Drug Addiction is Tragic
When my best friend died I was 16 years old. I wish I could say it was from some random act of God that came out of no where, maybe that would help me sleep better at night or something. I wish I could say that we all saw it coming and had plenty of time to prepare emotionally for what was about to come, all of the guilt and pain that would haunt me for years. That is not her story.
Her story is a different type of tragedy. Her story begins like most others. It begins with a normal childhood with two very loving parents who provided her the world and entry into private school for academic purposes. Growing up she was always well liked and had many friends. I met her one-day in 7th grade in the lunchroom after gym class where we both talked about how we wanted to marry Brad. He was a total babe and the cutest boy in our grade; we also talked about his girlfriend Jessica and how she was the worst person on earth (for no other reason than just dating Brad of course.) We were best friends from that day on and inseparable.
Drugs Arn’t Fun
Fast forward a few years we were entering high school. Now if you can relate, going into high school was one of the most exciting and scary things a young teenager can imagine. We came we saw we conquered. Within the first few weeks’ high school was like a real life version of the movie Mean Girls. We were sitting at the lunch tables with the older crowd and being invited out to parties on the weekend with the guys from the upper grades. These events were the first time in our lives we had to lie to our parents about where we were going. The good ole sleepover routine worked like a charm. These parties over time are where both her and I learned to drink and appreciate the effects of alcohol.
Sophomore year, at a party one of the seniors had some drugs on him. He said they were pills he got from a doctor due to hurting his knee from soccer practice a few weeks ago. He said if you snort them while drinking they are “a lot of fun.” That is a direct quote. I will never forget that. I felt uneasy about putting anything up my nose nevertheless some crushed up random pill this guy had on a table with a gross one-dollar bill. I respectfully declined the offer, thinking my best friend, the Carrie to my Samantha (She always wanted to be Carrie) would follow suite. However, she did not. She stayed. She picked up that disgusting one-dollar bill and put it up her nose and snorted that random pill, this guy claimed would be “fun.” I spent the next hour in the bathroom with her while she puked. No fun to me. Lesson learned at least.
However, as the weeks went on, my best friend began to hang out with that guy more. I began to notice a change in her I did not understand at the time. Within a few months she was a totally different person. She was not showing up for class and would constantly ignore me. At the time, I was hurt but assumed it was due to her being in a relationship. I did not know that my best friend was addicted to opiates.
Calling Out Your friend Isn’t Easy
On May 9th, I called her after school to confront her and we got into a huge fight. You know looking back, in all of the years of our friendship we never fought, even as two young girls growing up we just never had that type of relationship. Unfortunately the call ended with some curse words and me hanging up the phone on her. I have regretted that call every single day since. On the next evening, May 10th her parents called me to say they found her dead in her childhood bathroom. She had a needle in her arm. I was in shock. A needle? They demanded answers from me as if I was hiding information from them, and called my parents.
I did not know my best friend was a heroin addict. I had no idea at that age that snorting some random pill could lead to full blown addiction, nevertheless heroin addiction in such a short amount of time. I had no clue teenagers even got hooked on heroin, at least not where I live. I was wrong.
Looking back I wish I would have handled so many things differently: the party, when my friend starting acting different, that phone call. I have immense guilt, shame and pain over this that has been difficult to let go of even after all of these years. I hope that people understand that addiction does not care who you are, where you are, what you know or how many people love you.
It can take someone over in the blink of an eye. Speak up and do not be silent as I was.