Not Talking about Plums, Just Drugs

Have you ever heard of William Carlos Williams?
I mean what kind of a name is that anyway?
A fun one I suppose…

red plum fruits on round brown wooden plate

I had not heard about him until his poem became a prompt for the writing group I attend. The assignment was to mimic his style and write a This is Just to Say poem; Here is what I wrote, but I warn you, it is not very fun.

This is just to say…
I went in your room while you were gone and I cleared up all the dirty dishes and moldy food scraps, I gathered your smelly clothes, and made your bed ‘just so’ because I was searching for whatever it is you were hiding and I found it and I threw it out.
You know what it was I am sure,
…Forgive me, but I love you too much and hate what you are doing.

Yup.
Here I am to talk about something not very fun: being the parent of a child who became addicted to drugs, right under my nose. TODAY, marks 9 months since my son died of an overdose.

Practically speaking, this is my creative hook to share with you fellow-parents some items you might be seeing, or items to look for, if you suspect at all that your son or daughter may be into stuff he/she should not be into. I list them in a rough order of how I found these things in my son’s bedroom and in my home, honestly, the timeline is now blurred.

  • Lighters and matches
  • Little plastic Baggies, in pockets, in the laundry, crumpled on the floor
  • Razor blades
  • Pens, with the innards taken out of them
  • Straws cut short
  • Cigar innards
  • Weed seeds, weed leaf flakes – it’s not oregano
  • small butt ends of joints
  • Glass or metal pipes, bowls, and contraptions in parts
  • My kitchen box of Baking soda
  • Ziplocs with white residue
  • Foil scraps, and even my foil tube
  • A large propane lighter
  • Sticky-gummy stuff on the night stand
  • Burn marks on the quilt
  • Funny looking tiny papers w/ little cartoon prints
  • Spoons gone missing, found in the bedroom with soot and burn marks on the backside
  • Random colored pills with random letters and numbers, in a Ziploc baggie
  • Tiny vile bottles, unlabeled, with some kind of oil in them
  • Stuff on wax or parchment paper that looks like someone melted a lollipop on it – only it’s a golden brown color and smells bad

809

I did not find them all at once…
It was one item here and there, at weeks or month intervals between times at first…
I dismissed the oddity and believed the excuses from my son, when I asked him about the items:

we use the lighters at work”… “it’s my buddy’s, not mine”….

Repetitive finds began building and then multiple items were found at a time as I went in to clean his room A.K.A. –  compulsively and obsessively search his room, daily after he left the house for work.
Suspicions became confrontations….but by then, it was too late, because I had been too naïve and too afraid to bring it out into the open much sooner; Ignorance never pays.
So…
Once again -the purpose of this post is to alert you and other fellow parents what to look out for – and if you spot one or two of these items – do not think:

Oh, not my child…”
“Every kid experiments, it’s not that bad, I know his friends…”

Remember Parents: Knowledge is Power.

And that doesn’t just apply to our kids.

 

“But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,….” Ephesians 5:13

When it becomes visible and known, then a parent can deal with it and perhaps save their kid before it’s too late. Don’t be afraid to look…

 

Where the Drug Deals Go Down…

I always assumed the drug deals to go down in a dark alley, a shady neighborhood, in a rundown complex, and of course, in the big cities.

But I was wrong, in part.

Sure – some of them do certainly happen in those places… but there’s a lot that do not.

I never knew, until after my son overdosed and we had a look at his phone.

Two years prior to his death, he was introduced to his first substance by another athlete at school; typical, and hey – experimentation in high school has been going on for years and years – not one generation has been able to avoid it; sad, but true.

Two years after that first introduction, was another story.

Where the drug deals go down may surprise you… it did me; I was angered when I found out.

“How did I not see?”

thRCO12E63Like an innocent sheep with the wool pulled over my eyes… I was dumb, unaware, and never saw the wolves at my back door – literally.

Cars would pull up alongside the driveway for a few minutes every so often, every few – 5 days or so, and when we asked, “Who was that?” My son would say, “Just a friend who stopped by to say Hi!” And we believed him, oh so naïve.

Exchanges on the bike trails… Oh wait!  I had seen my son’s car sitting there in the  parking lot several times before, odd afternoons and early evenings – and he said, “I was just chillin”  – meeting up with “some friends”… and I believed him, oh so naïve.

The friend card  –  (*sigh*)  – we all want our kids to have friends, so we don’t question too much, and we give them space (assuming that all the friends are good friends) … and we relax when they are just chillin’ with a friend… at least I did, oh so naïve.

Little did I know… there were deals being made, and drops going on…

in the mailbox,

in the woods,

by the dumpster…

just yards and a few miles away from home, oh so naïve.

Parents:

Where the drug deals go down (?) is right in your backyards, in your neighborhoods, and on your sport teams in your idyllic little towns; the wolves are at your back door… literally.

Post my son’s death, one source told me, “Oh, I had people drop right at the front door while my parents where watching T.V. – they never suspected a thing!”

My only point to this post today is DON’T BE NAIVE my fellow parents!

My hindsight is 20/20, just as the saying goes.

Parents:

Take note when your kids’ friends “stop by” in a habitual manner, every so often, and don’t stay very long at the end of your driveways, in parking lots, or alongside your house, or your neighbors house. Take note when your son or daughter often slips out of the house for a few minutes for no apparent reason, no matter the time of day. Note the patterns, question the nonchalant-ness, know who these friends are…

Trust me:

You don’t want to be caught unaware, where the drug deals go down.