worry-wart. I thought so, too. Until the soft edges of my fears were brought into sharp focus by another boy’s death. A 20-year-old kid who OD’d on heroin. He used to play ball with my son.
I sat at his funeral, tears streaming down my face, and remembered cheering on this little chubby boy when he was learning how to pitch. Remembered those junior high boys’ delight in spitting their sunflower seeds all over the dugout.
Some people say marijuana is no big deal. It’s just a plant. Maybe some can use it and be successful, but I haven’t seen any real evidence of this. My son will tell you it was a gateway drug for him.
I personally believe that people who use drugs self-medicate. They may say they use for pleasure, but really, they’re just trying to escape something…fear…anxiety…pain…guilt. Something they either aren’t prepared – or don’t want – to deal with.
I’ve come to the conclusion that drugs are powerful. More powerful than me. They lie. They destroy. And they kill.
I wish I could wipe them off the face of the Earth. But that probably won’t happen before they wipe more kids off my block.