Just for one second, I thought, “Jesus, did he kill himself?” But my rational mind answered quickly.  No, he wouldn’t do that.  Why would he have said he’d check himself in?  Last week when he nearly froze to death sleeping in his truck in the mountains, he came home and going up the stairs to his room said, “I almost fuckin froze out there.”  No, he wouldn’t do that.


Chad had only been on drugs for four months. For the first two, it was mostly pain killers from back to back surgeries after falling off a roof.  Somewhere during the third month, a friend stopped by the house while I was at work and then called me.  He said, “Jan, something’s not right.  I don’t know what’s going on but it’s not good.  I saw kids I’ve never seen before.  I went back with the dog and a baseball bat and sent them home.  When I cornered Chad, he said it was coke.”

I was shocked. Chad had always been against hard drugs, both of my boys were.  I told his dad and his step mother agreed to make plane reservations, I made room reservations and with a family intervention, we were set to send him to a rehab in Minnesota, one of the best.  That never happened.  His dad disappeared, the plane reservations were never made and the whole plan fell apart.

The worst part was this; with Attention Deficit Disorder any amphetamine (Ritlin is an amphetamine) actually acted the opposite with Chad’s chemistry then it would in mine or most peoples’. He was calm, more focused, and more sociable.  He laughed more and wasn’t as moody or depressed.  I think the Devil stole our urgency.  And besides, from my limited experience, Coke seemed to be fairly benign in that it wasn’t instantly addictive as far as I knew.  It wasn’t Heroin or Opium.  I thought we had time.  We didn’t!

Crack never cross my mind. At the time it was such a ghetto drug and I had no idea just how prevalent it was in our valley or that the impact of inhaling Cocaine was a million times worst then snorting it.  Oddly, I never noticed the printed piece he had cut out and pasted to the lamp in his bedroom until after he was gone.  It said, “Marijuana, at least it’s not Crack!”  Drugs were just not an option or something I worried about in my household.  Call it naïve I guess.  It wasn’t a problem until it was.  How ironic that he was on top of the world when it happened.  He had graduated from High School and was flying high on his new plans for life.

The Rat Pack Snowboarders


To be continued tomorrow….


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