Will our children be here to enjoy the Dolphins & Birds ?
13 years ago
Don't Judge Until you have read this. Everyday there are hundreds of stories about the mistakes our teenagers and their parents are making. The sad thing is by the time it makes the news it is often to late. I am amazed about the number of people that are worried about conservation and endagered species but don't want to get involved with "someone elses" child. Don't get me wrong. I am also concerned about saving our rain forests and endagered species. I am not for the war in Iraq but, what I am for is putting our young people first. You can arque that if we don't save the enviroment our young people won't have a future. I arque if we don't help these young people and their families the enviroment and rain forests won't mean a hill of beans to them. Do you think a child who's mom or dad is high on crack or drunk all the time cares about what goes on in the world around that child? If you want that child to care about the world around him or her as they grow then you better help with their immediate world first. That's my opinion what's yours. Thanks Rick, Story of another victim. Just a Typical High-School Boy The memorial was written by: Kim Manlove In the summer of 2000 my wife and I discovered that our 15-year-old son David had a substance abuse problem. As most parents when they first make this sort of discovery, we faced myriad emotions, among them anger, confusion and fear. The treatment regimen at Fairbanks was not only for David, but for my wife and me as well. Dave attended four meetings a week while my wife and I participated in two, one with him and the other a parent education program for family members. And it was the parent education program that provided us with invaluable information and tools with which to deal with David's addiction. We learned about addiction from a physical, emotional, and psychological perspective, and we learned about relapse, the triggers that cause it, and what we could do to prevent it, or deal with it when it did occur. Finally we learned about love and how sometimes love enables or facilitates addiction. We learned that sometimes there must be tough love to combat the addiction. And we learned that in the end there is always unconditional love that holds us together and says that while we hate what this addiction is doing to you and to us, we will always love you. While tentative at first, David did well in the program. He attended meetings faithfully, participated fully in discussions and did not shy away from the intense self-examination that comes when addicts get together in small groups and inevitably strip away the trappings of denial and self pity. After three or four weeks David began to publicly acknowledge that he was an addict -- all the while taking and successfully passing weekly drug tests. He also started attending weekly meetings of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and began to search for a sponsor, all necessary elements for success in the Fairbanks recovery program. But the success David was having at Fairbanks came at a price. As often happens with recovering addicts, he replaced his drug and alcohol abuse behaviors with other risk-taking activities. He was arrested twice for non-drug related offenses, and his grades at school suffered tremendously. But after two months at Fairbanks he successfully finished the program and graduated to their after-care program of voluntary meetings. He also continued to attend AA and NA meetings and successfully passed regular drug screenings, which were a requirement of his recovery contract with Fairbanks and with us. With the help of some academic tutoring he was able to finish his sophomore year at Lawrence Central High School and officially become a junior. But the specter of relapse was ever-present and was a constant source of worry for my wife and me, so we turned again and again to Fairbanks for guidance and advice on how to face the uncertain future of a recovering addict. School ended in early June 2001 and David was looking forward to a summer in which he could find a job to make enough money to buy a car, and to try and win back some of the trust that he had lost as a result of his substance abuse. But his desire to get high was very powerful, more powerful than we as his parents knew, and more importantly, more powerful than he knew himself. And so on a beautiful, warm sunny Saturday the second week of June he got up early, mowed the yard, and then asked if he could go swimming with some friends at their pool not far from our home. They swam for a while and then he and a friend left, ostensibly to go get something to eat. But they did not go get something to eat. They went instead to a drug store in the neighborhood and bought a can of computer duster. Some time before his friend had showed David how they could get high by inhaling the propellant from the computer duster, and best of all for David, the chemical in the propellant would not show up on any of the usual drug tests. But Inhalants can have deadly side effects that occur without warning. They returned to the pool and began to do what is called "huffing" or inhaling the propellant from the can under the water to intensify the high. And on the third or fourth try, David suddenly went into cardiac arrest and drowned before his friends or paramedics could save him. My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young man. He will never have a chance to see the forests or to worry about endagered species. But, maybe with our help another young man or woman might. Just a thought.