The Reality of Drug Use


Photo Illustration by Kyra Allen

While trying to fall asleep at night, Abby Garcia sees the face of her older brother in her doorway meaning that once again he is having difficulty sleeping.

“Come in,” she says as she makes room for him next to her on her bed.

“I can’t sleep. I am afraid something is going to get me,” he says to her.

On normal nights like this, she would go downstairs and make him a glass of water.

One night in particular, Abby’s brother came into her room and said something that made her fear for his life. This is the night that without her, he may have taken his life.

Shaking and crying he says to her, “There’s someone trying to hold on me. I can feel it. I can hear it.”

While Abby is trying to make sense of what he is saying, he says to her, “I want this to end, I’m going to jump out of the window.” The family lives in a two-story house.

Frantic, Abby runs downstairs to her parents, being careful not to leave him alone for too long.

Her parents, not knowing what to say, remind their son of everything he has heard before including, “Suicide is not the answer.”

Although it took a long time, the family finally achieved their goal: They convinced the teenager with a long life ahead of him to not end his life.

“My dad stayed up with him the rest of the night,” Garcia said.

When her brother woke up the next day he was still different, but no longer contemplating killing himself.

“We know the drugs affected his brain, so we are patient with him and it gets easier every day,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s brother did not always act this way. These are the effects of the drugs.

As Red Ribbon Week comes to a close, students are reminded of the seriousness of drug use. During the week, students have gone from Superhero Day to a day of bell tolls and black-clad students reminding them of the deaths resulting from drug use.

Drugs are capable of impacting the lives of those who use them forever.

In addition to impacting the brain, Officer Thompson said she has seen young drug users miss school often or even drop out completely.

“[Drug users] don’t learn to cope with issues in life,” she said.

Freshman Brendalynn Shepard said her friendship with a drug user resulted in nothing but “drama,” and that the user must want help in order to successfully get off of drugs.

Fortunately, Garcia’s brother saw the negative impacts of his drug use and took the initiative to stop before things got worse.