Monday, 27 June 2011

When The Drugs Don't Work

I've lost count the number of times i've spoken with the desperate parents of teenagers sucked into the dark vortex of drug addiction. The definitive example  informing my opinions however comes from closer to home. I watched a teenage nephew reduced from being a strong and capable lad into a thieving, deceptive criminal, a path stretching over several years,  one from which he may never recover. It started tamely enough; a bit of weed, some whacky baccy. The term gateway drug is over used, but it appears that from the odd spliff he progressed into the insidious world of class A drugs. The journey is grimly familiar to many; the addiction growing, the inability to keep a job, the wasting away, the paranoia. And then there's the deception, the borrowing of money never repaid, the accumulation of credit card debt, the selling off of personal items to fund the next wrap. And then the bailiffs start calling, followed by phone calls made to his mother containing veiled threats from faceless dealers, followed by strangers on the doorstep. And then police enter the fray, not that they can do much.  A criminal record accumulates for mostly petty crimes.  In a sad yet strangely amusing episode, he and his Gran were watching Police,Camera,Action, when who should appear on the television? A moment of tragic comedy, caught red handed with heroine in front of the viewing public, and his family. There were times of repentance, vows to turn everything around. My late father once bailed him out to the tune of thousands, believing that everyone deserved a second chance. Were he alive today, he would have been saddened by what came beyond. Relapse, a fresh spiral, the lies and the deceit plumbing fresh depths of ugliness. My sister reached the point where she literally had to disown her own son, but only after years of anguish that robbed her of a decade. It reached the point, as it so often does, when he would steal from family without batting an eyelid. I often feared that he would target my mum, which would not have ended well for him as I doubt I would have shown much restraint. He is approaching his thirties now, and last I heard he had a job and  was on an upward curve. Good luck to him,  I say. I wish him well. Perhaps I'm too cynical, but only time will appease my doubts as to the genuineness of his rehab. It isn't just the drugs that you have to leave behind; it's the filth that peddle it. They don't want to let you go. They'll offer freebies to the vulnerable, and before you know it, you're down the rabbit hole once again.

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