Tag Archives: The addict’s mom

DONE!!!!!

After many many months of traveling the country, reporting, interviewing, of writing and rewriting and more rewriting, I just turned in the manuscript to my book about the country’s epidemic of pill and heroin abuse.

YAAAAAHHHH!

It’s called DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s IMG_0638Opiate Epidemic.

120,000 words.

Comes out in April, Bloomsbury Press.

I’m still walking around in a daze.

Writing a book is a process of discovery, I found again to my delight.

This is my third book. It started out very differently than it ended up.

Quite unexpectedly, it became a tale about the country, where we are as America and Americans, about rural America, the Rust Belt and the country’s nicest suburbs, about what excess will do, and the value of community. About what we lose when we undermine that which gives us community.

None of that should have surprised me, because unlike previous drug scourges this one has permeated virtually the entire country – or at least all of white America.

The story’s about drug marketing, and about our belief that we are entitled to feel no pain.

It’s also about Mexico, and the Mexican town that has devised a system for selling heroin like pizza. Making heroin convenient, and cheap and potent, as well.

On one level, the story’s about Mexican drug trafficking, but it’s probably as much about the impulse behind immigration, andIMG_0546 the Mexican village, and envy and desire.

I didn’t start out thinking that parents of addicted kids would be  part of the mix. But if you keep your mind open, new directions present themselves. So they are now. I love this about journalism.

I belong now to a Facebook site called The Addict’s Mom, where parents write in daily about their addicted kids. So many have died recently. So many people are wrapped up in addiction or the addiction of their children.

It’s amazing that it’s so quiet, because this is happening everywhere.

Given how hard this dope is to kick, it’s going to be with us for a long long time.

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Filed under Drugs, Mexico, Storytelling, The Heroin Heartland, Writing

Dispatches from the frontlines of America’s addiction

The Addict's MomAs I’ve spent the last year-plus writing a book about the opiate abuse epidemic in America, I’ve come across some remarkable people in times of frightening stress.

Along the way I encountered one of the most poignant pages on FB. It’s called The Addict’s Mom, run by Barbara Theodosiou, a Florida PR consultant and mother of two addicts, one in recovery and one in jail. She set up the site a few years ago feeling that no one could understand her but another mother of an addict.

The site now has 12,000 members. They are American mothers who write in the rawest, most honest terms about the arguments, jail, kids who lie and steal from grandparents, prison, their children homeless, raising their children’s children, mortgaging all they own to send their kids to $40,000 rehabs, the joy of seeing a child 200 days clean, and the terror of the late-night phone call, or policeman’s knock on the door.

I hope to be quoting some of these posts, without names, simply because they, like poetry, evoke stories you can imagine in full. (Note: AS=Addicted Son.) Here’s one that I’ve broken out from the original prose into verse:

I have found myself planning my AS’s funeral in my mind.

Recently I have even found myself praying for God to at least take one of us because the pain is just too much.

And then I step back and ask myself what kind of mother could pray for death for one of her own children !?!

I feel horrible even putting these words on paper but i just need to let it out.

I am tired of fighting this fight.

I am tired of seeing my only son destroy himself.

I am tired of all the arguments with him.

I am tired of living with fear of getting that ‘phone call’.

I just don’t know how much longer he can survive at the rate he is using .

 

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Filed under Drugs, The Heroin Heartland