This is something I have long debated about writing about. I didn’t want to upset anyone who thought it was disrespectful or wanted to keep things quiet- and didn’t want anyone to know the facts. Yet the more I think I about it the more I feel I have to share for me- for my brother. My brother was a really good guy but he got a demon attached to his back and well it caused him a lot of trouble in life and in the end cost him his life. It also caused him to do things and treat people in ways that he would have never done without it being attached to him. It took control more often than he was able to be in control. Sure we are all responsible for who we are but this is a complicated topic and I am hoping I can do justice to giving my thoughts a voice.
I am one who sees the person and the demon controlling the person and see them as separate and I see the great struggle for the person after meeting and succumbing to the demon that will come to command their life. I’ve struggle at how I become angrier at the demon controlled person when their behaviors effect others, particularly someone I care deeply about. Yet looking again, perhaps my angers are not so misplaced for what the demon does in those times is allow enough of our loved one out, that they make us feel like great betrayer for being angry. Yet we don’t know the demon’s control and the demon’s manipulation of those they hold. We cannot fully grasp the situation, the control of this demon if we have not succumbed to these forces ourselves. I see that now, I can never know the true power or hold the demon of addiction holds over a soul. Yet maybe, I can gain understanding about looking more deeply at my life and the things I have allowed to control me- for right and wrong. Very little is truly as black and white as it seems.
Addictive behavior causes one to become careless when the demon takes command as the demon does not care except to meet it’s own needs- even if you, even if others must die. The demon in command cares not for the soul’s it torments nor the effects caused by meeting it’s demands. The media today is full of stories about opiate use which is the topic I am most discussing in this article, and one of the harder demon’s to fight. It’s a powerful demon that takes control of it’s prey quickly it wastes no time once it’s given the chance to enter a host, the fight begins as soon as it enters in for most. It’s intoxicating effects quickly changing the way the brain works, taking away the ability to find happiness and making that a hole that only it can feel.
This is really hard for the family, friends and other loved ones to understand when one they know comes under attack of this demon. We wonder why they are destroying theirselves? Their families? All their important relationships? We think they have to see it, that they must no longer care – their only care seeming to quickly become the demon, they care not if it costs their own lives. The demon has hold, it created a hole only it can feel, and it created a hole in a vital place- one that destroys the ability to find true happiness. This demon eventually cost my little brother his life… but it cost more, in the short year prior to his death two other lives closely connected to his were also lost. It started with his son’s (my nephew’s)death I will talk of that another time as it is another social issue that needs addressed. Not swept under the rug and ignored- if I do that the dust will become the giant in the room- actually in my case the dust will remain the giant in the room. There’s much I have held in and not said to respect other’s wishes, yet at this time to continue would dishonor their memory in my life, even in death there is much to learn. The power of sharing can help others, perhaps prevent another from experiencing similar pain. During this time- this turning of a year, my nephew’s mother (my brother’s ex-wife also died). The three of them in a year, leaving behind two daughters not related. Austin’s half-sister’s one through the father and one through the mother. It’s a tragic tale as neither of the other parents are on a path that is any better than the fate we are speaking about. The girls on the other hand are amazing and I hope life finds a way to bring them greatness, beauty, love and happiness that those who have left them behind could not in this life. Luckily, the girls have grandparents who are looking out for them and trying to provide them with a good life. I wish I could do more, maybe one day- I am so far away I struggle even to try to get to know them. I met my brother’s teenage daughter on the day of his death, due to some really strange agreements between him and her mother and living to far away to be able to do anything about it.
In the end with my brother it was not heroin- it was fentanyl that got him, yes that drug that they say is being put in just about anything and has left people dying. The more I understand about fentanyl it really scares me and it is at the heart of a crisis that we face today- an enormous amount of deathly overdoses and most of these people didn’t think they were doing fentanyl but some other usually less “deadly” drug. Though this is debatable, each in it’s own way usually takes over and eventually consumes a person’s life ending in usuallly an early demise. Thing with fentanyl it kills- it kills indiscriminately and often in the only use of a substance with it in it. Seems like a pretty easy way to do someone in if you are that kind of a person. I have to wonder how often that is the truer story.
I see articles all the time pointing out the horrors of the “Heroin Epidemic” that we face today. It seems to reach across our society transcending the social boundaries. The problem is so bad that I ran across an article- someone’s child stepped on a needle on a beach. You can read the article here- Raining Needles. Whereas, I don’t think that encouraging the use of these demons is a good thing. I do think safe places, staffed with medical personnel are important otherwise, the needle problem alone might infect us all for it’s not only the remnants of any of the demon on the needle but the potential disease from using unclean needles. I think we need lots of innovation in figuring out how to help people to fight this demon but to make the world dangerous for us all by not giving users a place to do so and safely get rid of the needles we all are at risk. The way we have fought “our war on drugs” in the past is obviously not working, and judging those who are fighting demons helps none of us.
I also read two other interesting articles this week related to heroin. One just baffles me and it seems the children I am seeing associated with the headline gets younger and younger. This article is mind blowing- Ten Year-Old Boy Overdoses. Like I said this is everyone’s problem, it’s crossing all barriers – even age.
One judge in Tennessee who is not on any crusade has come up with an innovative solution to at least trying to stop unwanted births of addicts, who often do not quit using in pregnancy and give birth to addicted children. I think there’s a lot of wisdom in his move, even though it appears that the larger judicial system is not as impressed, you can read the article here- East Tennessee Judge- Early Release For Drug Offenders With Education and Sterilization.
There are lots of questions we as a society need to be able to answer to effectively deal with this crisis and the many crises it is creating in society. Expect more on this.