From: Holmdel, NJ
My Brother’s Addiction
“Heidi, wake up we have to go!” was the muffled sound I heard. I was in such a deep sleep and could not believe my mom was waking me up. I got up and looked at my watch. “Wait, it’s only 4:30 in the morning mom! Where do we have to go?” I slipped out of the dorm bed that I had been staying in for the week. I had been spending the week at a mission trip at Eastern University with my youth group and now my mom was waking me up and telling me we had to leave. I began to pack my stuff and listen at the same time as I heard my mom talking to my dad. Something about Tyler and an accident. I began to pack quicker because it sounded like my older brother, Tyler, was in trouble and I wanted to get us out of here and closer to him as soon as possible. My other brother and I sat in the back of the car completely silent for the hour and half drive to the hospital. There we found Tyler unconscious in a hospital bed with his head completely bandaged. We later found out that he had a reunion party with some of his high school friends and kids from another town came and wanted to join. Tyler refused entry to them and they attacked him with a baseball bat. There was alcohol and drugs strewn on our front yard and our back yard was a mess from the party.
For as long as I can remember my parents would argue with him about what his extra -curricular activities were. In his sophomore year of high school my mom caught him hiding marijuana in a book bag in our front yard. She pleaded and prayed with him to stop doing it but he constantly went back to it. Now that I am in high school, I see how prominent and available the drugs are. Everyone in my school knows who is a dealer and who to go to for that quick fix. And because these drugs are so easily obtainable and many of them are inexpensive just about anyone can buy them. These drugs give you that quick high and then lets you down and then you just want more. So begins the addiction and so begins the story of my brother. His addiction to pot, weed, reefer, grass or whatever you want to call it took him down a horrible spiral. The arguments with my parents increased, his grades decreased and his whole outlook on life changed. He was no longer my big brother that I could go to and ask questions. He would hide out in his room and we had no idea what he was doing. I remember once he rear -ended someone at a stop light and when the police came to pick him up they found marijuana in his car and my dad had to go to the police station to pick him up. My parents had conversation after conversation with him about what this was doing to his life. But he never stopped.
My brother can not see what this is doing to himself and even to this day, ten years later, he does not want to give the drug up. Our society, I feel pays the price for these people who abuse the drugs. Many of them are so addicted they cannot hold down a job and find themselves either homeless or moving back in with their parents or another relative. Then the burden of this person is on either the government or another family member. I have seen first hand what drugs do to someone and their families. I do not want to put that type of stress on my family. My parents have done so much for me and my brothers, they do not deserve to go through this horrible situation again.
My parents have not given up on my brother. I know my mom prays quite often and checks in with him weekly to see how he is doing. He lives now 45 minutes away from us because he works in the city and the commute from our house is too long for him. I feel as though what Seasons in Malibu is doing for these individuals is amazing. I have read the stories of addicts who go into rehab and come out clean but then there are those who go in and fight the system and never get clean. The only thing that we can do as humans is work toward educating the younger children on the dangers of these drugs. If we can stop or teach them not to even start the drugs then we may be saving an entire generation. This will not only save the individual but the society they live in.
My brother survived the attack but has hearing issues and cannot stand high pitches or loud noises. He had bleeding on the second and third levels of his brain, stitches in his head and a concussion. He went on to graduate from Penn State a half a year late but he is doing well. He has an Engineering degree and works in New York City.