Beth Andrews’ account of the warning signs and her reaction to her sons' drug addictions - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Bulletinboard

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Beth Andrews’ account of the warning signs and her reaction to her sons' drug addictions

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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 11:00 pm

Five things I want to get across to the public

This can happen in any family. It doesn't matter how much money you make or what part of Ahwatukee you live in, it happens. It doesn't have to happen in middle school or high school. These experiences happened to me after high school. Don't ever judge other parents and assume it's their fault.

I wouldn't advise over-reacting to anything because every kid is different but I would say that if I'd over-reacted a little more and not been in denial, maybe, just maybe, it would have been different. Non of the parents I dealt with were really over-reacting, they were all assuming the same thing I was; the kids were going through a phase and would grow out of it. It was just pot, not an entry drug.

Prevention, prevention, prevention! Once they are on drugs, it is soooo hard to get them off and there are just not many resources available unless you have $35,000 to pay a good facility, provided it would work.

The drugs today are so potent that I don't believe anymore there are phases. I believe that it only takes one or two times to get addicted. They don't just take the pills, they crush them and snort them. After awhile, they need the drugs to feel normal. It isn't a high anymore, it's feeling normal.


First signs First responses Small missing items like $20/$40 No big deal A few pills missing from my mother's/husbands medication Typical teenager behavior Loss of interest in things Don't over-react or you'll push them away Tired all the time Stay open to conversation - be understanding Somewhat reclusive/staying under the radar Frustration hits - I started to yell instead of dealing with reality

You want them to grow up and make their own decisions The Non-Signs Responses GPA in school close to 4.0 Good student Activities in sports I never missed a game, in fact, I coached Actively involved in church and volunteer work I was there every minute - I taught Sunday school and confirmation for many years

Mexico Mission Trip for numerous years I was involved in the church Easter breakfast, parade, etc. for over 10 years, involving all my kids in the process  

Second signs Second responses Threatening notes from drug dealers on my windshield Fear, anger Money out of my account the minute I got paid I wish they would get out of this phase

This is typical 20-year-old behavior - he'll grow out of it Phone calls from random people looking for the items bought on eBay, threatening to put me in jail for fraud Hide the stealing because if my husband finds out, that's just one more thing I'll have to deal with and I can't deal with one more thing Sleeping all day, up all night Fix the problems so no one finds out about it Ups and downs emotionally/happy and wanting to be a part of the family one minute and angry the next More emotional ups and downs on my part because I don't really want to know what is going on. I just want it to go away so I'm hiding the problem and continuing to allow it Small things missing from the house (DVDs, videos etc.)

The loss of jobs very quickly but it was because they didn't like the job to begin with Starts affecting my job Went to a nice detox because he still had insurance I was devastated to have to take him there, but still thought that once he was off everything would be OK Manipulation and lies I actually felt hope  

Third phase My continued fall into enablement My brother's weed-eater is pawned

Many of my mother's things are pawned

Got it out and gave it to him for Christmas - How much can you really get for a weedeater? Didn't even know about mom's stuff until it was too late My mother goes and gets a title loan for them

I'm getting payday loans to shut them up

Great. I paid $1,000 per month so she didn't lose her car.  Even though I told her not to help them again - she continued and I continued to have to pay it Continued phone calls to my office Set well with work - my employees were less then impressed Coming to my office high on drugs and passing out in the chair across from my desk Again, less then impressed and called corporate. The boys were never allowed there again The lies - "I need to finish this job - you want me to throw away two weeks of work because I can't buy the supplies I need to finish the job?" I felt frustrated, angry and in the middle. If they didn't finish the job there would be problems, but how could I possibly put out more money on a wish that it would happen? The lies continue - "What do you mean I have a problem? You are ridiculous and I'm tired of you hounding me." Started to feel like I was the problem. Started losing friends, respect, colleagues, and I started believing what they thought of me. I started behaving that way. More emotional ups and downs, including singing around the house when they are in a good mood The harder I tried to hang on, the faster they sailed away More manipulation I felt lost and whenever I tried to change the situation, I ran into roadblocks

I lost hope

I slept at night with credit cards, checkbook, money etc. around my neck in a purse. I tried the pillowcase but they just cut the other end of it and still got at the money.

I know I should throw them out but how? Let them walk down the street?

Tried to find resources to help them


Fourth phase Starting the process of recovery - My thinking process Bathroom door closed for 45 minutes at a time I know they are doing drugs, but what can I do? I've tried getting them into detox etc., there is no help. I was on the floor peeking under the door Spoons missing and when I could find them they had black tar on the bottom of them

Black tar on the bathroom counter top

Finding the black tar and having all my spoons missing just started making me angry, especially when I wanted a bowl of cereal "Mom, if we don't get just $20 we'll start to withdraw and we really are going into rehab but can't get in yet, we just have to get by." Actually was in the car during a drug buy so they could "get by" before they went into detox. Still picturing my son running through the parking lot of Walgreens chasing the car because they only delivered from 8-5 and we were 10 minutes late. More money and items missing from the house

More lies

Ended up calling the police and having both of them arrested - I actually showed the police where the drugs were possibly kept in the house Overdose My daughter thought the bathroom door had been closed just a little too long with no one answering. My other son broke the door down and 911 was called.

Nice memory for a 17-year-old.


Fifth phase: The aftermath

Rented a snake from Ace Hardware last week and when I returned it I found out that the boys rented a weed-eater (apparantly they needed one after I took my brothers back to him) and a miter-saw. They were going to put me in jail for stealing because my credit card had been used. What exactly does someone miter?

The ramifications of the drugs they used will take years to come to life. I walk into stores and wonder if the other shoe is going to drop. This is not a life anyone wants to live. Putting everything you own in your pockets and sleeping with it, losing friends, losing credibility at your employment, losing credibility with family members and ending up kind of by yourself. 

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