Last night I was sitting with my friend talking and the words "I'm used to it" came out of my mouth while we were discussing addiction and all the lives that it's taking. My friend just sat there silent for a minute... he wasn't sure how to respond to that because that's not something anyone should ever be "used to." I went on to explain that probably wasn't the right choice of words because you don't get used to people dying; it's hard every time, it doesn't get easier. But what I was trying to say is that we live in a place today where people in their young 20s are loosing friends left and right.
When I got home last night I was sitting on my couch scrolling through Facebook and came across a status of a friend letting us know another one of our friends had passed away. I was in shock after just having a conversation about how so many friends have passed away.
On October 12th I woke up, thinking it was going to be like every morning. To my surprise I roll over in bed to say good morning to my fiancé... to find that he had passed away while I was sleeping, of an overdose. Now this wasn't the first time I've had to deal with this. My parents passed away as a direct result of drugs when I was 11, but like I said before it's just as hard every time. My fiancé Tyler was 21; a smart handsome man who had so much going for him. He was a hard worker, loyal, and could make everyone around him laugh even if they didn't want to. Unfortunately, like many young people today he struggled with addiction, and lost the battle.
Sometimes I sit and think it's not real, there's no way that he's gone and never coming back... it just can't be. But it is.
Since October, I know six people in their early 20s that I grew up with, or hung out with, that have died of an overdose. That's terrifying...
These young adults are scared to open their mouth and say "I have a problem and I need help," because the stigma and stereotypes that are attached to addiction. They are afraid to be seen differently by their family and friends. They don't want to be seen as a "junkie" or "scum" because for a while the only people that used heroin were the lowest of the low kinds of people.
Today... it's everywhere... it's everyone. It's your straight A high school student who played sports and had friends. It's the girl that grew up in a nice town and was pretty and going to college. It's you, it's me, it could be any one of us at any time and that's the scary part.
Addiction is a tricky and sensitive topic. You have the people who have been hurt and are angry with addicts, the people who are understanding and want to help, and addicts themselves all with their own opinions on the subject and how to handle it.
The bottom line is every addict is different, there is not one universal law or medicine that's going to fix this. Yes it is going to cost the government money in treatment and health care but these are people... young people with beautiful souls who all have a chance at changing their lives for the better and becoming productive members of society.
I hope that one day we can live in a world again where people will never feel that they are "used to" their friends and family dying as a direct result of their drug addiction and for anyone who has passed away or knows anyone who has passed away from addiction may their souls rest in the sweetest peace.
Only the good die young.