COLUMN/OPINION: The Little Girl Next Door Is a Drug Slave
I watched her grow into a cheerleader in sports and a junior high volleyball player. I remember her dressed in yellow for her prom as a sophomore.
I saw her the other day with a man close to my middle-age. She was on a date. She was eating dinner and staring into his eyes. I said hello. Her eyes were hollow. I could tell she was stoned.
Her parents have shared the forbidden secret with me. They want me to tell the story, confidential of course, but they want it to be a cautionary tale. They want to help others.
Their daughter had trouble adjusting to high school. She, who we will call Tia (not her real name), was pretty and friendly but , like most teenagers, had an unexplainable inferiority complex. She just never quite understood how special she was. That self-doubt and willing to fit in was later used against her.
She snuck away using old tricks like spending the night with friends and sneaking out. Her parents wanted to be trusting and did not want to isolate her from the world. It was their belief that by being too strict made the forbidden fruit that much more inviting.
Her family was middle class. Tia was running around with kids from 'good families'. Most of her friends were middle class and some came from affluent families. She started drinking at parties at age 15. Her parents later found out and although they were not approving they did not get too upset because they had drank at that age and 'they turned out okay.' They thought if they made a big fuss out of it it would just drive her underground.
She slowly started going through the gates. Those gates began with alcohol. By 17, she was smoking pot. she knocked on the gates of painkillers like Percocet and Loratab around 18. It didn't take long until daring and excitement led her to Oxycontin. Maybe her parents had a hint but were in denial. I'm not sure.
Tia was running with popular kids and kids with 'money.' These were the types of kids that one would think would not do these types of think but if you think about it, they were the only types of kids that had access to the kind of money that painkillers demand.
Tia dropped out of high school and moved out from her parents. Slowly, the only friends that she saw on a regular basis were those who did the same drugs as her. She started picking up other friends. These friends were lower class kids.
Tia knocked on the Gates of Heroin. Heroin opened and thus, the chains became locked. Tia started stealing and hustling. she was spotted walking 6th Avenue where hookers walk. She began dealing with others including Detroit drug dealers to get the drugs she couldn't afford otherwise.
Tia survived and has survived without working. Her mindset seems to be 'why bust your ass for $200 a week when she can hustle that up in a day?" Sadly, she did not seem to realize what she was doing. As people became weary of her hustling and her game, the money began to dry up. She resorted to ripping people off in bad drug deals and stealing from dealers. She also lived in an apartment that was rented in her name by Detroit drug dealers. Her family tried to help. They were still partially in denial and due to hard economic times were limited to how much they could help financially.
she was no longer doing things kids her age did. She was not going to college, or college football games, or even parties. Her day involved satisfying her master- Master Heroin. Master Heroin who dictates his orders through a needle and syringe.
She wrecked a couple cars and racked up 3 DUI's. She lost lifelong friends. She was just a slave. Her days occupied with actions to please her master. Wake up. Hustle. Do whatever she could to find the money to please Master Heroin.
The chains are tighter and tighter. The chains are dragging her heart down. She watches her old friends with envy has they marry, have kids, graduate college, and buy houses. She buys Heroin. She pleases Master Heroin. She is a slave.
She said she never thought she would get hooked. After all, no one says they want to be a drug addict when they grow up. No one dreams of being a junkie or a slave.
These drugs are so powerful that they over whelm the young before they realize it. They go from wading to drowning in an instant. Tia is drowning but she is still alive. The chains of Heroin are pulling her down in shallow water.
Her parents are trying to help. She is not covered by insurance as she is 21 and does not work. She does not have a medical card. Her parents tried to get her in rehab. She is having seizures that are no doubt caused by the drug. She had four seizures in aday a few weeks ago. She was admitted to ICU but left when she got drug sick. Her parents tried to sign a mental health higene warrant on her but the judge refused.
She was willing to go to rehab but River Park was wanting $1800 a day. Most rehabs did not want her because of the seizures.
So she is still drowning. Someone gives her a fifty or so to keep her above water but that just makes the chains heavier. She has two main problems. One is getting the money to buy the drugs, the other problem is when she does get the money she just feeds the habit and the chains get heavier.
She's a slave those she does not wear chains. The chains are around her heart. They are not held by a lock but by a needle. The chains are the chains of Heroin addiction.
(The author has verified that the individuals about which he writes are real.)