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The Stories We Don’t Talk About With Heroin Addiction

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Editor's Note

If you or a loved one is affected by addiction, the following post could be triggering. You can contact SAMHSA’s hotline at 1-800-662-4357.

This story has been published with permission from the author’s son.

I have read comments about addiction, and I keep my mouth closed. I see uninformed posts regarding Narcan, and I keep my mouth closed. I hear people say “all drug dealers should be sentenced to death,” and I keep my mouth closed. I see horrible comments like “natural selection” and “let them weed each other out,” and I keep my mouth closed. I’m not sure who people picture when they think of “heroin addicts,” so, I’d like to introduce you to mine.

My heroin addict weighed 7 pounds when he was born.

My heroin addict collected hockey cards and memorized all of the players’ names when he was 5 years old.

My heroin addict cried because his dad missed his 7th birthday.

My heroin addict held his baby sister for the first time and was in awe.

My heroin addict played 2nd base in the Little League World Series. Twice.

My heroin addict broke up with a girl in middle school and was so concerned about her that he had me call her.

My heroin addict took his little sister to the father/daughter dance because her dad was out of town.

My heroin addict threatened to beat up a kid bigger than him for picking on his sister.

My heroin addict always noticed if I changed my hair.

My heroin addict was reading at a high school level in 2nd grade.

My heroin addict cried because he was homesick while on vacation with his cousin.

My heroin addict believes in aliens and ghosts, and I think that’s awesome.

My heroin addict never hangs up the phone without telling me he loves me. Never.

My heroin addict has a 2-year-old daughter that looks a lot like him.

My heroin addict thanks me with tears in his eyes when I visit him in jail.

My heroin addict apologizes when he can’t control his addiction.

My heroin addict fights so freaking hard to stay clean.

My heroin addict is loved by so many people.

So, maybe we should all remember, whatever state they’re in today, there is a mom somewhere, with knees bleeding from prayers, that just wants her baby back. Instead of judging, we say a prayer. We become a bit more educated and help raise funds to help recovery facilities become more successful. Perhaps we contact our lawmakers and request more useful laws concerning addiction, concerning rehab facilities and concerning what happens when they are incarcerated.

We are losing an entire generation to this horrible disease. Maybe we use compassion instead of disdain.

Maybe we try to remember that every “heroin addict” is someone’s child.

This story originally appeared on Medium.

Getty image via Jorm Sangsorn.

Originally published: January 11, 2020
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