My Child: A Teenager, An Addict ... A Beautiful Son
Long Valley mom shares memories of a child lost too soon.
There is no stronger love than what a mother has for her child. The love is powerful and deep.
My son was my greatest joy. He was a true boy in every sense of the word. He loved camping, playing sports, enjoyed Boy Scouts. He had a gift in painting and music. He had blond hair and blue eyes. He cared for everyone and always welcomed any new student in school, making them feel welcomed and part of his school’s family. He had a heart as large as the sky.
This could be any mother's story about her son.
The world as I knew it changed forever the day I found out my son was using drugs.
How? Why? Where? When?
Question after question arose. It was addressed and consequences were given. But, unfortunately, it just continued. Many days I thought we were on the right road, only to find out we were not.
The drugs started out with going to friends' homes and drinking. Like a cancer it spread. Friends would have pills, then LSD, mushrooms, etc. At that point he was an addict with no money, but still needing the drugs.
My son was introduced to heroin. It was cheap at only $4 a bag. And it was everywhere. By taking away his cell phone and computer and monitoring his messages, I found that the volume of kids using was shocking.
I was alone on this ugly road trying to find help. It was not out there. My son told me he didn’t want to use but his body needed it. As I later learned, using heroin just one time gives you two options: You either love it or hate it. Most addicts love it. It becomes their best friend. Now I know why it’s called the dead-end drug.
As a mother, I did things that I should not have done. And I did not do things I should have done. Why? Because I didn’t know. There was no place I could go for help.
After four years, my son hit bottom. He went into rehab for 12 months and intensive outpatient for six months. Finally he was clean. He was going to college, working, enjoying a drug-free life. I remember one day at dinner he said, “Mom, I never thought the world was this beautiful." I had my son back. The hell we walked through was gone. My son's life was filled with hope. His eyes were as blue as the sky, and there was so much he wanted to do.
For two years he was clean. He would always be an addict; this much I knew. But with much reading and researching, we were educated. He had the tools he needed and I had all the information I needed. Life was good.
Two years later there was a knock on my door. It was two police officers and a priest. This is the knock no parent wants. I was told my son died. It was an overdose at a house in Long Valley.
What happened? How could this happen? My beautiful boy was gone. The pain I cannot find the words for. There is a large part of me that will forever be gone. My son, my beautiful son. The world lost so much that he wanted to give. The case is still being investigated.
My reason for writing this article is that I feel there is a need in this town for awareness. We no longer have the D.A.R.E. program. We have parent meetings at the schools, but we need more. It is my wish to have a place for parents who need help, someone to talk to, answer questions. We have a problem that, with much help, we can solve. But we need to recognize it first.
Laura Geise, the author of this column and member of the Long Valley Patch Moms Council, invites any parent or child to reach out to her for help. All information will be private. For any comments or questions, please email Laura at LauraPatch1@gmail.com.