COLUMN: Words of wisdom about saying no to drugs

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By Shannon Brock

Normally, we don’t run things on this page without telling you who wrote them. Whether it’s from one of our staff members or from one of you, we usually put a name to it.
But this week we are presented with a special situation.
A loving mother came into our office and showed us what you are about to read below. It describes what a young man and his family went through during a time when his brother was on drugs. At the time it was written, the young man was an elementary student. Now, he is grown, but his mother thinks the words still need to be shared.
His words ring so true that it doesn’t matter who said them. Hundreds in our community probably know them all too well anyway. This week, we join this loving mother in hoping that by reading the following, we can make that number go down:
“A lot of kids, my brother for one, would say ‘drugs will never hurt me.’ That is not true. My brother had a lot going for him. He had a car, he didn’t have to work if he kept his grades good, and he played sports.
“But my brother didn’t think smoking marijuana would hurt him. My brother played football in high school. He was a good player, so good the colleges in different states wanted him to play football for them.
“The first football game of the year when my brother was in 12th grade almost the whole team had smoked marijuana just before the game. You know what? The team lost, they didn’t play like they should have. Right there tells you doing drugs doesn’t pay off.
“The next game they won, no one used drugs. So what does that say for drugs? That season, my brother won player of the week six times — they only gave out 10 of them. Not bad if my brother would have kept going on the right road.
“But my brother didn’t, he kept doing drugs. Now, he was doing strong drugs and more of them. He was doing dumb things. Drugs cost money, so how did my brother get money for his drugs? He sold drugs.
“My brother was 18 years old selling drugs so he could take drugs. He didn’t care about his life, mine or my parents. He would yell at everyone. That wasn’t my brother talking, that was the drugs talking. It’s sad what drugs can do to you.
“My mom would cry all the time. She would blame herself for what was going on with my brother. It wasn’t my mom’s fault. It was my brother’s fault. No one could tell my brother, he just kept on using drugs.
“Well, the day came my mom was hoping would never come. My brother called her from jail. He asked my mom to get him out. He was crying.
“My mom told him no. She told him, ‘you knew what you were getting yourself into, so you just stay there and think about what you have done to your life and your family’s life.’ That was the hardest thing my mom and dad had to do.
“My brother spent eight months in a state prison for dealing drugs. The only way we could see my brother was looking at him through a glass window. And, as you were looking at him, you had to talk to him by a telephone. No hugs. Do you know how hard that was, not to touch my brother?
“My brother spent his 19th birthday in state prison. What a life my brother was having, just because he thought just once will never hurt.
“I’m glad I could share with you what I’ve gone through. I hope that you would maybe think twice before trying any kind of drugs.
“Today my brother is 21 years old and is working, has a car and lives with a friend of his. He tells me it wasn’t worth it, and that I should never try drugs. He says he is sorry for putting the family through everything. I just hope he means what he says.”