The M.A.C.C. News ... Page Three
Let us listen now to the heart-wrenching stories as told by the family members of addicts, they tell it like no one else can ...
(Editors Note: Letters have been edited for clarity & length)
I can't begin to convey the grief that's come into my life since my grandson became addicted to crack. It breaks my heart to see the sadness in his face. He's tried to kill himself twice that I know of. His parents and I have tried to find help for him and gotten nowhere. I'm very bitter about health concerns in this country.
If anybody had told me my beautiful, bright little girl would ever smoke crack, I never would have believed them ... to imagine her becoming what she is today ... 50 lbs underweight, dark circles under her eyes,in and out of jail. But I don't have to imagine it, it's right here, reality.
They put my son in jail ... over and over again and later prison. For what, so he can get back out and do it all over again? He needs medical treatment!
I have two sons, both addicted to crack. It's like I've been hit with a double whammy to my heart ... and as if that weren't bad enough, their father left us because he just couldn't handle it. I had high hopes for my sons, now I have nothing.
They want to spend money to build prisons to put our sons and daughters in but they don't want to spend money for treatment centers so they won't go to prison in the first place. Doesn't make much sense does it?
People say my son needs discipline because he could quit if he wanted to. He's already so humiliated from the lifestyle of sneaking round to get drugs, discipline pales by comparison. It couldn't get any worse!
My daughter has a good job as an accountant ... I was so proud of her. Then a new boyfriend entered her life and that was the beginning of the end. He convinced her to "try" crack. Now they've broken up and she's left with her addiction. Her life is more and more unmanageable and I'm at my wits end.
Every time I hear a young mans body is found in a ditch, woods, or abandoned building my heart is paralyzed with fear ... please don't let it be my son God ... please, please, please.
My son always worked hard, now he's made the one mistake that's turned him into public enemy #1, he's a crack user. All the years he was a responsible, productive member of society ... doesn't that count for anything? Why isn't there any help for him? There should be treatment for people who need it, I'm shocked there isn't.
My daughter told me her last boyfriend said as long as she only smoked crack occasionally she wouldn't get hooked ... yeah right. Now she's not so naive but it's too late and all she thinks about is where the next nasty little rock is coming from.
I used to get so angry with my son. I scolded, I yelled, I called the cops, I threw him out, I disowned him. It makes me weep to think how miserably I treated him. This was before I got a clearer view of the overall problem crack presents ... the mental compulsion and cumulative effects on the brain. I had to do a lot of research on my own to find out what was really going on with him. I find it unconscionable that no cure research is being done and I pray MACC can do something about this. We all need to get behind MACC. I know every relative of a crack user has their own horror story but we all have the same thing in common and as long as we're divided we'll never find solutions. It helps to empathize but it helps more to discuss specific ideas and goals to work towards. Remember, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!
When I see accounts of serial killers in the paper I feel sick with fear for my daughter who doesn't come home for days when she's on a crack binge. When she finally does come home it's all I can do to keep from falling apart I'm so relieved she's still alive. Instead I give her a hug, cook her a good meal and put her to bed. It's all I can do for her...
I would like to say that I think the main reason there's so little help for crack addicts is because there is so much blame. Society is so into blaming people and punishing them, they're too preoccupied with that to look for ways to help them quit. Some people won't let go of the blame because then they think they'll have to blame themselves for blaming! Just let go of the blame!
I wasn't really aware aware of the prejudice concerning crack addiction 'til it hit close to home. My nephew has had problems since 1991 though it was hidden until 1995. There is a real need for the public to be educated about this issue. The social stigma is intense and I believe it's because there is so much ignorance about it. People form opinions when they don't even have a clue. My nephew is a man, I know, but it seems like he's more like an 8 yr. Old. His craving for crack controls his mind where he doesn't think about his own safety let alone consequences of his actions. So when I hear of a crack user going to jail or prison I think . . . "Well they've locked up another 8 yr. old, society is safe."
I don't think most people have any idea as to how far reaching this crack thing is ... in my neighborhood I see crack users of all races and all ages, from 12 to 72!
There's something about crack addicts that brings out the worst in a person . . . I don't mean the users themselves, I mean the people around them.
I hate the way everybody has to keep hiding what is happening in our family. I love my brother but my parents are killing themselves trying to help him. My father has pains in his heart from worry and my mother drinks all the time. I can't keep my mind on school, I jump up in the middle of the night to see if he's in his room and my heart sinks when I see his bed hasn't been slept in. I know it will kill my parents if anything happens to him.
When someone makes a joke about crack users like: "What're ya smokin, crack?" It rocks me to the core . . . don't they realize the tragedy involved?
I've been eaten up with guilt, blaming myself that I failed to help my daughter even though I've tried for 3 years day in and day out. I find myself grieving as if she's already dead. Everyone tells me to write her off. How dare they tell me to abandon my own blood! Society thinks it's wrong for a mother to abandon a baby in a dumpster at birth but encourage it when the baby is grown and troubled.
Do we need effective rehabs? You bet! My son has been in jail 14 times and prison twice. All for theft to support his craving for crack. It's not even on record that his crimes are drug related. It's always been drug related! Prisons are big business . . . our children are just fodder for them. Why should they put violent offenders in there when it's so much easier to control non-violent ones like crack addicts. If I sound bitter It's because I am.
My daughter's been in and out of jail and now she's been shipped off to prison. It's much too far for me to visit and her phone calls are torment for me and her, we can hardly talk we're so choked up. I think about suicide but I have to keep going for her so she'll have someone when she gets out. I gave up a long time ago in seeking help for her, there isn't any. I hope MACC can do some research and development and get some action for people like my daughter.
I asked my son how he could do something so stupid and he said he was drinking beer with his buddies and someone pulled out a pipe . . . my wife had a nervous breakdown recently so I've about got my hands full.
My daughter is a crack addict ... how strange those words seem. I worry myself sick over her, her health, the dangerous company she keeps, the police ... they're the enemy now. They don't want to help her, she's just an easy bust to them. My daughter's the real victim, with everybody wanting to prey on her. I haven't had a decent nights sleep in years. Every time the phone rings or there's a knock at the door ... I live in terror crack will kill her or some nut will or she'll kill herself or ... it's a nightmare, just a nightmare.
I bought into what everyone around me was telling me, the media, my so-called friends, the authorities. What right do they have to judge me or my son? To tell me my child is any less a person than their child? My son is adopted so they point to that but I have a friend who's child is her own and they say it's in the genes! People are people no matter what background, get over it and let us help them. Stop fighting us!
I really feel "just say no" doesn't work in the real world. Even though people know better, once their inhibitions are lowered whether by peer pressure, pot, alcohol, they do what they wouldn't ordinarily do ...
-- Editors note -- Thank you to everyone who wrote these fine letters.
Please continue to write, we want to hear from you.