Family Addictions and the Innocent Victim

 

Heroin, is an addictive opioid drug. Its consequences can extend farther than an individual. Some consequences of drug use is fetal defects, violence, immune diseases, and family disruptions. Here is a personal story of addiction and how it affected one person’s life.

48 year old Sage Weeks was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was born with,  neonatal abstinence syndrome. This was due to his mother’s use of heroin during pregnancy. His mother continued her drug use and at fifteen months old, Sage went to live with his grandparents. His mother showed signs of improvement and interest in spending time with her son. so he went to visit her on weekends, at age three. Sage stated that “he was with his mother at a house and remembers someone putting a needle into a mans arm.  The man fell over with foam coming out of his mouth and a bunch of guys picked him up and carried him out.”

 

When Sage returned to his grandparents he asked his grandmother, “why do people put hot water in a needle and put it in their arm?  He wasn’t allowed to see his mother on weekends for a long time. I hated drugs and alcohol until I was nine,” he said. “My mother was in a car accident and I drank a beer I found in the house. After that is when alcohol made me feel good.”

 

Over the years he drank a lot and did drugs. “Drugs did not seem to affect me like it did others,” he noted. From ages 28-32, Sage began drinking heavily and lived under a bridge. He was in and out of mental institutions and hospitals with health problems due to his alcohol consumption. Other family members also abused alcohol.

 

Sage also experienced  delirium tremens (DT’s). He did not know what was real or a hallucination, in his mind. “I had a dream of a group of people in white robes. They seemed to be carrying me,” he said. “They told me I was not doing my job and I was dying.” Sage prayed. ” If I could make it through my health issues and mental instabilities, then, I will quit.  Soon, with support from friends and family, he did.

 

On February 28, 2004,  Sage Weeks went to the Harbor House to detoxify. He has been sober since then.

2002-2013 heroin use statistics.     Graph 2016 by Cynthia Bruni

 

Heroin use, during pregnancy, can pass through the placenta into the baby.  The baby may be born dependent. Tremors, diarrhea, and vomiting can be symptoms. Morphine is used to ease the symptoms of drug addiction at birth.

 

Alcohol is one of the most abused substance in the United States. There are 17.6 million people that suffer from alcohol abuse or dependency, that’s one in twelve people. Binge drinking leaves a few more million in danger of future dependencies and/or abuse.

 

 

References:

 

Bruni, C. (2016) Graph. Microsoft Word

Burns M.D., M.J. et al (2016 April 14) Delirium tremens (DT’s) Medscape.

Homeward Pikes Peak (2015) Harbor House Retrieved from:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (n/d) How does heroin use affect pregnant women?    U.S.A.gov

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