LISA TINDELL: Grip of drugs felt by everyone

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2007

By Staff
In today’s edition of the paper, you’ll find some information concerning the use and abuse of drugs.
There is a story in our special section about Wayne Hammac’s struggle with drugs and alcohol is a great reminder of what can happen to a family when drugs touch the life of one family member.
Wayne’s story is a poignant one. It’s not an enjoyable story to hear, but, sadly, it is one that is repeated by hundreds of families we all know, love and respect.
When we began working on the special section to recognize Red Ribbon Week, which starts tomorrow, there were many office discussions about the abuse of drugs in our communities.
Even though none of my immediate family has had a problem with drug addition, drug abuse and addiction has touched my family.
We may never admit in a public place that someone we know has become addicted to drugs and turned to illegal activities to continue their fall into the pits of the addiction.
If you will admit to yourself what you already know, you’ll realize that what I’m saying is true. It might not be your spouse, brother, sister or children who have the problem, but more than likely you are close to someone who’s relative can’t say the same thing.
I have been lucky. I have not developed any kind of addiction in my life except for food. My husband isn’t an addict. He doesn’t even drink alcohol. My mother only takes a pill or two to help with cholesterol and fluid retention. My son, who is only eight years old, takes a chewable vitamin from time to time. That’s it.
I am close to many people — family and friends — who haven’t been so lucky. I have a friend whose son has had a problem with drugs for quite some time. Not only is he ruining his life with the way he has chosen to live, he is ruining the lives of his parents.
This child, who is an adult now, has been in trouble with the law many times. According to my friend, even though the son is acting sort of fine for now, they never know when the next call will come that tells them he is either in jail or dead.
I love this friend of mine and because of the trouble she has been through with her son, I hurt for her. The uncertainty of her son’s future has caused her to be skeptical about how good her own life will ever be again.
Although I’m not walking in her shoes, I think I can sympathize with her situation. It is not unlike the same situations that we hear about every day.
Not only is the health of her son in jeopardy with his abuse of drugs and alcohol, it has led to violent outbursts that have put my friend in danger on more than one occasion.
Apparently, when a drug addict needs another fix, it doesn’t matter what they have to do or whom they have to hurt to get what they need. My friend’s home windows have been broken out by the son trying to get in to steal something valuable to sell for drugs. If my friend got in the way, she would be shoved to the side as if she were no more than a piece of furniture. The bruises heal but the emotional wounds she has suffered have caused her to become tired and have given her feelings of guilt and uselessness.
To say that drugs haven’t touched me would be a lie. I have been touched by drugs simply because my good friend has been touched. Chances are you have a friend in a similar situation.
I hope that you will read the stories you find in the special section today about the plight of drug abuse in our little neck of the woods. The drug abuse epidemic is not just “somewhere else” anymore — it’s right here at home sitting in the front yard.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at