Source: NorthFulton.com

N. Fulton parent shares pain of child’s drug addiction

May 20, 2013

I am the parent of a drug addict. I live in Johns Creek. You may be the parent of a drug addict too, but not know it yet.

I did not know it until it was painfully obvious. Then, the rest of my family did not believe it until I proved it to them.

I am likely just like you. I make six figures, live in a nice house with a nice yard, more than two cars in the garage and driveway. I eat at the same restaurants as you do. I attend your church, shop at Kroger and Publix, get coffee at Starbucks. I take nice vacations, socialize with many of you and go see Eagles whenever they play at Verizon Amphitheatre.

So why did my kid become a drug addict? I don’t know. My other kids did not. What I do know (now) is that there is a surprising multitude of parents of drug addicts in Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell and Milton.

I see them every week at the various Al-Anon and similar meetings in this area. All are in distress. I was shocked when I saw how many parents are involved. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), Al-Anon is the support group for families of alcoholics and drug addicts.

The drug of choice in the high school and college age group is HEROIN. Surprised? I was. When I first suspected my kid was on drugs, I thought it might be Adderall (a stimulate) abuse. Ha! When we were in high school, only the hard-core, drugged-out hippies did heroin.

Now, heroin is cheap – only $5. Compared to a $70-$80 oxy (kids call them “roxies”), you can see why they opt for heroin. And it is plentiful, very plentiful.

Even in these wonderful schools our kids attend. And they (the addicts) say it produces a fabulous high. Heroin is unbelievably addictive. The only thing worse is meth. Try them once and you are hooked.

Did you know that there is a Heroin Anonymous meeting every Sunday night that draws over 80 people, mostly young, in Roswell? I did not, but I do now. That is probably a lot more than attend your Sunday School class.

So my advice to you parents who are not parents of drug addicts – or don’t yet know that you are – is to learn, I mean really study and learn, about these drugs and their effect on your kid’s brains, which is immediate.

You need to learn what the indications are that your kid is on drugs. I thought I’d recognize it easily. I did not. No one in my family did. Maybe it was because of the blinders that all parents wear so they don’t really see what their kid is really doing.

And if you discover your kid is on drugs, take action immediately. Do not wait and hope it will go away. It won’t, because your kid is addicted and you cannot control it.

Take action means to put your kid in a treatment program, the best you can afford, as soon as possible, and get yourself in a treatment program so you can learn how to deal with all of this. Thankfully, programs for parents are virtually free through Al-Anon and Families Anonymous. You’d also be surprised how many of those meetings take place every week all over Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell and Milton.

And finally, ask yourself what actions are our schools taking about this issue. I have heard virtually nothing from the schools. Maybe we should be hearing more than we are.

A PARENT (name withheld per request)

Johns Creek