Growing up around drugs

For the first part of my childhood, I grew up in the country with my parents, my brother, and my two sisters. I was always good in school. It was always easy for me. When I was a kid it was cool. We lived a pretty normal life until I was about 5 or 6, then my mom came right out and told me that they were doing drugs. My father was an alcoholic and there was domestic violence in the home. My dad started drinking a lot and doing meth. The domestic violence started escalating and he got my mom on meth. My dad went to jail and my parents got divorced, then we moved back into town. I didn't really know what to think. When I was older, I would tell my mom to stop and that I didn't want her doing it. I told her I would rather have her sell drugs than do drugs, but I just accepted it because, that's just the way it was. My mom always said she would stop or cut down, but it never really happened back then.

My parents did drugs before I was born, but my mom stopped for a while. My dad always drank though. They started doing meth and it just built over time. As it got worse, there were more people at the house, they were gone more, there was more involvement with police. My mom isn't using at all anymore, but my dad is using just as much as he always was. I think my mom started using because of the domestic violence. The doctor prescribed her some pills and she started taking more and more of those. Then my dad brought home some meth and told her to do it with him. After that, she never got off of it until recently. I think she used it to escape from what was going on in her life.

Because my parents used drugs, my siblings and I were exposed to some dangerous situations and we were around people we shouldn't have been around. Their drug use also caused a lot of financial problems and both my parents have gone to jail. The drug use just caused a lot of problems. It caused problems with other family members too. My mother's family didn't really want much to do with us because my grandma didn't like that my mother was a drug addict, so we didn't associate with her much. When you're a kid that grows up around drugs, it just messes with you. It made me really not like my grandma very much because she wasn't there to help when we needed help. When you grow up around drugs, it's a negative lifestyle. You start thinking only about today and you start looking at things a lot differently. There are a lot of consequences. Kids who grow up around drugs start looking at people differently, have problems with authority, start disliking cops.

I first started smoking weed when I was like 12. I was living in a foster home and this kid offered it to me. He said it was good and I was curious, so I did it. I knew a lot of people that used weed. I don't think weed was as much as a problem as other drugs. I know it's still a problem, but not as bad as a lot of other drugs. I started smoking weed regularly the next year. It was just kind of something to do to get your mind off everything. I never thought it was the cool thing to do; it was just something I did. Now that I'm back home, I feel better about my situation. When I graduate from high school next month, I plan to go to college. I'm not sure what I want to study yet though.

I think my mom wanted to quit because she got tired of the lifestyle. It's a constant struggle. A lot of people say that drug addicts are stupid, but I can see from my own perspective that drug addicts can't just stop doing drugs at any time. It's really hard. I've learned that drugs are bad. Don't do drugs. You might think you're just going to do it once, but you're going to do it again. You can get hooked, and you're not just hurting yourself, you're hurting your whole family. My mom eventually quit because she was tired of it and she wanted to get her kids out of foster care. My brother's dad let her move out of town to live with him. She was able to get away from all the people that she knew. She wanted to get us back, so she was motivated to stop. You have to have the motivation and strength, otherwise you're just going to go right back to it.

I look at people with drug problems not as criminals, but as people who need help. When they send people to prison for drugs, I don't think it's the best thing for them. I think they should do more things to rehabilitate them, not just put them in prison with more criminals and more reason to do drugs. It's definitely not good to be a drug addict, but they're just people with problems.