Part 1: A Local Kid’s Story – Getting Caught

Posted by Robby's Voice, With 0 Comments, Category: Blog, Recovery, Tags: , , , ,

policeThis is the first post in a series. The author is a young man,  Alex, who shared his personal journey with Robby’s Voice. Our organization worked with Alex as part of his court ordered community service after his arrest for possession of drugs and alcohol.  Parts have been edited for brevity and clarification but the words are his and the message will resonate for many parents and teens.

1.      How did you get into this situation?

I made a few very poor decisions over the past couple years including frequent marijuana and alcohol use during my high school career. This is how I got caught. I started my day just like every other kid in high school who was excited for prom. Texting my friends back and fourth, talking about how much fun we were going to have at prom and camping the day after. I was excited to get dressed up to spend a fun night with my friends that would be filled with laughs and sadly, marijuana.

Things started rolling around 5pm or so when my friends and our respective dates took the usual pictures that our parents would cherish for years to come. After that boring affair, all of us car-pooled to the dance, which was at La Centre. Prom went smoothly and it was a good time, but I constantly kept asking myself what else I could do to make my night more fun. After prom, my date and I drove to our houses so that we could change into more comfortable clothes for after prom. On our way to after prom, I decided that I would make a stop at a kid’s house to pick up some marijuana. Once in my possession, I had this great idea that I should smoke in my car before going to after-prom. I did and so I went into after prom totally incapacitated. I felt guilty, but I needed to get my fix.

The worst part about me being high at after prom was that I had to talk to both of my parents. They were working the event and dedicated countless hours of time setting it up for my us. After the event was over, I drove my date home to her house. On my way home, I was pulled over about five minutes away from my house. The officer that pulled me over searched my car and found alcohol and marijuana that I was planning on using the next day at camping. Sitting in the back of the cop car, I knew that my life was going to change drastically. I never thought I would get caught.

2.      What were you thinking about when you were making the choices you made?

I honestly  wasn’t thinking about the consequences. All I was thinking about was how to obtain and use marijuana and alcohol again. Being a kid that was 17 years old at the time, I really thought I was invincible. I mean I heard stories of how classmates of mine had run into trouble with the law, but I really never thought I would end up in a situation just like theirs. Now that I look back at the things that I was doing, it amazes me that I didn’t get caught earlier. I mean there were times when I was 15 years old that I would sneak out of my house late at night so that I could just go smoke with my friends. I must have had a great judge of character at the time because those “friends” were not really friends of mine in any aspect. The friends that I have now would never even put me in the position in which my actions could have a substantially negative effect on my future. I really wish that when I made those poor decisions, I had at least some conscious thought in the back of my head that I was not only putting myself in a detrimental position, but I was putting my family in one as well.

Truthfully, I cannot express in words what I was thinking at the time. When I look back at who I was then, I don’t even know where to begin explaining my actions or thought process. Who knows where I would be today if I didn’t get caught. That is what scares me so much. I guess, in a way, getting caught woke me up. It made me realize the opportunities I had before me, and how I could potentially throw all of them away by doing something so drastically stupid. In conclusion, I wasn’t thinking. That is the saddest part about who I was back then. I flew by the seat of my pants, and that is no way for a naïve, 17-year-old kid, to live his life.

3.      What were your feelings when the police stopped you?

The exact moment when I got pulled over, I knew that I was in trouble, even before the officer found anything in my car. I knew that I was guilty and that I had finally got in trouble. I was very cooperative with the police officer who pulled me over because like I said, I knew I was guilty, and there was no way I was getting out of it. There were many feeling that rushed into me when I got pulled over. The first thing that I felt when I looked behind me and saw the officer flick on his lights was immense fear. When you know you are guilty of something and a police officer stops you, any other feeling of fear cannot mirror the feeling that you have, flowing through your body. I would rather ride all of the roller coasters at Cedar Point, without wearing a seatbelt, than get pulled over by police officer if that puts how I felt into context.

After I admitted that I did indeed have marijuana and alcohol in my vehicle at the time, at this point I felt just completely empty inside. I had no idea what to expect would happen next and my feelings of fear were soon accompanied by instant regret. I regretted everything that I had done that night, as well as what I did the previous couple years of my life. I was totally upset. I thought about my parents. I thought about how disappointed they were going to be in me. It was about 4am in the morning and I had to call my mom and wake her up to tell her that a police officer was escorting me home. I can’t even imagine the feelings that were rushing through her body at the time. I was incredibly scared and very disappointed in myself when I had to sit in the back of a cop car for the first time in my life. It was a place I never thought that I would be. I felt some things that I never felt before in the back of that cop car. I didn’t cry. I didn’t curse the cop for pulling me over. I just simply sat there. Lost in my own thoughts. It was the lowest point in my life by far and I was completely empty.

After getting home that night, I laid in my bed. I was still in shock, but I also realized what had just happened. The only positive thought that I had that night, was that I could now start my road to recovery. I was at my lowest point and the only direction to go was up. I was nervous and terrified at what to expect, but I also, for some reason, knew that I would never feel like this again and I made that my goal for the rest of my life on that early morning, at that instant in time.


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Top 3 Heroin Myth Busters that Might Surprise You

Posted by Anne Browning, With 0 Comments, Category: Heroin, Tags: , , ,

Drug-myths-1

Heroin use has been on the rise since 2007 but so many parents have not talked to their children about the dangers of this drug. Maybe you’re one of them. You may be thinking:

  • Where we live, heroin won’t cross my child’s path.
  • My child is terrified of needles. No way would he/she try heroin.
  • Heroin may attract some kids, but not mine.

If you share similar thoughts, you’re not alone. Heroin has changed along with those who use it and those who sell it. First, let’s get the facts straight. We’ll begin by debunking a few common myths.

Myth Buster #1– Heroin is predominantly found and used in urban areas only.
Fact: That’s no longer the case. It has made its way into suburban and rural communities throughout the nation.

Myth Buster #2 – Injections, or “shooting up,” is how heroin is used.
Fact: Injection is not the only method (as it once was). Heroin can also be smoked or snorted – no needles required!

Myth Buster #3 – The historical stereotype of a typical heroin user remains today’s user.
Fact: Erase that image! That student in your child’s advanced biology class is now just as typical of a user and old stereotypes.

So if heroin users and dealers are in our communities, what action should we take to educate and protect our children from drug abuse? Here are three tips to get started:

  1. Talk to your kids – openly and frequently. Don’t be afraid of the conversation. Talk so much that it’s no longer uncomfortable. An article by The National Crime Prevention Council offers sound advice on talking to kids, rules, friends and getting involved.
  2. Check your medicine cabinets – Statistics show that four out of five new heroin users first abused prescription painkillers before moving to the cheaper, more accessible version – heroin. Inventory your drugs, lock up highly addictive opiates and properly discard of drugs no longer needed.
  3. Educate yourself first – Be aware of the signs of substance abuse – normal household items can be used to administer drugs. The Robby’s Voice website has many valuable resources including the Search Your House – Search the Rooms document
  4. Say something – In all the airports today, TSA signs read “if you see something, say something.” Don’t be afraid. Speaking up early is so important to the health of your child and your family. It’s better to speak up and be wrong, then to not speak up and be right.

For more information on heroin abuse, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse or Drug Free Action Alliance Know Publication.

 


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Hope Where There Seems to be None

Posted by Anne Browning, With 0 Comments, Category: Announcements, Tags: , , ,

Last Friday, I met an incredible lady. She is a nurse by trade. We will  call her Linda. As we talked business, she asked me about my bracelet (green RV band). I shared our experience briefly and then she shared hers.

Many years ago, Linda’s high school son was involved in an auto-accident. He was thrown from the car while the person next to him was tragically killed. The following week, her daughter was kidnapped while running (also in high school). As she and the police frantically searched, she was led to a place in the woods very near to where her daughter was being kept, tied to a tree by her assailant. Shortly thereafter, she was seen by the police airplane that was searching the area. When they found her, she was still tied to the tree, stabbed and shot five times and clinging to life.

A couple years later, her son, an all-American kid that was anti-drugs his entire life, developed a drug addiction – a  battle that ensued for years.

During the course of these years, Linda was active in kidnapping legislation and worked with the state on issues surrounding these crimes. She and her fiance worked with young people impacted by addiction while they fought their own personal battle with the disease.

Then, in one year, Linda lost her fiance, her mother, and her sister, and the battle with addiction continued.

This was the second time I met Linda, and after our first meeting, I was struck by her energy and positive attitude. You could just feel it. As I listened to her life experiences, I wondered to myself; HOW? Then, the answer.

Today, Linda’s daughter has fully recovered (physically), and works for a Prosecutor. Her son called one day out of the blue and said he was checking into a rehab. When she asked why, his response was “I am an addict…”

And the HOW? She said it several times, after she described each incident – “I GAVE IT UP TO GOD.”


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Finding Courage and Strength Despite Difficulties

Posted by Anne Browning, With 0 Comments, Category: Blog, Tags:

strength-007

Strength and courage; I am not sure who needs them more, the addict or the family?

This week is the annual ESPN V-foundation cancer fund raiser. The V-foundation was stated by basketball Coach Jim Valvano, a vivacious, charismatic college coach who passed away from cancer 21 years ago. Coach V gave a very stirring speech at an event just two months prior to his death, when he proclaimed “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

ESPN commentator Stuart Scott received an award at the ESPY’S for his courage in his personal battle against cancer. Scott also spoke about the importance of never giving up, and his personal WHY. He spoke about the difference each of us can make through small gestures and human compassion. He spoke about understanding what is truly important in life.

As I listened to the words of these men this week, I drew great strength as well as inspiration from the resiliency they displayed. Their words touch the heart of those who heard them. These men offer me the faith to know that victory will be ours as long as we continue to fight together.

Their words may be focused on the disease we call cancer, but the message is one that both addicts and families should take to heart. Take a moment and listen to each of these men speak today. Their words may help you take the next step tomorrow. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!

Stuart Scott

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl_0ieqSi7Q

Jimmy Valvano

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E


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