Conversations with Former Drug Users - Educate Your Kids and Yourselves
This post is for everyone - but especially for parents of younger kids. Its a sad ugly truth that your children will most likely be offered drugs at some point in their young lives.
Please stick around and PLEASE share my blog with anyone you know that has kids, has lost a child to overdose or suicide, who wants to be informed, who needs some love and support through their drug use. I have some great interviews planned, starting with the 3 below.
I was aware of this fact when my son was young, but I had no idea at that time heroin and meth would be the drugs of the day. In my teens it was pot, cocaine and LSD - not saying they're any better, but definitely less dangerous. I was able to stop using when I made up my mind that my partying days were over and it was time to be an adult (I was 25).
In today's world fentanyl is the biggest danger out there. I've written about it here, but to recap - you can die from one use and the thing is: YOU DON'T KNOW YOU'RE TAKING IT because its hidden in pills and sold as various other drugs like Oxy or ecstasy or whatever.
These three people were happy to answer some questions to hopefully help today's teens & Tweens to think twice before trying any pills or drugs.
Female, Age 26
I first started drinking alcohol when I was around 11 or 12. After about year I started weed and a bit later ecstasy. I would do coke if it was around. There were a few years of just partying before I got into meth
I partied all through high school . After that most of my friends had started using meth, unfortunately I followed the crowd. Meth became my drug of choice. I just got hooked one day and didn't even see it coming. The drug didn’t even get me high the first handful of times but I just kept trying then one day I noticed it was the center of everything I did. I lost control.
Fortunately, I’ve never been arrested. I suffer from both depression and anxiety. I’ve never been to rehab, I was able to stop on my own several times. I have attended meetings and read some of the Big Book, it has helped at times but I never actually worked the steps.
What helped me to stop using was changing things about my day to day life and really focusing on all the negatives that the lifestyle of using meth has put me through! I won’t lie, I had some of my best memories high, but also, all my worst memories come from being high or because of drugs.
I choose myself! At first I moved away to get started fresh and figure out what friends would no longer be in my company anymore. I make the choice everyday to do something different because I believe the future I want won’t happen on drugs. Right now I am getting on my feet so I can get what I want out of this life! I want to do so much!
I honestly tell teenagers I’ve worked with that they should wait until they’re brains are fully developed before they make a decision to use drugs because. Drug use can affect brain development. I tell them to make sure to never make drugs a habit, have goals and other things you enjoy doing!
I am very fortunate to have had experiences that made me HATE opiates! I have always suffered with pain but knew not to do pain killers for some reason, Then one day I had many many reasons not to. Those reasons started to become lost loved ones and I just promised myself I would never. I am thankful for the friendships I’ve built through the losses (like Barbara) cause they definitely help me keep that promise.
My family is very supportive of a bright clean future for me!
I was 14 when I first used heavy drugs. I used them for recreational use really, I mean shit I was 14 lol. I used heroin for a little while. Used ecstasy real heavy with friends. Smoked weed. Ya know, stupid shit that California teenagers do lol.
When I was 17 I started using meth and used it for I guess 5.5 years. Smoking, snorting, shooting, terrible shit. I am however one of the fortunate ones that didn't ever get arrested or serve time. I did when I was a juvenile but nothing to do with drugs. Now I've been in cuffs but never read my rights and brought to jail. I do have anxiety, in my opinion and my gut stems from the heavy amount of drugs I've used in my life. Lack of sleep for days and weeks at a time. Your body takes a huge hit over time.
At the time, my mom didn't know anything. I'm sure she suspected things but wasn't 100 percent so she never confronted me. She found my drugs one day and my dope pipe, and saw her son dying. She's always been supportive of me. I'm the only boy after all. I've never been to rehab, in my opinion rehab works for some and doesn't at all for others, makes the addiction that much worse honestly.
What helped me was willpower and honestly a way out. I had a way out and I took it. What keeps me from using and has kept me from using are my 2 little boys, they're my world. No drug will ever have as much pull on me as my children do. I'm working in construction now, and have been for quite some time. I'm 6.5 years clean off drugs. I do smoke weed, but that's not what we're talking about here.
What would you tell a teenager to prevent them from trying drugs?
You know something, I ask myself this question all the time honestly. Having 2 kids, boys at that. I would tell them that I understand the want and the desire to use drugs, cause let's be real, everyone in the world has had a chance to use drugs at some point in their lives.
The aftermath is what is the most damaging. It doesn't just destroy your body, it destroys your soul as well. I've lost more friends in my life in the last 15 years, than most people do in their lives. It's not worth it. It could be you that ends up in the ground, or you burying your best friend. I promise that the hype of drugs isn't all that it's cracked up to be. It kills people everyday. Thousands die, for what?? A little exhilaration? A quick high that you hunt for? It's not worth it. It will kill you, if not physically then mentally. I'm gonna leave it at that.
I was roughly 12-13 years old when I started smoking pot. I was new in town and the friends I met at school smoked pot. I quickly moved on to other drugs. My favorite eventually became opiates, but meth and benzodiazepines were also part of my regular routine. I used for 4-5 years.
I’ve been arrested 5 times and have 8 felonies and 7 misdemeanors.
Currently I take medication for depression.
My family tried their best to be supportive, but eventually most gave up. They did however come around when I got sober and I am lucky to have them by my side now.
I’ve been to rehab once and it probably could have helped me but I wasn't ready and I left about 5 days in. The Twelve Steps helped but in the end it was the church that saved me. Hands down, God saved me. Also the support of family and friends. It took a long time to get my head on straight but they meant everything.
An NA program, church, and a will to never be sick and tired of being sick and tired! It took coming to terms with the wrong I did and forgiving myself and allowing myself to heal from the trauma I caused not only to myself but to my family and loved ones.
I celebrated 7 years sober August 25th 2021! I work in the energy industry and have become rather successful. I applied for a pardon from the governor of California and it is looking hopeful that it will go through. I spend most of my time working these days, but when I am free you can usually catch me at church or a church group or on vacation. I am truly blessed, and don't get that statement wrong, I have worked so hard and hit so many obstacles to get where I am today. Ultimately though it is the mercy and love of God that I am where I am today.
What would you say to a teenager to persuade them not to use drugs:
I would tell them that using drugs is stealing from your future. That addiction will destroy everything you hold dear and there is no guarantee that you will get any of it back. In fact, it is more likely that you will not. It is a slow fade and by the time you realize something is terribly wrong it is too late and the damage has already been done and you feel there is no turning back. This is a LIE - you are never too far gone to be loved and love yourself, never lose hope and faith for a better tomorrow and always remember there is someone praying that you overcome.
Wherever this questionnaire is going may God bless it and save lives from the chains of addiction! It is my opinion that we must as a united people fight against drugs and the crime that comes along with them. Too many mothers and fathers have had to bury their children because of drugs, whether it be from overdose or violence associated with criminal activity. Too many times I've received that dreaded phone call as many others have. I destroyed my life before I hit 20 years old and it's taken 7 years to get enough pieces back together to have something to be proud of.
Thank you for putting this together, I hope you are successful in saving lives and families with this. God bless you and your family.