Learning to Live with an Addict

Heroin takes a stroll on young teens recently

Rachel Madden, Student Writer

Ever since I was nine years old, my life didn’t make sense. From waking up sweating
and panicking, to screaming left and right. My ears rung with annoyance, as I heard my
dad yell at my sister. This was an everyday occurrence, of living with a teenage heroin
addict. It has affected me for years, and continues to do so till this day.

It has been five years since my sister began heroin. From the start, my family always
thought my sister was a troublemaker, but we didn’t think it would come to this. From
school nights to waking up to the sound of screaming, to driving down to the city to pick
her up, this was a long and horrible journey. The hard part of this journey, was the
unknown. It was so reoccurring that my heart began to adapt to knowing the worst.
Being in a family with an addict, is a repeating cycle of recovery, and relapsing.

It’s constant phone calls for money, and hearing something you
wish could be true, but its not. Your hopes wander, and go up and down. But the pain
still lingers because you know their journey isn’t over.

Growing up with a sister who has been struggling with a drug addiction hasn’t been
easy. I’ve seen her body transform, into someone who seems like a stranger. I have
watched her grow, then fall to the ground again. I’ve watched her lose custody of her son over this
horrible substance. Life throws curveballs at you, and they can be a challenge. Always
remember though, they make you stronger. Today, my sister has been clean for over
three months and is working harder than I have ever seen to get her life back together.
Having this first hand has been rough, but I continue to thank god everyday that she is
still here.

Heroin has become a major issue in the world. Many local families struggle with this
drug, or have a close relative or friend that does. The National Institute on Drug Abuse
shows that in 1999 the heroin overdose was 2000. The latest in 2017 shows heroin
overdose at 16,000. Heroin has become a haunting substance, that is extremely
addictive and puts many at risk. If you know anyone suffering from addiction don’t
hesitate to call 1-877-602-1975, because one phone call could seriously change
someone’s life.