“We’re airlifting your daughter to shock trauma”, said the paramedic on the phone. “Is she going to be OK?” I asked, barely able to speak. “There’s a lot of blood” was the response and the line went dead.
My relationships are the most valuable things in my life. But when our third child, a son, found himself in the throes of active addiction, my dream of an intact, united family flew out the window.
Ours was the family to which this could never happen. When my beloved daughter, Annie, became addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and then ultimately lived on the streets of our community as a meth addict, I realized that if addiction could happen to her, then addiction could happen to absolutely anyone. And it of course does.
Today's heroin addict looks like your neighbor’s sweet, bright-eyed daughter or the quarterback on the high school football team. SAMHSA reports a rise in heroin use from nearly 373,000 in 2007 to approximately 669,000 in 2012.
I think I was in love with you long before we ever had the chance to meet. I remember watching you cavort with my parents, the pretty popular girls in the movies, the beautiful women in the commercials and magazines. You brought so much joy to their faces, laughter to the room, glitter to the dullness.
As I picked up the telephone receiver, the tremulous voice at the other end was that of our youngest child, 19-year-old Jennifer. "Mum"—the tone made my heart sink once more, as it had countless times in the past four years when Jenny would call us for help. "Mummy, I'm in Las Colinas. I've been arrested. I've had an accident..."