teens and young adults in suburban Dallas have been indicted in a sweeping heroin bust after three young people died of heroin overdoses last year. These are not the kids you would imagine having a heroin problem. They are from a middle to upper middle class bastion of suburbia. It’s a land of six bedroom homes and soccer camps and vacation bible schools. Yet these kids are accused of trading things like guns and sex for drugs. These kids are junkies.
Texas Health Presbyterian chemical dependency expert Dr. Tom Wood is not surprised by this at all. He’s seen quite a surge of well-to-do young people seeking treatment for heroin abuse and addiction. He shares the story of one of his patients, who fell into i.v. heroin addiction by first dabbling with a heroin derivative called “cheese”:
Drug test your 12-year-old? That seems extreme, right? Your 12-year-old is your baby. Plus, you don’t want to damage a relationship that may already be fraying as your child lurches into adolescence. It’s a tough call.
Well, I’ve given you your news, now I’ll share my views.
My brother — gifted, talented, handsome and funny, not unlike your child — is an addict who started drinking and using various drugs when he was 12 or 13. He’s now 40 and a nearly lifelong addict who is in and out of jail and prison. Currently in. There’s your cold water.
Do it because you love your kids. Let them know you love them while you’re doing it. Let them know it’s not that you don’t trust them, but that you don’t trust yourself to be able to see the signs they might need help until they are in real trouble.
Do it randomly. Do it regularly. Do it because Dr. Wood said so.
Do it because this used to be my brother…
I don’t know what he looks like now. I haven’t seen him in years.
I miss him.