On December 9, 2013, Mary’s life was taken by her son, a heroin addict.
“No one will ever know the exact circumstances, but there’s no doubt [that] his addiction had everything to do with it,” says Betsy, one of Mary’s closest friends. “It’s taken me nearly two years to calm my anger toward him, and accept that this powerful, easily obtained drug shares a large part of the blame.”
Drug addiction has no social or economic boundaries. Often, loved ones are just as affected as the addicts themselves.
“I can’t count the number of times I suggested that she get help for herself in order to deal with her own well-being and her worsening mental health,” Betsy said. “There was nothing happy going on in her life. She was trying to support him on one income, watching him tell lie after lie, and watching her possessions disappear to be sold for drugs. But the worst was the agony of watching her son go through withdrawals in between failed attempts at getting clean.”
More effort and resources are necessary to provide families of addicts with the information and support they need to be able to help their loved one and themselves.
Mary’s death, while tragic, has inspired Betsy to work with others to prevent it from happening again. A Place For Mary, together with Harbor Behavioral Health, affiliate of ProMedica, hopes to be a part of the solution by offering resources and support to families with relatives or loved ones who are substance abusers.
“People have to want to reach out for help,” says Betsy, “but first they have to be aware that a lifeline is available.”
Knowing where to find that first step can be difficult. A Place For Mary is here to help you.