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Fighting The Cocaine Demons!

Aug 18, 2007
"What part of this story am I expected to believe?" I asked myself. When I asked my son what he was doing out here at night he laughed and said, "I was on my way to your house when I remembered that I had a chicken in the oven and if I didn't get back to my apartment it would burn, so I headed back home!"

That certainly makes sense, doesn't it? When I mentioned the leather tool belt he was wearing, he told me that he was broke and out of food; the tool belt was to carry food from my house to his. I didn't bother to ask where the chicken came from if he was broke. His answer, I'm sure, would have been great. The sad truth is that in his mind he wasn't lying. He actually thought that the nonsense he'd told me was the truth. Tomorrow morning if he was straight, he would remember little of our conversation.

I'd been awakened from a sound sleep when he called, needing help. He was stranded not far from our house by a flat tire on his bicycle. One of us had to get out of bed and pick him up. It was my wife's turn, but she promptly rolled over, pulled the covers over her face and told me to be careful with her car. My truck was in the driveway with a boat hooked behind it. I was going fishing in the morning and hated the thought of getting out of bed at 12:00 a.m. and rescuing an errant son.

I should mention that our son is 40 years old and has fought cocaine demons for at least half that many years. Unfortunately he has rarely won any of those battles and certainly not the war. His mother and I have gotten to the point that except for a few instances like this middle of the night call, we do not help him any longer. I shouldn't even have left the house, but after all, he's still our son. We've learned though, that we're really not doing him any favors by coming to his aid.

After getting dressed, I found him two blocks from the house, with his bicycle in two pieces and with his front tire flat. He greeted me as if it were perfectly normal for him to have wrecked his bike at midnight on a dark and lonely street a couple of blocks from the house, with eyes so bloodshot that they looked like red traffic lights. Whatever it was that he was high on, it made him talk fast, laugh a lot and sincerely believe that anything he said was a perfectly plausible.

Our son has averaged four jobs a year for the last ten years. He has no trouble finding jobs, keeping them is something altogether different. He's very good at whatever employment he takes, but inevitably goes on a binge after a couple of months and misses work for a week. Then he's fired. The same thing happens time and time again.

He's been through drug addiction clinics, therapy sessions and even short jail terms when whatever endeavor he was in turned sour. He's had help from friends, family and even strangers who saw in him something that spurred their compassion. Nothing has worked. More than likely one day we'll find him dead, either of an overdose or through the malice of drug dealers.

This story is not an uncommon one; it seems to be in every community and city in this country now. It seems that no one today is exempt from losing someone they care about, to the demons of either alcohol or drugs. Even former Vice President Al Gore's son was arrested this week on drug charges. Everyone has their drug problems. Folks who think that their family has been spared the wrath of the drug gods are probably fooling themselves. We're all affected in some way by drug abuse!

I don't have the answer. I'm not nearly smart enough to find a solution to a problem that has buffaloed the sharpest minds in the world. I can only do what I can for our son. Maybe if every family would do what they can for their loved ones, we wouldn't have such a huge problem, but then doing our best hasn't helped him a lot.
About the Author
Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:
http://www.redfishbob.com
http://www.bluemarlinbob.com
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