When does it end?

It's a shame that our kids get so caught up with fitting into the crowd that they don't care how they abuse their bodies and minds. Even seeing a close friend suffer from substance abuse and watching them die, still doesn't bring the fear or reality into their souls that they are on the same path.

My heart is breaking hearing that I have a nephew and my cousin's son fighting cocaine and heroin. How dangerous is this? Their addiction didn't just start. They have been battling this disease for over five years.

My daughter, Lori, and her sister, Debbie, stayed by their father's side at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island while he suffered slowly for a week at forty-five years of age from his young years of alcohol abuse. It was a family disease that just trickled down through his family.

Lori went into rehab three times, and she still didn't grab onto the help and her life. It's so sad to watch history repeat itself. I watched Lori's daughter at seventeen, the same age as her mother had been sitting by her dad's side, now sitting my her mother's bedside while she was in a coma on life-support. We all watched as they pulled the plug after all her organs shut down; no hope. A scene no one wants to ever witness with a loved one. I brought her life and heard her take her first breath. In 2006 at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, I had to watch her take her last.

Where and when does it end? Pain and hopelessness goes through the whole family. It seems like such a useless death when substance abusers don't realize they are not going to make it with this demon. No one thinks it will happen to them. They tell us that they have a hold on it. They can stop anytime. Everyone does it. It makes them feel good. They develop confidence with others.

We need to teach our kids at an early age to love themselves for who they are, no matter what they do or don't accomplish in their lives. We need them to not worry about their race, difference in faith, if they are over-weight or not as pretty as the next one. Teach them that they don't have to try to measure up to someone else. Be happy to work with what God gave them. He knew what they needed. He gave them the tools and the path, but too many of our children are turning down the wrong road. Too many are losing their future. Society is losing someone to help our country in our world of medicine. Someone to find answers to serious problems. Someone who was loved by family members no matter what wrong road they took.

How do we show our college kids that the other kids that they are following aren't really cool? They are not seeing a foolish person, who is not only sick, but someone seriously addicted. How do we teach them that a night of binge drinking, sex, or violent acts may seem like fun at the moment, but are things that will lead them to their death? Things that are brought on by over-drinking and taking drugs.

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