Dispatches from the frontlines of America’s addiction

The Addict's MomAs I’ve spent the last year-plus writing a book about the opiate abuse epidemic in America, I’ve come across some remarkable people in times of frightening stress.

Along the way I encountered one of the most poignant pages on FB. It’s called The Addict’s Mom, run by Barbara Theodosiou, a Florida PR consultant and mother of two addicts, one in recovery and one in jail. She set up the site a few years ago feeling that no one could understand her but another mother of an addict.

The site now has 12,000 members. They are American mothers who write in the rawest, most honest terms about the arguments, jail, kids who lie and steal from grandparents, prison, their children homeless, raising their children’s children, mortgaging all they own to send their kids to $40,000 rehabs, the joy of seeing a child 200 days clean, and the terror of the late-night phone call, or policeman’s knock on the door.

I hope to be quoting some of these posts, without names, simply because they, like poetry, evoke stories you can imagine in full. (Note: AS=Addicted Son.) Here’s one that I’ve broken out from the original prose into verse:

I have found myself planning my AS’s funeral in my mind.

Recently I have even found myself praying for God to at least take one of us because the pain is just too much.

And then I step back and ask myself what kind of mother could pray for death for one of her own children !?!

I feel horrible even putting these words on paper but i just need to let it out.

I am tired of fighting this fight.

I am tired of seeing my only son destroy himself.

I am tired of all the arguments with him.

I am tired of living with fear of getting that ‘phone call’.

I just don’t know how much longer he can survive at the rate he is using .



Filed under Drugs, The Heroin Heartland

2 Responses to Dispatches from the frontlines of America’s addiction

  1. Nancy

    There are so many emotions to list here but no matter how hard you try to be positive just in life….. being a mom of two addicted son’s leaves a very dark place daily. Some day’s I feel sad..hopeless most day’s. I told one relative (and believe me there are not many that you can talk to, it is a silent kind of thing) that I feel sometimes when I really think about their addiction that I am all of a sudden in a closed very small room and I can’t breathe and I am just trying to get out. This drug is taking my son’s lives and today my emotion is anger…and I still remain the same…I WILL NOT LET YOU HAVE MY SON’S SATAN THROUGH THIS GODFORSAKEN DRUG THAT YOU HAVE DEALT OUT!!!! The stories that I can tell through the past five good years are very hard you see there is a family here consisting of 4 other siblings that are not addicts but this family will not throw their older brothers away….because that’s what society dictates. My sons are 26 and 24 and are completely incapable of taking care of themselves through the banner of addiction. Their siblings are all adults also. My two older son’s started with Oxycontin before it was reformulated then went straight to Heroin like most of their friends which 3 have died in the past 4 years. I never did any form of drugs nor did my husband. We live in the suburbs where we thought it was safe..raised our children..boy scouts..soccer…normal…. I just never knew… I never knew ….don’t tell me to get help..we have tried..its a joke..THIS IS A VERY HARD DRUG AND WHAT IT DOES TO THE MIND AND BODY…MY SONS ARE GOING TO BE DEAD. I DO NOT HAVE MONEY FOR THESE POINTLESS RE-HAB FACILITIES!!! Something needs to be done on a national level. No parent should have to live not knowing when they are going to find their child dead or not…I live daily this way…………………………………………………..

  2. David H

    The opposite point of view. I started using heroin when I was 13 years old. Yes my mother had many calls in the middle of the night. She had the knocks on the door in the middle of the night, Sometimes she read about me in the headlines of the newspaper. My mother and I never,ever had an arguement. My mother never missed a court hearing and there were over 50 of them. My mother never gave up hope and her unconditional support and love was beyond believe. My mother died of old age with me at her bedside with 25 years of sobriety. My mother was my guardian angel. My heart goes out to all the mothers and fathers with addict children. When I wrote this comment it brought tears to my eyes thinking about what my mother went through. I do not have any advice, I only say this because this is the way it was for me.

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