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I grew up with a mother who had a prescription drug addiction. This disorder started when my mother broke her ankle when I was just four years old. Her life went downhill after that, and it affected my life in ways that still haunt me.

The Early Years

It didn’t take long before my mother learned how to manipulate the system by seeing multiple doctors to attain her drugs. Her actions soon took a toll on her and ultimately lead to placing me into a foster home for three months. My mother later had extreme mood changes which caused her to behave irrationally and cause scenes to embarrass me in front of my friends.

We moved around a lot, but I was never sure why, possibly because no landlord would put up with her erratic behavior, not to mention her accusing various people of stealing and even worse accusations.

The Middle Years

I was sent to boarding school by my uncle to get me away from my mother, but her disorder continued. When I turned 16 years old, in front of my best friend, my mother slashed her wrist.

I never knew when my mother would be straight so going out was always a gamble. Often the signs were subtle as her speech became more slurred and if I confronted her on it, she would start yelling and causing a scene.

The Later Years

My mother eventually became clean, as she put it and I felt a tremendous amount of relief since she was no longer slurring her words or falling asleep in her soup while out at a restaurant.

But right before 2003, my mother was over at my apartment for the holidays and seemed to be acting strange again. She was slurring her speech and having a hard time focusing on me when she spoke. When she went into the bathroom, I looked in her purse only to find a bottle of Vicodin, and I was devastated. I confronted her on it, and she told me the doctor gave it to her because of the pain she was having in her legs when she walked. I told her to leave and go home because I was not going to go through this nightmare again.

My mother left that night and died the next day. She neglected to tell me she had severe atherosclerosis which caused the pain in her legs. My mother died of a heart attack, and I was never able to say I was sorry.

Substance abuse in any form affects not only the one who is abusing but also those around them who love and care for them. We need to find ways to help prevent this from continuing. For help and information contact us today!