“When I was 12 years old I started smoking cigarettes because all of my friends did. A little while later I started drinking beer and vodka. I drank a lot. I started smoking weed when I was 13. I really enjoyed it. Then I tried lortab and aderol. You could crush up the lortab and sprinkle it on your bowl. When I was 14 I started doing X and GHB and LSD and coke, shrooms, and then I got caught. My friend got in trouble and told his parents that everything was my fault and that he had nothing to do with drugs and then they brought me here.”
His therapist wrote these questions at the bottom:
When did you use? (During the day, after school…?)
How often were you using?
Times when you almost got caught?
How did you keep parents from figuring it out?
“I started using drugs when I was 12 years old. I smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol. My parents had no idea. I always lied and told them I would never do that stuff. My relationship with my family was ok. I enjoyed doing things with my family. I started smoking pot when I was 13. I would smoke all the time in the shower before school, behind a dumpster during school, and in a tunnel after school. I was high a lot. That’s when my relationship with my parents started to get worse. I didn’t really like my parents and I was very disrespectful towards them. I kept smoking cigarettes and pot as often as I could. When I was 14 I started to do harder drugs like ecstasy. I did that quite a few times. I have smoked it, snorted it, and swallowed it in my room and at school. Then I tried mushrooms. I really enjoyed that. I have done that a few times. Then I tried cocaine. I did that at my dealer’s house. I have only done it a few times since. I have also done GHB at my friend’s house. I have only done that once. I have also done ridelen, aderol, and lortab. I would crush them up and snort them or put it on my bowl. I got most of my drugs for free because I would get drugs from my dealer to give to his clients at school and he would pay me with drugs. I have mixed mushrooms and weed, alcohol and weed, ecstasy and weed, aderol and weed, ridelin and weed, lortab and weed, cocaine and alcohol, and ecstasy and alcohol.”
The usage list keeps growing and the details are not consistent. I don’t know what to think about that. Was he just in a hurry to complete the different assignments, not really caring whether he told the whole story or not? Was he just writing down what he remembered it at that particular time? Was he making things up? It sounds like he used so many different drugs that maybe it was just hard to keep track of them all. In his final draft he said that he has only done GHB once. On his worksheet, he wrote that he was doing it once a week. He said that he has done cocaine only a few times at his dealer’s house in his final draft. On his worksheet he said that his favorite drug is cocaine because it is easy to hide and easy to use. He wrote on his rough draft that he started smoking pot at age 13, not 14. He also wrote that he has done LSD. That was a shocking new addition.
The reality of the direction that his life was going is so frightening. Now that he was home and I had learned all of this extra information, I was concerned that he hadn’t made the necessary progress during residential treatment towards not wanting to use drugs anymore. He used a lot of drugs! He mixed a lot of drugs! How long would he have lived if we hadn't found out when we did? How would he find a way to live a life without them?
Every single new piece that gets added to the puzzle of his addiction intensifies my feelings of sadness.
He was using so much.
He was “high a lot”.
And I never even noticed.