How easily so much senseless tragedy could have all been avoided.
That was the day a piece of my heart died. I have a
big gaping hole and the pain is so horrible I don’t know how
I will get out of bed or get through the day. You spend hours
thinking about the “what if ’s” and feeling guilty. Why couldn’t
I save my daughter, why couldn’t I help her? She had all of the
tools: a loving family, a good education, information about
drugs and its dangers, but it was not enough. She had an illness
that was just too hard to overcome.
The more I reach out to find support from parents
like me, the more I learn just how widespread a problem drug
addiction is. If telling Jennifer’s story can open the eyes of just
one teen to its dangers, then Jennifer is still here, that bright
--From the story of Jennifer Lee, as written by her mother--just one of the many stories of people who have died from drugs at the website "A Vigil for Lost Promises
Ryan was knowledgeable
about addictions and alcoholism.
He grew up knowing his father
preferred a beer can to him, his
brother and sister.
Ryan tried so hard, over
and over and over, to overcome
his increasing drug use. He sought
treatment on more than one occasion.
In May of 2004 when Ryan
was in the hospital from a pill and
alcohol overdose, he solemnly
promised me that if could not beat his problem, “this time”,
that he would go into long term treatment. ...
--From the story of Ryan Untz, who died at the age of 19, at the same website.
For some, no amount of youthful experimentation with drugs or alcohol goes unpunished, and they and their innocent families end up paying the ultimate price
. For some, complete knowledge of the ways of addiction is not enough to save them from addiction (and from the trap addition leads to: death, insanity, or prison). For many, the first drink or pill is all it takes to eventually bring on the ultimate loss, though it never seems that way in the beginning. When one's friends are doing "harmless" drugs without apparent consequences and society deems it a "rite of passage" to adulthood, why should young people be worried? Then when they begin to worry, it is too late.
Only complete abstinence assures
an avoidance of addiction. As Dirty Harry said, "How lucky do you feel, punk?" Those with addictive family genetics should feel very unlucky--unlucky enough to claim abstinence as a self-preserving lifestyle, even in the face of society's scorn, lack of understanding, and denial of the realities of addiction.
Nobody deserves the kind of pain addiction brings to its victims and their loved ones, and yet, generation after generation refuses to learn how to avoid the vicious epidemic. In fact, so many people don't even recognize the epidemic, until it is too late.
At this time of year of commencements and graduations, it is a happy thing to realize all the promise our young people have and show for the future--and it is an agonizing realization that some of them will or have already lost their promise, if and when they succumb to illegal or prescription drugs and/or alcohol as they try to step up into a life of adult responsibilities and decisions with life and death consequences.
Be careful out there, you beautiful young people. You have so much going for you, and so much to live for. So much ahead of you you don't even know. And so much to lose before you even get started.
In a related vein: College life, fraternities, sororities, hazing, binge drinking, and alcohol abuse, as dealt with in the new movie, "Haze." You can watch it here
. Is it enough to tell people who think they are immortal, smart, wise, and untouchable, that life is more fragile and precious than they think?
Labels: addiction, alcohol, drugs, youth